Round one of the NZ Offshore championship kicked off in fine style at Lake Karapiro on the Waikato River; twenty three boats making it to the start line on day one of the Acceleration On Water Festival of Speed.
Newly crowned Australian Offshore Powerboat Racing Champions, Wayne Valder and Chris Hanley headed the field in their “Pro-Floors” Superboat, the Kiwi pair leaving the next day to represent New Zealand in Doha, Qatar, in the Qatar Cup. Four Superboat Lite’s, one Sports 300, three Sports 200, three Sports 150, and eleven Classic Class rounding out the capacity field within the tight confines of the lake. A trans-tasman affair, one Australian team making the start line, here to both fly the flag and avenge the loss of their country’s championship to New Zealand.
Wayne Valder and Chris Hanley in the “Pro-Floors” Superboat lead the 100 mile field for most of the first race before being slowed by a technical issue, allowing Gordon Robinson and Allan Branch in Superboat Lite “Fuel Doctor” to take the advantage.
Fuel Doctor won the Superboat Lite Class title with ‘Total Home Developments” taking second place, Barely Legal and Global Security tied for third place on the day, both with a DNS in one of the days two races.
The second race of the two race format was filled with drama when “Special Agent” a Classic Class” contender caught the wake of another boat and flipped over causing havoc on the first turn, stopping the race. The attrition rate within the rapidly growing and immensely popular classic class was high with only six of the eleven boat field completing the day’s racing. Gull Force 10 taking out the Classic Class race, with Total Home Developments Classic Class entry second and Topaz third.
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 Alex Smith and Josh Smith in their Sonic 1900SS “Triple Trouble” closely followed by “NZ Home Loans 1” and “CRD Automotive” in third place. Chris Haeger and Nick Campbell in New Zealand Home Loans 2 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 Taupo on Saturday the 14th February for Vertigo Nightclub Thunder on the Lake; Round two of the 2015 NZ Offshore Powerboat Championships. The events’ base and best viewing are from Northcroft Reserve and Lake Terrace foreshore, with the first 30-minute race starting at 1:00pm and the second of the day’s two race format starting at 2:30pm. Prizegiving commences at 7:30pm at Vertigo Niteclub, 11 Tuwharetoa Street, Taupo.
The 2015 series dates are Round two, Lake Taupo, 14 February 2015, 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.