TSR - Winter Hibernation = Preperation
It's cold once again and as we head into our short "off season" TSR is staying on top of the game in preperation for the upcoming season. After a record breaking U19's season, the entire team is looking forward to climbing the ranks and racing against the most competitive teams in the country and indeed the world. This will all get underway in a few weeks time when Jack Houston will compete in the 2012 Catalina Ski Race off Long Beach Los Angeles USA. Jack won intermediate mens last year and will be looking to throw a cat amongst the pidgeons and give the older competitors a serious challenge as the 2 x Junior World Champion has a more powerful boat to ski behind and has been tailoring his training in preperation of this event.
Less than a month after returning from the USA, will be the running of the Hawkesbury 120 in late August, which will be TSR's first hitout in a 2UP Classic for 2012. Ben & Jack are both still training very hard and we head into this season with excitement and enthusiasm for these two young champions. Keep working hard boys and the rewards will come.
We look forward to seeing everyone at Catalina and then Windsor and cant wait for the upcoming season to get underway!
Mildura 100 race wrap
TSR headed down to Mildura over the Easter long weekend for the GTS Freight Mildura 100. The team did not race on Saturday, as it would have no bearing on start positions for Sundays main race and therefore it was decided that the better option would be to rest Ben and Jack for the tough & fast 100kms on Sunday.
In sundays first leg, "stinga" finished in a time of 18.19 which was good enough for 8th fastest on the way down the river. This was a mammoth effort, given the starting position of 40th and the number of boats the team had to pass on this first leg.
The return leg would see TSR with an open river and the chance to see what was possible for these two young guns of ski racing. The return leg time of 17.31 would prove to be 4th fastest of the run back, which placed TSR in front of the Unlimited boats on this leg. This would be enough to post a overall time of 35.50, breaking the previous U19's record by 1min 6 secs and placing the boys 7th outright in one of the fastest races going. (it also would have been good enough for 3rd in unlimited). Given the traffic Greg had to navigate through during the first leg, one does tend to wonder what could have been. Regardless, thats racing and the result does nothing but to encourage the team to train harder and prepare better then ever before in preperation for the 2012/13 classic season.
The 11/12 classic season has been one to remember where Ben & Jack won 5 out of 6 events (with a DNF at Robinvale), 4 U'19 boys race records (H120, Sydney B2B, Southern 80 & Mildura 100) and a stack of top 5 and top 10 outright finishes with the standout being 3rd outright at the Southern 80.
Prior to the short winter off-season, you can still catch TSR at a number of events including Region 5, SR NSW series rounds and of course, the 1 UP bridge to Bridge is only around the corner on the 6th of May.
Just a quick note to regular visitors of this site, we have experienced a technical issue with the website whereby the last bunch of articles we posted have disappeared. We are working on resolving the issue and will re-post these articles as soon as we can. Sorry for the inconveinience.
What a Bridge! 4th Outright and U19's Record
Well, well, Jack Houston & Ben Hackett are not only the crème of the crop when it comes to the U19’s field, it appears, that they are a serious force to be reckoned with throughout the whole field. The constant dark horse, if you like, and the 2011 bridge to Bridge would prove that Team Stinga Racing are here to be reckoned with the strongest young pairing in the field.
However the 50th Bridge to Bridge was about more than these two superstars of the sport for TSR. Greg was asked to showcase the “legend” & the decision was made to put the entire team on display for the patrons & competitors of the 50th Sydney Bridge to Bridge. The “legend” & the “F1” were on static display all weekend, as were the “F2” & the “S” outside of racing duties on Sunday. With some giveaways and plenty of questions being answered, the TSR crew opened their doors to the public to give an insight into these four fantastic ski racing craft, each with their own character. We had some old & new video footage on display which was sure to catch the attention of those hanging around the TSR pit area, even a couple of past TSR champion skiers! All in all, a very proud day for Team Stinga Racing to be given the opportunity to share the team with the public at such an event.
As mentioned TSR were running two boats for this Bridge to Bridge with our F2 team of Geoff McPherson driving, Olivia Long observing with Vanessa Eyles & Cheryl Ruston from the USA running in the MOC class finishing in a time of 56.53 in 6th place, only a matter of minutes off the win in a reasonably tight class. Great work guys, you did TSR proud.
Back to the main game, and calm conditions would meet the team as the TSR sprinter with boat in tow met the Hawkesbury River Bridge on the F3 on route to the ramp at Brooklyn. After completing final preparations, Greg, Kevin, Jack & Ben headed over to Dangar Island with high hopes of what was to come, in this, our Bathurst of the water!
The standard bullet like start from TSR was made and the team headed off into the river. Having a reasonably clean run for the early stages allowed the boys to get their heads down and do some hard yards early. Once into the river, TSR were making consistent time on the unlimited field and passed 8 unlimited boats before arriving at Windsor. Greg felt that if they had the opportunity to make a cleaner run, 3rd outright may have been a chance. As it was though, this would still be a run of historic proportions. The record held by the “Humble” crew (with no less than Todd Haig and Luke Wakeham sking) from 14 years ago (1997) was 43.45 and would demand a consistently fast & strong performance from the entire team. Not only did Ben & Jack give this a crack, they smashed it! So much so, the general consensus is that, this record, may just hold there for some time to come – 41.31, 2.14 quicker than the previous U19’s record and 51 secs faster than the new unlimited record, also set this year by good mates of the TSR operation “Sudden Force”. This will be the subject of much conversation (and stirring) between the Houston and the Hoggins families for some time to come. Maybe next year, we will see “Sudden Force” & “Stinga” battling it out for unlimited honors in amongst a tough field, so don’t expect that conversation to end anytime soon.
We must pay tribute in this article to Stephen Robertson, who sadly passed away on the Thursday prior to the bridge. Our thoughts are with Stephen’s family throughout this time and we pray for the family to maintain the strength and resolve that Stephen was famous for. Stephen was, first and foremost, a friend, but also a mentor and a member of Team Stinga Racing at varying times and will be sadly missed by the extended TSR family, not to mention the entire Ski Racing community. A very fitting tribute was paid on the Saturday of the bridge, with Stephens ski partner Chris Stout doing a solo run followed by a minutes silence and 100 red balloons being released. The respect was clear to see as silence fell over the crowd for a number of minutes prior. This was a very touching and special moment, especially for the family. Stephen was laid to rest on Friday 18th of November. WC9901 – a true champion who will never be forgotten!
Greg Houston to appear on FOX Sports NEWS
Just a quick note TSR & B2B fans, Greg Houston will be appearing on FOX Sports NEWS Long Lunch between 12pm and 1pm today, Thursday 10th Novemebr to promote the Bridge 2 Bridge. Thanks to Fox Sports & the B2B organising commitee, especially Liz Langham for arranging such an opportunity for our sport.
50th Bridge to Bridge = Big Event for TSR
Sunday November 13 2011 marks a huge milestone in ski racing, the 50th running of the Sydney Bridge to bridge, which, of course is very near and dear to Team Stinga Racing as a long running race on the river we have all grown up on. To celebrate this event, TSR have been asked to display "The Legend" 21ft Connelly, which is still in full race trim and if needed, could be subbed in at a minutes notice to run the race. This, however is not the plan, instead we are looking forward to displaying our team on Saturday and Sunday with plenty of photo opportunities and the chance to come and say hi to the team. We will have our remaining worlds merchandise for sale and a few other suprises for kids and adults alike specifically organised for this one-off display.
Of course, our awesome 2UP U19's team will be competing on Sunday and looking for a strong showing in what is the biggest 2UP race of the year on our calander and you just never know what they may have in store for the classes above them. The boys had a training run behind "the legend" last sunday and word on the water was, they looked awesome behind the 'ol gal! In addition "Stinga" F2 will also be running in the bridge, but for who is in the crew, you'll have to keep an eye out!
So make sure you come down and say Hi and grab your chance to see the Sydney Bridge to Bridge 6 time outright winner & current record holder - "Stinga", The Legend!