The ANZAC Trans Tasman Cup kicks off for NZ Offshore Powerboat Association this weekend on Lake Taupo for its annual “Thunder on the Lake“ and the first round of the 2016 NZ Offshore Powerboat Championship Series.
The ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army) Cup Trans-Tasman challenge consists of four rounds in each country. This week, three Australian Offshore powerboats arrived into New Zealand; Hogs Breath Offshore Racing (Jim Harris and Paul Fowlds), Team 3 (Tom Barry–Cotter and Steve Jellick) and 222 Offshore Racing (Darren Nicholson and Peter McGrath). Maritimo Offshore Racing will be joining the series as the fourth Australian team in either round two or three.
With seven events for this season, four of which make up the Trans Tasman Series, these will be held at the following locations – 31st January, Lake Taupo; 13th February, Beachlands; 5thMarch, Whitianga and 30th April, Auckland.
Some of the Australian teams are considering competing in the full New Zealand Series while in the country. Once the New Zealand races are complete, the boats will be shipped back to Australia along with 3-4 teams from New Zealand to compete in the Australian leg of the Trans Tasman Challenge which begins at Bowen on 24th July.
A strong number of New Zealand teams from the Superboat and Superboat Lite Classes are keen to take on the challenge from the Australians this weekend at Taupo. Profloors International Racing (Wayne Valder and Chris Hanley), FMI Racing (Warren Lewis and Andrew Koolen), Profloors (Richard Shores and Wayne Carson), Barely Legal (John Shand and Mike Knight ), Fuel Doctor (Allan Branch and Alex Smith), NZ Home Loans (Chris Haeger and Karl Wall) and Total Home Developments (Michael Fletcher and Jason Way), some of which will make their way to compete in the Australian Series. In the 2014 race season, Valder and Hanley took on the Aussies and won the Australian Super boat series giving them the glory of having AUS1 on their boat for the 2015 season – something they will be racing hard to win again!
A line up of approximately 25-30 boats are expected this weekend with several other classes – Sports 300, Sports 200 and Classic Class. Local Taupo drivers (Gavin McGrath and Haaka Le Sueur) and current champion in the Classic Class, will be out there in ‘Gull Force 10‘ this weekend.
The powerboats and teams will be based at the Northcroft Reserve Lake Terrace Taupo from midday Saturday, 30th January. The first of two half races kicks off on Sunday, 31st January at 1pm with an hour break before the second race start at 2.30pm. Check out our website www.nzoffshore.co.nz for full team profiles and further event information.
With special thanks to our local sponsors, the Southern Trust, Great Lake Taupo, Suncourt Hotel, Steiner & Moses Engineering, Pitch Bar, Chris Jolly Outdoors, Heli-sika, Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board, Harbourmaster, Shot 360 and Acceleration on Water.
NZOPA – Media Officer – Denise Preece