Seven com­pete in ‘bucket list’ race

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - NEWS -

‘‘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.

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