Thousands of spectators lined the Murray over the weekend and saw Mercury engines prove their pedigree once again – powering 10 boats to victory in the famous Southern 80 ski race classic.

With 599 entries, huge crowds lining the 80 kilometre course from Torrumbarry to Echuca, 120 bends and the boats hitting 170 km/h, it was a massive weekend.

And time and again Mercury engines put skiers on top of the podium.

At the business end of the competition, OptiMax 300 XS engines powered home Bullet Racing in the extremely competitive Unlimited Outboard Expert category and gave Thunder Storm victory in the F2 Expert class, being the only boat to break the 40 minute barrier.

Thunder Storm also collected gold in the 70mph Expert competition, 37 seconds clear, to round off a great three days on the water.

Mercury engines helped other teams defend their titles from last year. Little Man retained the SMOC Expert crown with an OptiMax 250 XS, again the only boat to break 40 minutes, and Saintin finished well clear to record back-to-back wins in the 200hp Outboard Expert  class thanks to a Mercury 2.5L power pack.

In a very tight field, Spinal Tap, also with an OptiMax 250 XS, clinched the Junior Girls expert crown.

Mercury’s affordability and reliability saw it collect four wins in the Social categories as well.

With OptiMax 300 XS engines providing the push, 99 Psycho Clowns Team 4 reeled in victory in the Unlimited Outboard Social contest, once again the only boat to go sub-40, and Robertson Racing comfortably won the Sub Junior Social event.

The OptiMax 250 Pro XS-powered Specimen meanwhile clinched the SMOC Social laurels by a whisker and Messy Racing comfortably claimed the 200hp Outboard Social class, powered by the new OptiMax 200 Pro XS engine.

And while Mercury didn’t win the Superclass title this year, it dominated the results with 99 Psycho Clowns, Merc Force and Sapphire finishing second, third and fourth – all within a 20 second window – and each of them powered by a Mercury Racing QC4V 1350 sterndrive.

“The Southern 80 is a true water ski classic – a unique, highly prestigious event -– and to leave with a win is a major accomplishment,” said Guy Williamson, Mercury’s Director of Service and Quality.

“So it’s really satisfying to see Mercury engines help so many teams stand on top of the podium.

“The fact that our wins are spread across such a diverse range of categories, from the very serious to the more relaxed, is testament to the depth of our range and our absolute commitment to racing.”