Report on the New Years Regatta at Karapiro
Last weekend the Cambridge Waikato Powerboat Club ran their
major regatta for the season at Lake Karapiro just outside Cambridge. Many
boaties arrived early to see in the New Year at one of New Zealand’s premier
race sites – staying on to compete in the two day event held on the 2nd
and 3rd of January. The regatta was a great success with more
than 30 boats attending and a good crowd gathering in glorious summer
weather to enjoy the racing.
1 saw some top competition as 3 classes raced for their North Island Titles.
The Procom class saw New Plymouth based Alan “Midge” Mallett in ‘Cobra’ take
top honours in the North Island Title followed by local Brett Mercer in
‘Shockwave’ with relative newcomer Ian Warmington in ‘Sultan’ third.
North Island Championship saw some close racing with Brett Mercer once again
placing second followed by Malcolm Packer of Wellington in ‘Miss Weta’. Top
honours and the North Island championship went to Andrea Robinson in ‘Star
Trax’. Wellington based Andrea and husband Geoff have been racing at the
forefront of Series 3000 for many years – and this year Andrea was thrilled
to take away the title honours racing up a class in ProStock. Thanking her
husband, family and crew Andrea was applauded loudly at prize giving in
recognition of her achievement, her longstanding racing success and her
being one of very few women currently competing in our sport.
year the Island Titles achieved a new record – two women taking away Island
titles for the first time in history. Andrea was joined by kiwi racer Janine
White who only recently moved to Melbourne.
racing ‘Predator’ a modified hydroplane owned by her father Peter White
specifically for his powerboating enthusiast daughter. Janine has spent a
number of years racing in various classes culminating in her outstanding
triumph at Karapiro where she won the Grand National Island Title from top
competitors Alan Lewis in ‘Little Cracker’ (3rd) and Tony Hall in
his new boat ‘Tempest’ (2nd).
Congratulations to both women and lets hope your success may pave the way to
more women joining the ranks of powerboat drivers across New Zealand.
Day 1 wasn’t
all good news unfortunately – Auckland driver Peter Thomas had a spectacular
crash in his Formula 1 tunnelboat ‘Twister’. Peter was racing in the F1
series on the triangular course when his boat caught too much air nearing
the turn buoy immediately in front of the crowd.
boat did a complete flip causing considerable engine damage as well as some
sponson breakage. Some in the crowd ran at pace at the view of Peter
airborne and coming toward them as they sat on the bank.
was OK and the boat stopped well short of land meaning no injuries to anyone
watching. For a blow by blow look at Peter’s crash visit the GP website on
The Formula 1
class proved to be a real crowd pleaser offering up some of the closest most
competitive racing of the regatta. The three ten lap heats for their drivers
series had a different winner in each heat. Not surprisingly Formula 1 boats
took top honours in the two additional feature races of the regatta – the
Des Geddes Memorial and the King of the Lake. Both were won by veteran F1
racer Steve Hughes of Wellington in his freshly painted and newly sponsored
Burgess boat ‘Total Lubricants’.
had only recently suffered a dirt bike accident that injured his leg and
shoulder. Still nothing was going to stop him racing even though his cast
was only removed 48 hours before the event! Steve fought long and hard on
the water to achieve both wins – congratulations to him and his hard working
team for a fine performance and a great way to start a relationship with his
Second in the
Des Geddes was Wellington driver Tony Latimer in his F1 tunnel ‘Patriot’
with Luke Sharp from the Manakau Auckland club placing third in the Johnson
powered F1 tunnel boat ‘Sierra’.
All in all a
great regatta run by the Cambridge Waikato club. A great start to the new
year and what promises to be an exciting and eventful season.
photos of the racing action at Karapiro see the
photo gallery page.