Excitement is starting to build in Whitianga for Round Three of the Anzac Trans Tasman Cup and the NZ Offshore Powerboat Championship Series, proudly bought to you by local businesses Whitianga Ice & Coastal Refrigeration.
It’s been three weeks since the last round at Beachlands, while some teams have been out testing in preparation for this weekend’s race, others have had engine rebuilds and some, minor hull repairs leaving them burning the midnight oil to be race ready come Saturday. “Barely Legal” John Shand and Mike Knight in the Superboat Lite Class have had three men working round the clock for the past two days repairing a soft balsa patch that they first thought was minor but got bigger as they looked further into it. John said they are on track and the boat should be ready for paint tomorrow. “Barely Legal” is currently third equal in points after two rounds with “Outboard Pro” Hayden & Delia Spares from Whangarei.
The three teams currently here from Australia, Superboats “Team 3“ Steve Jellick and Tom Barry-Cotter, “222 Offshore” Darren Nicholson and Peter McGrath, Superboat Lite – “Hogs Breath” Jim Harris and Paul Fowlds will be looking for a better performance to draw back the lead that the Kiwi teams hold after the first two rounds. ”Profloors International Racing” Wayne Valder and Chris Hanley and “FMI Racing” Warren Lewis and Andrew Koolen are currently in first and second place respectively after the first two rounds.
Superboat Lite Class “Fuel Doctor” Allan Branch and Alex Smith are currently leading the class, while there is a battle between “CRD Automotive” Colin & Corey Powell and “Redsteel” father and daughter team of Tony and Charlotte Carson, both on the same points going into this round.
Terry Fletcher and his wife Sue, who recently retired to Whitianga, will have four boats on the water this weekend; father Terry in the start boat, “Total Home Developments” Superboat Lite driven by son Mike, “Supercock Racing” with son Aaron who are currently wining the Classic Class, and their third son Shane Fletcher will be on the water in a safety patrol boat while the rest of the family wives’ and grandchildren on the shore showing their support.
A line up of approximately 25-30 boats are expected this weekend with several other classes – Sports 200 and Classic Class.
The race can be viewed from Buffalo Beach Reserve this Saturday 5th March; the boats will also be there on display for people to view and meet the drivers and teams. Bath Tub racing will kick off the day off the beach from 10am, the first of two half hour Offshore Powerboat races starts at 1pm with an hour break before the second race at 2.30pm. Check out our website www.nzoffshore.co.nz for full team profiles and further event information.
NZ Offshore Powerboat Association wish to thank our local sponsors Whitianga Ice, Coastal Refrigeration, Whitianga Coastguard, Whitianga Harbourmaster, The Whitianga Hotel, Frankie’s Sports Bar & Grill, Whitianga Charters, Whitianga Diesel, Whitianga Marina, Gull, Shot 360 and Acceleration on Water Ltd.
NZOPA – Media Officer – Denise Preece.