An overcast morning and threatening storm clouds greeted the twenty two crews for Vertigo Nightclub Thunder on the Lake; however by the start of the first race Taupo pulled one out of the box and sunscreen was soon out in force as the weather cleared and the day rapidly became a scorcher, with barely a light breeze and a slight, yet deceptive, ripple on the lake. Taupo truly is one of the really stunning offshore racing locations both for competitors and spectators, who were out in their thousands lining the lake front. Many international tourists commenting on the opportunity, and thrill to view such an exciting and high profile event up close for free.
Superboat “FMI Racing” crewed by Andrew Koolen and Bob Smith returned to the NZ Offshore Powerboat Championships in spectacular fashion, to win Vertigo Niteclub Thunder on the Lake in Taupo. Superboat Profloors withdrawing from the days racing with a gimbal bearing failure, sets the stage for a head battle royal at the next round in Beachlands, Auckland, both boats now with equal championship points.
John Shand and Steve Jellick in “Barely Legal #17” won the Superboat Lite Class title with ‘”Total Home Developments #S-1” taking second place, and “Fuel Doctor” in third. “Total Home Developments #103” Classic Class entry took out the classic class following the lead changing on several occasions; Grant Valder’s single inboard 502 Mercuiser “Outlaw” taking second place, “Gull Force 10” in third loosing one engine.
The 60 mile sport classes got off to an exciting start with husband and wife team, Haydon and Delia Spiers from Whangarei in their Ocke Mannerfelt 23 monohull “Outboard Pro” taking the win in Sports 300. Sports 200 was taken out by Mikey Smith and Shane Rumens in “Konica Minolta”, Mike Urquhart and James Downs in “NZ Home Loans” Sonic 1900SS in second, with Alex Smith and Josh Smith in their Sonic 1900SS “Triple Trouble” in third place.
The Sports 150 class returning again the thrilling close racing that has become its hallmark. Chris Haeger and Nick Campbell in “New Zealand Home Loans #16” won Sports 150 with D & H Steel and Redsteel fighting it out for second and third. Visit www.nzoffshore.co.nz for full race results and the latest updates.
Racing heads to Beachlands in Auckland on Saturday the 28th of February for the Placemakers Pakuranga and GJ Gardner Manukau Round three of the 2015 NZ Offshore Powerboat Championships. The events’ base and best viewing are from Beachlands Boating Club, Sunkist Bay, Beachlands, Auckland, or out on the Hauraki Gulf with the first 30-minute race starting at 1:00pm and the second of the day’s two race format starting at 2:30pm. Prize giving commences at 7:30pm at the Beachlands Boating Club.
The 2015 series dates are Round three, Beachlands, Auckland, 28 February 2015. Round four, Whitianga, Coromandal Peninsula, 21 March 2015. Round five, Auckland Harbour, 11 April 2015. Round six, Napier, ANZAC Day, 25 April 2015. Round seven, Paihia, Bay of Islands, 9 May 2015.