Cowra crews lap up the danger in Tinnie racing on the Murray

It's insane, but according to one of Cowra's growing band of Tinnie racers, nothing compares to the fun you will get out of doing the series.

"With our group of about 30 friends and family along with the lovely town and amazing people of Renmark its a great spot to holiday and we will continue to race for as long as possible," Cowra racer Matt Ford said this week.

Ford is a member of five Cowra teams who competed in this year's Riverland Dinghy Derby held on the Murray River at Renmark.

Five boats represented Cowra this year with Brett Dawes and Declyn Adams in Quintrex; Jack Dawes and Chris Williams in the Thompsons Livestock Transport tinny; Matt Ford and Joe Dawes in Signworx; Corey Booth and Izaak Ticehurst in Royces Racing & Signworx and; Colin Kilby and Ben Frazer in the Kilbys tinny.

It might be fun but it can also be quite hair raising.

The first year he competed Ford said he hit a tree throwing his pilot Joe Dawes into the front of the boat, writing it off.

"Year two I got caught in a boat's wash coming into a corner and swamping us leading to the boat sinking," he said of some of his experiences from the event.

Ford and Dawes were able to complete the course this year, even if it was only in 24th position.

Quintrex with Brett Dawes and Decyln Adams aboard returned Cowra's best derby result with a 6th placing.

Competing in the 25 Horse Power Standard class the result was Quintex's best result in just its second year of competing, bettering their previous best time by 10 minutes.

"Modification to the hull and the propeller," are needed Brett Dawes said, to make your boat quicker than others in the same class.

"It's a fun weekend meeting new people and appreciating the Murray River and creeks," Dawes said of the event which he says is only for the experienced and involves late nights preparing boat set ups.

Dawes described the event as "difficult" explaining racers experience "very technical variation throughout course".

You also need "lots of guts" to take part as well as the necessary safety equipment and a "full tank of fuel," he said.

Jack Dawes who finished 10th in the event with Chris Williams after "a silly mistake lead to a seven minute time penalty.

"Coming into Carnage Corner (where most spectators set up camp) we were going to run up the back of another boat, once we realised that we were going to hit them we had to run up the bank which threw our engine out of the water," he explained

Speaking of the course's many traps for the inexperienced Jack Dawes described some of the Murray's creeks as "pretty hard to get through".

Comments supported by fellow competitor Matt Ford.

"There is no room for error you have to work together with your swinger to ensure you do not crash as we have learnt after hitting a tree and writing off a boat in the first year," he said.

And as for preparation "drink beer and talk about strategy that we never end up following," Ford said.

Corey Booth who came away with an eighth and 18th over the weekend.

Booth teamed with Moz Brown to finish eighth in the Dash for Cash and with Izaak Ticehurst for 18th in the Derby with the "adrenaline and fun" making competing essential for him.

In this year's event he clipped a tree which sent the boat flying into the bank before recovering for a top 20 finish.

"We make the 10 hour trip down to Renmark every year because it's worth every minute. The support team we have with us and the group of guys that race are second to none. It's a great time," Booth said.