NEW ZEALAND TO DEFEND SUPERBOAT WORLD CHAMPS
Sunday, 20 February 2011
World Superboat champion Peter Caughey has announced he will defend his world title and aim for another NZ Jetsprint title next season.
The Canterbury racer has six world and seven New Zealand titles under his belt in two classes.
The UIM world championship dates have yet to be confirmed, but the series will be held in New Zealand.
Traditional front-running countries are the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Caughey says Canada is a recent arrival to the sport. "They're coming on strong, and there are some very good drivers over there, but they haven't yet got the power and boat packages to compete on a level playing field with the southern hemisphere."
Caughey says the Australians will be a threat. "They are determined to take the world championship, and there are some hugely-powerful boats being built in Australia, though at this stage they're going for more power than current technology in boats and jet units can handle."
Caughey, whose Sprintec business builds jetsprint boats for local and overseas clients, says, " We currently have a customer asking to build a boat with 1700 to 1900 horsepower! That's bizarre power - nearly 20 times what your 1.8-litre Toyota Corolla delivers, in a craft that weighs less than half the car and has no brakes. It's over-the-top and our tracks and the technology available can't harness that sort of power - yet."
Caughey recently completed a boat with an 11.5-litre engine making over 1200 horsepower. "It's an absolute weapon," he says. "The driver is relatively new to the sport but he has an awesome package and he'll be a man to watch. I did the water testing, and it's quite something!"
"That much power generally causes more grief than benefit - but it shows how determined the opposition is."
Caughey says there's more to winning than throwing a lot of power into a boat. His own craft are famous for their nimble handling, and the state-of-the-art electronics that control how the power is delivered.
"We've designed a new hull - we're building the second one now. It's something we've been looking forward to doing for a number of years as we've built up ideas on areas we can improve on."
"As the sport evolves and develops the design of hull has to move with it; hulls are quite different to what they were three years ago."
Caughey says top drivers have told him his boats are the ones to beat, "Though mine is an easy boat to drive; it does what you ask it to do. Motor sport is not about the best driver, it's about the best machine, the best team, and being able to put it together every time you go racing."
Fortunately the team that's taken Caughey to five of his championship wins has confirmed they'll be behind him next season. "That's a huge strength," he says.
"When the new season rolls around we'll turn up with a new hull, exciting developments with our jet units - and of course a new motor," he says. "I can't wait."
For more information on Peter Caughey visit his website: www.pcrjetsprinting.com