Bridge To Bridge History
1973: The original bridge was a local race run from South Grafton Ex-Serviceman’s Club bank to Harwood Bridge and return. This race had a field of 27 boats. Water conditions were good and local boat “Injector”, towing Ron Klienienst and Colin Bridge, took out line honours and outright position with a time of 60 minutes.
1974: The winner was Queensland boat “Performance Craft Marine”, driven by Keith Scott-Brown. Water conditions were atrocious and only those 10 boats that completed the course could fully understand the ferocity of the Clarence River on a bad day.
1975: “Clockwork orange” won with a time of 59.55 minutes over the longer course which started from Susan Island.
1976: The race began and finished in perfect glass water conditions and was won by the immaculate Everingham “Tiger” prepared by Arthur Fields. Tony Longhurst and Trevor Woods scorched over the course in 49.48 minutes to set the new record.
1977: “All torque” caused a sensation by being not only the first 5 litre boat to win the race outright, but also set a new record of 49.13 minutes. Trevor Woods this time teamed with Geoff Burges to take his second successive bridge.
1978: Conditions were not as favourable when the race was won by “Haines Hunter Racing” in the time of 54.33 minutes.
1979: Ray Wheeler teamed with Rodney Doyle behind Norm Lee’s “Firebird” to win the race.
1980: A record of 102 entries faced the starter and “The Assassin” team left its mark in a time of 49.59 minutes.
1981: 137 boats started, but less than 100 finished. Poor visibility marred a race which was historic in that it was the first and only “Bridge to Bridge” to be won by an outboard powered boat, “Bullet one” in a time of 50.14 minutes.
1982: John Catania returned with Geoff and John Hardaker to destroy the old record in a time of 45.14 minutes. “The Assassin” appeared to be unbeatable.
1983: “The Judge” showed speed with Bevan Linder towing Rory Brown and Murray Hackett to victory in a brilliant 43.15 minutes. The Connelly was flying.
1984: Saw “The Judge” return as favourite and the team obliged by winning in “ordinary” conditions in a time of 46.47 minutes.
1985: Geoff and John Hardaker returned behind the 20 foot Everingham of Lester Freemantal to win in a time of 43.39 minutes.
1986: Bevan Linder was back to destroy the record when “The Judge” powered over the course in 42.43 minutes. The Connellys were back on top.
1987: “Plusone” set a new record of 41.25 minutes. While owner Pat Bourke was away the boat was left in the control of it’s usual “observer” Phil Kunze. He certainly didn’t waste any time on the journey.
1988: The “Supafortruss” team of Graham Harris, Charlie Stock, Craig Brown and Danny Cropper proved too good for the other 205 entrants and despite covering the last 20 miles of the river at a rather leisurely pace recorded a time of 43.00 minutes.
1989: Rock Solid tows Kris Webb and Ken Hoy to a memorable victory. Click link to see video of Ken Hoy’s amazing save.
Rock Solid Video
1990: Saw 234 boats face the starter with a record 30 unlimited crews. The Stan Najor owned and driven “Network” crossed the finish line in a time of 43.13.13 to take out the 1990 race. He towed newly crowned World Champ Ian Dipple and Geoff Hardaker.
1991: Even a blown motor as they were coming under the Grafton Bridge couldn’t stop Ken Broughton from pedalling “Mirage” home to win the 1991 Grafton Bridge to Bridge in record time of 40.27.47.
1992: Tom Hughes owned and driven “Top Gun” did the trip to Harwood and back in record time of 40.01.39. “Network” and “Mercury Bullet” also came quicker than last years record set by “Mirage”.
1993: The magic 40 minute mark was broken from the crew of “Wild Turkey” (The boat they named the drink after) in a time of 39.20.83. Eight other class records were broken.
1994: The crew of “Humble” took out the Grafton Bridge to Bridge in a time of 40.15.69. Newly crowned women’s world champ Leanne Brown teamed up with Joanne Hamilton to break the women’s record in a time of 46.25.64.
1995: The Triple Rig “Mr Walker” left the other 218 entries in their wake as Stephen Robertson and Dean Hanckle crossed the line in 39.47.13 to take out the 1995 Bridge.
1996: First away was the advantage for the crew of “Showdown” as they crossed the line in a time of 40.43.75 to be first home and first outright.
1997: Victorian boat “Rampage” crosses the line in a time of 40.06.00 towing Paul Robertson and Jantie Graziano to beat home the opposition. Six class records were broken.
1998: The outboards make it four in a row and “Showdown” takes his second Grafton Bridge to Bridge in record time of 38.50.08.
1999: Showdown makes it back-to-back titles and the outboards finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd outright. “The Sting” wins the inaugural Crown Dual Shootout on the Saturday averaging well over the 100mph, not bad considering the two 180 degree bends in the course.
2000: “Showdown” makes it three in a row breaking his own record. The first boat ever to do this in the history of the race. “The Sting” wins the Crown Duel for the second time, again clocking 120mph. “Stinga” also breaks the old record but has to be happy with second. “Top Gun” fills 3rd place.
2002: With no “Showdown” in this years field it had left it open for the inboards to finally win one. Ken Broughton pedals “The Sting to an outright win in a time of 38 minutes 29 seconds.
2003: The young guns get shown up by the pairing of Danny Cropper & Kevin Vahtrick behind Darren Stewarts new cyclone “Agitator”winning in a time of 39 minutes & 7 seconds.
2004: The 38 minute barrier is surpased. Greg Houston & Kevin Boylan fianlly crack it for a win with the ever consistent “Stinga” towing Jamie Graziano & Chris Gelle in a time of 37 minutes & 47 seconds to break the existing record.
2005: The imaculately prepared “Hellbent” takes out the 2005 event in a time of 39 minutes & 39 seconds towing Daniel Campbell & Jame s Buser.
2006: “Stinga” takes its 2nd title on the Clarence and in doing so smashes its existing record in a time of 37 minutes and 3 seconds towing Jason Walmsley & Chris Gelle.
2007: Jason Walmsley & Chris Gelle make it back to back titles in record time of 36minutes & 56 seconds, this time behind the Mark Cranny owned “Hellbent”. More than $3000 was donated to the Childrens ward at the Grafton Base Hospital.
2008: Burnin spoils the Stinga-Hellbent show by running a well measured race to take the win in a time of 38 minutes 23 Seconds towing Mark Weaver & Tom Smith. Almost $10,000 was raised for the oncology unit at the Grafton Base Hospital, mainly through a trivia night held at the Grafton District Services Club and monies raised by auction at presentation.
2008 Results Saturday
2008 Results Sunday
2009: “Stinga” takes its third crown by taking out the 2009 event in a time of 37 minutes & 9 seconds towing Daniel Campbell & Grant Patterson. Major sponsor East Coast Commercials also signs on for a 3 year deal. $2100 is raised at the auction for local junior development.
2009 Results Saturday
2009 Results Sunday
2010: 3rd time does prove lucky, but not for some. After the initial event is washed out due to heavy rain down river & the re-run postponed due to the river being in full flood, the 2010 Grafton Bridge to Bridge was finally held in February. Hellrazor & Blazen race side by side for almost all of the 108km, with Hellrazor just nudging in front after the halfway turn and holding thier advantage for the run home. Thier celebrations were short-lived and the win was awarded to the crew of Blazen in record time.
2010 Results Saturday
NBN News Story
2011: The crew of Hellrazor starting from 4th on the grid takes home the title in the roughest conditions encountered in a Grafton Bridge to Bridge since 1990. The crew of Superman held a 7 second lead at halfway but was overpowered by the new pairing of Peter Proctor & Steve Morley.
2012: QLD crew Blazen make it two from two taking out the shootout and the Disco Marine Grafton Bridge to Bridge in record time of 36 minutes and 34 seconds. Another record was smashed over the weekend in that all 9 Superclass boats started and finished on both days. This reliability is astonishing considering the fast long straights of the mighty Clarence River.
GRAFTON Saturday Outright Results GRAFTON Saturday Results
GRAFTON Saturday Under 10s
2013: Preparations are now well underway for the 2013 event which promises to be bigger and better than ever. Date for the 2013 event will be 5th & 6th October 2013