Crash sinks team's title shot
IT was like running into a brick wall, and has ended the season for Mackay's Australian Offshore Superboat Championships entrant BBC Digital.
Mackay's Scott Gehrman and Graham Fraser of the Sunshine Coast emerged unscathed from a crash at Mooloolaba, but their $70,000 boat is a write-off and their chance of defending the 600hp class title won last year has gone.
"Water impact is hard, it's just like running into a brick wall," Gehrman said yesterday as he surveyed the wreckage of the boat at Reef Marine, where he works as a mechanic.
"We were only doing 140kmh but it is very fast when something like this happens, it just stopped dead.
"The boat just dropped in (to the wave), submarined and under it went.
"We were going ahead at full speed and all of the sudden it was a dramatic stop."
Gehrman said Fraser had been stunned and had hurt his foot in the impact, but they were able to unbuckle and exit through a top hatch, which had been blown off in the crash.
The boat sank in 10 minutes, but was able to be retrieved and towed to Mooloolaba Marina.
Before the accident BBC Digital looked to be on its way to retaining its championship title, but Gehrman said with two races remaining there seemed little chance they could get back in the water this year.
"Graham spoke to me today, he's feeling a bit better about getting back into the boat but he said 'not this boat', he'd like a bigger one this time."
The two are looking at options to hire or buy a new boat, and will start looking for sponsors to help them get back into the water.
Mackay's other Superboats competitor, The Good Guys piloted by Chris and Brendan Frier, also suffered damage in a separate incident but was able to continue racing and gain valuable championship points.
A front access hatch blew off The Good Guys, which is currently third in the championship which they won last year.
The Good Guys will compete in the next races at Redcliffe and Hervey Bay in September.
Good Guys manager Skye Gregory urged businesses to get behind BBC Digital to help them out.
BBC Digital can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.