By Denise Preece
Last weekend’s Point to Point race in the inner Hauraki Gulf was like the traditional typical old style of offshore racing with the race start off the Pier next to Kelly Tarltons Okahu Bay, the competitors heading out to do several laps of the one hour race before heading back into Okahu Bay.
A small delay to the scheduled 1pm race start saw Race Control under pressure to get the race started as a huge ship was also leaving the port. When the flag dropped for the first of three tiered starts, the excitement of the Superboats roaring off left an impressive sound of V8’s leaving Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour. Aussie team “222 Offshore“ (Darren Nicholson and Peter McGrath) were the first out of the shoot, leaving the Kiwi teams “FMI Racing“ (Warren Lewis and Andrew Koolen), “Profloors 10“ (Richard Shores and Garry Smith –sitting in for the Wayne Carson), “Profloors International Racing“ (Wayne Valder and Chris Hanley) struggling to catch the two 850 hp powered engines of 222 Offshore. They remained in these positions throughout the race with “222 Offshore” crossing the line in first place, “FMI Racing” came in second with a blaze of smoke following them to the finish line. At first feared it to be a fire on board, rescue teams followed them to the finish, with a blown engine – luckily no fire and the boat was quickly back on its trailer. Third and fourth across the line was “Profloors 10” and “Profloors International Racing”. Track It, the official time keeping system for the 2016 NZ Offshore Powerboat Championship Series, were quick to alert the Race Officials that the first two teams “222 Offshore“ and “FMI Racing” missed two race buoys on the 100 mile course resulting in them both receiving a 20 minute penalty relegating them back to third and fourth places, leaving the win to “Profloors 10“ (Richard Shore and Garry Smith ) with “Profloors International Racing” in second place. Shores was elated with his win his first after five rounds of the seven round series.
The start of the Superboat Lite Class saw an early withdrawal of “Total Home Developments” (Michael Fletcher and Jason Way) forced to return to the pits with a broken engine mount. “Barely Legal“ (John Shand and Mike Knight) shot to the lead having a brilliant race crossed the line in first place from “Fuel Doctor” (Allan Branch and Alex Smith) and “Outboard Pro” Hayden and Delia Speirs finishing within seconds of each other. Again the Track It team alerted the Race Officials to “Fuel Doctor” and “Outboard Pro” missing race buoys. Rookie driver in this class Chris Haeger and his Aussie throttle man Karl Wall in “NZ Home Loans” were happy to take second place, while their other team mates also received race time penalties relegating them back to third and fourth placing.
“Chindit”, (Peter and Kane Wingate) won the Sports 225 Class and really enjoyed the old style 0ffshore race format, with new team “Irate” (Paul Ludeman and Justene Anderson) in second place.
A little family rivalry in the Sports Class this time saw a change in positions with “D & H Steel” (Max and Jamie Carson) taking out first place and “Red Steel“ (Tony and Charlotte Carson) in second, with “CRD Automotive” &” Nakita” in third and fourth places respectively.
“Supercock Racing” continues to dominate the Classic Class; they are the Classic team out there to have fun and enjoy the opportunity to go offshore racing. New to the Classic Class in their newly imported boat “Superstitious”, Brad Dibble and Steve Hall enjoyed just doing the laps and finishing their first race. They previously raced in Searay in the past couple of seasons.
The 2016 series will continue from Point to Point to the final two rounds – Paihia 16th April, and Auckland under the Harbour Bridge 30th April.
Follow the final rounds results and action from our website www.nzoffshore.co.nz
Media Officer: Denise Preece
By Denise Preece