Seven compete in ‘bucket list’ race
‘‘Unbelievable’’ was the word used by local man Paul White after he and six of his friends recently ticked off a ‘bucket list’ boat race at Kununurra in the top end of Western Australia.
The seven mates promoted themselves as the first team from NSW to tackle the annual Kununurra Dam to Dam ‘Dinghy Dash’ on the magnificent Ord River.
The Dam to Dam is run by the Kununurra Water Ski Club and has six racing categories, with the local lads contesting the 25 and 30 horsepower classes.
Competitors travel the sometimes treacherous but picturesque 110km river run from the Lake Argyle Dam to the Kununurra Diversion Dam wall and back in flat bottom punts, or ‘tinnies’ as they’re often called.
The local team’s leader Ian ‘Tiger’ Macknight and Steve Hussey finished third out of five in the 25hp class and Jamie Park and Paul White finished fifth.
Michael Clark and Andrew Willis finished sixth in the 30hp class, with Dave Hussey also travelling with them as the ‘support crew’.
Mr White said the journey took at least one hour and 40 minutes upstream and ‘‘only a little bit quicker’’ downstream.
‘‘We’ve been talking about doing this for two years so to finally do it was just great,’’ he said.
‘‘There were only about 20 boats in it this year but we had a ripper of a time.
‘‘We had to hire boats so we didn’t do too well race wise, but it was all about the experience.
‘‘Myself and Jamie were flour bombed and egged on our way back for almost 45km by some blokes that we fitted outboards for before the race.
‘‘We couldn’t get out of their way because they had a faster boat, but it was good fun.
‘‘Jamie was also counting every single crocodile we passed.
‘‘The river wasn’t as bad with the rocks and crocs as we thought it was going to be.
‘‘The Thursday before the race we fitted the two outboards and on Sunday we went for a bit of a fish.’’
Mr White said the group plans to compete again next year, having already bought a new motor for the event.
‘‘We just need to buy a boat to go with the motor,’’ he said.
‘‘We should be able to go faster with our own gear and hopefully finish a bit higher than what we did this year.’’
Jamie Park towing Steve Hussey and Ian Macknight while they struggled to get their engine started before the Dam to Dam race.