Offshore powerboat racing started in the 60’s and has become one of New-Zealand’s most well-established water sports. Watching the fleet of multi and mono hull, large and small boats thunder across the water at speeds of up to 200km/h and hearing the distinctive roar of engines is spine-tingling. This is the ultimate “motorsport on water”.
The NZ Offshore Championship season typically starts late January and is an seven race series held throughout the North Island. Since racing began venues have included Taupo, Gulf Harbour(Auckland), Maraetai, Beachlands, Wellington, Tauranga, Napier, Whitianga, Marsden Point, Paihia and Auckland Harbour, all of which offer exciting and challenging courses for the teams competing and an easily accessible spectacle to the public with excellent viewing points.
The NZ Offshore Racing competition is made up of two championships – the 100 mile championship and the 60 mile championship. Each championship has different classes within depending on the type and size of the boats and size of the motors.
The 100 mile boats are high precision raceboats, capable of speeds up to 200 Km/h on the water.
In the 60 mile class the boats are typically trailer boats that often double as the family ski and pleasure boat during non-race weekends making this a relatively easy entry level to the sport.
Racing and race days are a great family event, with many of the teams consisting of father and son, father and daughter and husband and wife. Boats are on display pre and post race giving you a chance to be up close, take a photo or two, and chat with the competitors. Race day action varies from event to event, with kids’ rides and entertainment, aeronautical displays, wildcat and thundercat racing and giveways, all aimed at making sure a fun time is had by all.
The best part about it is it’s FREE! Check out the race calendar and make sure you come along and see for yourself, it really is an event not to be missed.