Switch Failure Ends Peter Caughey’s Night at Wanganui
Setting a blistering time of 40:94, which was not only the fastest qualifying time of the night, but also the only time under 41 seconds, ENZED SPRINTEC’s Peter Caughey was confident going into the second last round of the season at the Shelter View Jet Sprint Park. Little did anyone know this would be the highlight of the team’s evening.
While entering the launch pool, the reverse bucket switch failed, causing the boat to hit the wall, as Peter explained.
“We have two. One drops the reverse bucket into the jet stream so we can reverse, and the other lifts it to drive forward. The reverse switch worked fine. We reversed off the trailer and into Whanganui’s small entry pool. You have to be quick to move forward or you’re pushed into the wall by the other boats warming their motors on the trailers. It’s a bit of a swirl pool and I pushed the forward button to lift the reverse bucket out of the jet stream, but nothing happened.”
The crew and the safety team were able to get the boat back on the trailer, however time was against them.
“From the time we switched the motor off, the timer’s ticking down five minutes before we have to be back on the water and ready to race,” he explained.
Having looked like they’d fixed the problem within the allotted time allowed, the team made a second attempt.
“They found the switch worked intermittently when we were high and dry and the motor wasn’t running, so we relaunched into the water and it failed again,” said a disappointed Caughey, ending their night.
“It is what it is. We have been using that brand of switch for 15 years and have had no issues during a race, so that came as a real surprise. We’ll be making some changes before the final in two weeks’ time.”
With Peters bad luck and top contender Glen Head‘s withdrawal due to mechanical problems, the final round of the series has been blown wide open. Only four points separate the top five teams with Glen Head and Darren Todd on top with 132 points followed by Leighton and Kellie Minnell on 131 points. The ENZED SPRINTEC Race Team of Peter Caughey and Shama Putarunui sit alongside Rob and Ange Coley on 128 points with Richard Murray and Jo Rathbone on 127 points.
All the attention now turns to the nail biting final for 2016 at Featherston on the 24thof April.