Round One Preview – Taupo Thunder on the Lake

HERE WE COME! The 2018 NZ Offshore Powerboat series is about to begin. Taupo is our traditional opening round, and we are back this coming Saturday January 27th, with Time Trial pole shoot out, and then again on Sunday with two action packed 30-minute races.
With boats ranging from 36 feet long with more than 1000HP, to 19 feet and 200HP, all built to race in the choppy and windy water.
Fresh water racing is always a great challenge for all the teams, and year after year, that excites the teams to return to Taupo.
This year, there’s a familiar boat returning with a brand-new face. She’s a 34 foot Phantom who has been a previous winner of the Superboat 1000 series in the past. Running more than 1000HP and her setup is just perfect for racing in the chop on Lake Taupo, and I know the team are very excited too, and keen to give the 2017 champions FMI Fairview racing a run for their money. Named Outboard Pro and driven by Hayden Spiers and Allan Branch. Hayden and Allan have raced each in the Superboat 600 class, for many years and having beaten each other for class titles, they have joined together, to take on multiple Superboat 1000 Title holder Warren Lewis and John Shand.
In addition to the new challengers in the Superboat 1000 class, also just as exciting is the rivalry in the Superboat 400 class, between the NZ Home loans Chris Haeger, Karl Wall driven Shifty cat and the same design boat, Hijinx Racing driven by Jason Jackman and Scott Lewis. Chris and Karl will be out to put a role reversal on Jason and Scott, after last year. Exciting and close racing to be expected.
In the Sports 225 class, you will see all the favourites return year after year, and this year, Special mention to Peter and Jared Wingate racing Chindit, a race boat who is over 40 years old, and has raced more than 300 NZ Offshore powerboat races!! And won a significant amount of those races over the life of the boat.
Also in the Sports 300 class is a familiar race boat, Espresso Engineers driven by Mike Gerbic and Gordon Robinson. A very exciting design “Ocke Mannerfelt” these boats fly! If you want action on and above the water, lookout for Espresso Engineers.
There’s lots more teams, loads of Action, and you can watch it from the waterfront at Lake Taupo.
Check out the NZOPA website for all the details. www.nzoffshore.co.nz

Author: Jeremy Ward

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