Merchant banks his first 80

February 13, 2017

(Back left) Debbie France, Alicia Merchant, (front left) Cooper Merchant and Riley Merchant from Sydney.

Cooper Merchant came a long way for his first Southern 80 race.

For a third year the family travelled all the way from Sydney to compete in the river classic with outboard boat Monkey Boyz.

Cooper, 6, would be the only competitor in the under 10s to race on two skis after first skiing at the age of four.

He ended the race 11th in the under 10 boys class in a time of 18.26.

His mother Alicia said the family spends all their free time on the Hawkesbury river and racing in the Southern 80 was something Cooper had always wanted to do.

‘‘His older brother usually races and this year Cooper really wanted to give it a go,’’ she said.

Monkey Boyz towed Dylan and Alexis France in the social races on Saturday morning before heading back to 5 Mile later that day for the under 10 class.

Cooper’s father Nathan Merchant was the owner and driver of the boat, while Alan France was the observer in both races.

The two families said they would continue to keep coming to Echuca-Moama each year for the race.

—Jess Gledhill

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