Written by Denise Preece.
Napier will be pumping this weekend when round 4 of the 2016 New Zealand Offshore Powerboat Championship proudly bought to you by “Red Steel” in association with “Napier Now” hits town. Local organizer’s Collen Carson and Bob Hawley are excited to be again hosting this round in Napier. The town really gets behind this event which has been hosted here for 26 years.
This year it has an International flavor with top Offshore Powerboat team from Australia “222 Offshore” (Darren Nicholson and Peter McGrath) lining up with the kiwi Superboat teams. “222 Offshore” arrived into New Zealand early January to compete in the Anzac Trans-Tasman Cup over four rounds and the New Zealand Championship Series which is held over seven rounds. The first three rounds included the Anzac Cup, with the final round being in Auckland on 30th April.
Current New Zealand Superboat Champions “FMI Racing” (Warren Lewis and Andrew Koolen) hope to carry on their winning performance from the last round at Whitianga two weeks ago, while “Profloors International Racing” (Wayne Valder and Chris Hanley) will be looking for some more speed after they had no answer to the strong performance from “FMI Racing”.
Napier has some local family flavor to this event with the Carson Family – Mum and Dad (Colleen and Ken) long time offshore powerboat racers and loyal fans of the sport have their sons Tony and Wayne racing as well as grandchildren, Charlotte, Max, Jamie and Shara. Father and daughter team (Tony and Charlotte) driving the “Red Steel” sponsored boat in the Sports 200 class, are currently leading in the championship points after three rounds with 2650 points just ahead of “CRD Automotive” father and son team (Colin and Corey Dunn) with 2450 points. Cousins Max and Jamie Carson in “D & H Steel” are currently running third in this class with 1800 points.
Wayne Carson is teamed up again with Richard Shores both well known in Napier as previously driving the “PlaceMakers” Offshore Powerboat which they had an accident in many years ago. That boat has now been rebuilt and is running this weekend in the Superboat Lite class “Total Home Developments” team (Michael Fletcher and Jason Way).
Carson and Shores this season are racing the second Profloors boat “Profloors 10” in the Superboat class.
A line up of approximately 20-25 boats are expected this weekend with several other classes – Sports 225, Sports 200 and Classic Class. The boats will also be on display around town on Friday 18th March for people to view and a chance to meet the drivers and teams. The one hour race starts at 1pm. 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 – Red Steel, Napier Now, The Southern Trust, Shed 2, Tumu ITM, Green Meadows Panel & Paint, Grant Linnell Building, The Coastguard, Napier Sailing Club Inc, Shot 360 Photography and Acceleration on Water Ltd.
NZOPA – Media Officer – Denise Preece.