Success follows disappointment in Qatar

Following a frustrating season-opener in Doha,Maritimo Australiabounced back to complete a clean sweep of the podium in the fifth round of the Australian Offshore Superboat Championship, the Newcastle Classic in New South Wales, last weekend.

Peter ‘muddy’ McGrath and Luke Durman led homeMaritimocraft one-two-three ahead of Tom Barry-Cotter and Ross Willaton with Brandon and Christopher Frier filling third spot.

The result is a much needed boost for the team after the Qatar Grand Prix, which sawMaritimo 12sidelined before the race after a spin-out during Saturday practice andMaritimo 11stop on fifth lap with engine problems. Team Principal Bill Barry-Cotter described the weekend as an ‘absolute disaster’.

“We knew we had some handling issues but thought we had fixed them. Clearly we still have a lot of work to do,” he said, adding. “The tests we have done have been very positive with both boats showing good straight-line speed. Now we just have to figure out how to turn them.”

“What we have to do now is put the Qatar weekend behind us, our heads together and think along the same lines to solve the issues.”

The team will now rig a third new boat ahead of the next race in Alicante in Spain on June 7, but Barry-Cotter realises the team is now on the back foot.

“We are now chasing time. Preparation will be rushed and as we have no fixed idea about what the problem is we are guessing with the new boat.”

Second place for Tom Barry-Cotter keeps him at the top of the championship standings and well-placed to retain his 2007/8 Australian Offshore Superboat title with two rounds remaining.