Forbes local Mitch Roylance is making a name for himself in the sport of V8 Superboat racing. He won Rookie of the Year at the Australian V8 Superboat Championship in Temora last weekend against about 30 competitors from all over Australia. He also came third overall in the season series of seven races.
He competed in six of the seven races this year in his superboat called Blackjack. Mitch made sure to keep the Rookie of the Year award in the family as his older brother Justin won it in 2013. Justin also competed last weekend at Lake Centenary, a purpose built track. The two brothers competed against each other and took out second and third positions in one of the races.
“It was Mitch’s first year of competing and he has done fantastically,” said Justin. He has been a navigator for a driver previously. Mitch’s navigator at Temora was Matt Hearn. The sport of superboating is likened to a rally on water. A crew of two, a driver and a navigator, race individually against the clock through a twisting series of channels in less than a metre of water. The navigator uses hand signals to indicate to the driver where to go.
The race course normally has 25 to 30 changes of direction and generally takes just 45–60 seconds. Justin said a superboat accelerated from 1 to 100km in 1.8 seconds and reached a top speed of 120km/h. “When we turn
we have up to six G-force and therefore need to be strapped in with a five-point race harness.
The sport originated in New Zealand and came to Australia about 20 years ago.
By Maggi Barnard