Whitianga Offshore 100 – What a Race!

By Stuart Watson,

Judging by Friday’s weather, you’d never think we were going to hold a race, but Saturday gave us a picture-perfect day with great sea’s and all teams were just fizzing to get underway at 11am.
Race one started right on time at 11am, and then the Drama hit. Without even completing a full lap, one of the Superboat 600 boats, “Papakura Toyota” hitting some very rough wave, at full speed and flipping right over. This immediately caused race control to red flag the race, and all race boats must stop.

NZ Offshore Powerboat Series, R7 Whitianga, New Zealand on the 13th May 2017. © Photo: Jeremy Ward / www.shot360.co.nz

NZ Offshore Powerboat Series, R7 Whitianga, New Zealand on the 13th May 2017. © Photo: Jeremy Ward / www.shot360.co.nz

NZ Offshore Powerboat Series, R7 Whitianga, New Zealand on the 13th May 2017. © Photo: Jeremy Ward / www.shot360.co.nz

NZ Offshore Powerboat Series, R7 Whitianga, New Zealand on the 13th May 2017. © Photo: Jeremy Ward / www.shot360.co.nz

The race essentially was over before it began. Following right behind Papakura Toyota was NZ Home Loans racing and Hijinx racing and they arrived within 10 seconds of the flip. Chris Haeger from NZ Home Loans jumped out of his cockpit and was ready to dive into the water to assist, when in less than a minute Support Vessel “Out of the Blue” and the Coastguard arrived. In a few more minutes, race control confirmed both Drivers of Papakura Toyota were declared safe, and a huge sigh of relief went through every team, as no-one likes to see a crash, and even more so, we all like everyone safe.
Speaking with the Harbour Master team later, they asked us to give great thanks to the crew and Skipper on board support vessel Out of the Blue, for their outstanding assistance in rescuing the crew, and support of the incident. We can’t race with local support crews, and this incident is proof of this.
And of course, Whitianga Coastguard once again were outstanding and they are a truly world class in the job the perform. So huge thanks to them as well.
Back to the race, the accident meant that race one was officially abandoned and all teams had time to make any minor adjustments to their boats before race 2 start time of 12.30pm.
The extra time gave me a chance to count the number of spectators along the beach front, and WOW, what an incredible turnout. It was phenomenal to see the support Mercury Bay gives us year after year. I really was unable to count everyone, but best estimate was about a million people. (felt like it anyway…)

NZ Offshore Powerboat Series, R7 Whitianga, New Zealand on the 13th May 2017. © Photo: Jeremy Ward / www.shot360.co.nz

NZ Offshore Powerboat Series, R7 Whitianga, New Zealand on the 13th May 2017. © Photo: Jeremy Ward / www.shot360.co.nz

NZ Offshore Powerboat Series, R7 Whitianga, New Zealand on the 13th May 2017. © Photo: Jeremy Ward / www.shot360.co.nz

NZ Offshore Powerboat Series, R7 Whitianga, New Zealand on the 13th May 2017. © Photo: Jeremy Ward / www.shot360.co.nz

Race 2 begins and Boom! Action right from the get go, FMI Fairview continued as they have done all year to lead the 100 mile race followed closely by some of the best racing we have seen all year. Superboat 600’s and Superboat 400’s all together almost all race, with only the last lap where clear separation appeared. And while all this is happening the smaller boats and the Classic class all racing the 60 mile race, provided just as close competition, with Whitianga once again providing the best spectator race of the season. The 60 milers finally finishing with Race for Life Trust taking overall honours and winners of Classic Class (google Race for Life! A great charity represented) Followed by Espresso Engineers winning the 300 class, Chindit winning the 225 class, and CRD automotive the 200 class.

The 100 mile race and 1000hp class went to FMI Fairview, and Barely Legal (day entry) winning the 600 hp class, with Fuel Doctor winning the class on the day. NZ Home Loans racing took out the Superboat 400 class.
Whitianga once again showing it’s a superb venue, where the racing is tough, close and very competitive. And we couldn’t do it with out the incredible support of the local community. All the volunteers who gave their time for Patrol Boats, the Coastguard, and the volunteers at the Gamefish club, Huge thanks to you all. And of course our local Sponsors, Frankies Bar, The Gamefish Club, and Major Sponsors Whitianga Waterways and Coastal Refrigeration. Thanks particularly to Peter Abrahamson and Ian Bernhard.
See you all in 2018!

Whitianga Results:
100 Mile Race:
Overall Place: Name Class Class placing for Championship
1st – FMI Fairview Superboat 1000 1st
2nd – Barely Legal Superboat 600 N/A
3rd – Fuel Doctor Superboat 600 1st
4th – NZ Home Loans Superboat 400 1st
5th – HiJinx Superboat 400 2nd
6th – RefurbGroup Superboat 400 3rd

60 Mile Race
Overall Place Name Class Class placing for Championship
1st – Race 4 Life Classic 1st
2nd – Espresso Engineers 300HP 1st
3rd – Yamaha Bat boat Classic 2nd
4th – Superstitous Classic 3rd
5th – Outlaw Classic 4th
6th – Pist n Broke Classic 5th
7th – CRD Automotive 200HP 1st
8th – Red Steel 200HP 2nd
9th – Chindit 225HP 1st
10th – D&H Steel 200HP 3rd
11th – ASAP 200HP N/A

Author: Jeremy Ward

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