Round five of the New Zealand jetsprint champs will bring high-speed madness to Wanaka on Easter Saturday, with NZ’s fastest boats hitting the water for round five of the six-round season.
“That means the pressure’s on” says points leader Peter Caughey. The four-time world and five-time New Zealand SuperBoat champ says the new track puts everyone on a level playing field, with a mix of fast and tight, challenging sequences where boat control and driver skill will outweigh pure grunt.
“This is the only round of the champs in the south island,” Caughey says, “and already this new venue on Lloyd and Julie Ferguson’s property – only minutes from Wanaka township, near the southern end of the airfield – is bringing new competitors into the sport and calling some of the old ones back - rumour has it one of the original champs from 1986, Robert White, will compete for the first time in over 20 years, this time with his son.”
Meanwhile points-leader Caughey’s battling with strategy; does he consolidate and protect his points tally while looking at the bigger picture, or; “The flip side? I’m always looking for ultimate performance, but I can’t let that red mist descend in the penultimate round, as every point counts.”
Caughey says the drivers he’ll be watching are Leighton Minnell, Pat Dillon and Rob Coley who’s been battling with his old motor while his new one awaits parts.
Caughey’s Sprintec workshop has been working on Coley’s boat, “we’ve stripped it, redone the bottom, straightened it, remachined the jet unit and put the motor back in; it makes quite a bit of power.”
Caughey’s built four of the five front-runners, his expertise helping incoming racers hit top placings earlier than was possible 15 years ago when it was every man for himself.
“Our customers are our best advertisement, they’re a great piece of marketing; I can’t keep racing for ever, or so they tell me, and having clients at the top of the field makes good sense – and keeps me focussed on my technique!”
Caughey’s also built the Quadseata four-seat demo racer, “which is actually entered to race the 400 class with only driver and navigator aboard, so it’ll be interesting to see how it goes; we can only hope it’ll be in a condition to take the charity auction winners out for a run!”
It’ll be a petrolhead weekend for southland with the new jetsprint track, a new car-racing venue opening at Cromwell, and hydroplanes, “But powerboat and car racing happens any old time of the year and jetsprint racing hasn’t competed here for a decade or more. People love jetsprinting down here and I think we’re in for something special.”
Top Ten points after four of six rounds
- 1 Peter Caughey – 119 points
- 2 Leighton Minnell – 109
- 3 Pat Dillon 105 points
- 4 Ray Ferguson 97 points
- 5 Garry Stephen 94 points
- 6 Rob Coley 92 points
- 7 Phil Whelans 67 points
- 8 Peter Huijs 62 points
- 9 Steve Bron 54 points
- 10 Dave Hopkins 52 points
2013 Jetsprint calendar
- Round 5, March 30, 2013 – Wanaka
- Round 6, April 13, 2013 - Wanganui
Peter Caughey and navigator Karen Marshall currently top the points table
(note, pics and of Caughey and his navigator are available on request)
Peter Caughey: 0274 326 845