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Golden Gate Lodge South Island Champs, Lake Dunstan, Cromwell

The South Island regatta season kicked off with a major regatta at the new venue on McNulty Inlet, Lake Dunstan by the township of Cromwell in Central Otago.

On day 1 high winds caused organisers to shift the track about 10kms further up the lake at the town of Clyde to get away from the wind. This caused a slight delay to the days racing as everyone shifted site. Even so the South Island Championships for Mod H, F3, GN Hydro and Mod VP were successfully run with the GP and UU titles being held over until Sunday and the hoped return to the preferred venue back at Cromwell.


The F3 title was decided by less than a second after 2 heats as both Wellington’s Jamie Hargreaves in “Instigator” and Southland’s Antony Robertson driving “Tunnel Vision” battled hard to the chequered flag, with a 1st and 2nd each in the heats. With both on equal points it came down to time with the local boy the victor by 1 second with the fastest recorded time over the two heats. Philip Stilwell in “Southern Lights” came in third ahead of Luke Dawson in “California Girls2” - both happy with their results in the smaller 45 cu in tunnel boats.

The Mod VP title saw 5 of the big V-Bottom ski boats line up and the winner was the 1850 Bullet “Exported” driven by Jeff Price, 2nd was Paul Rutherford in “Infrared” and third was Havoc driven by Hayden Lilley.

The South Island Grand National Hydro title was won by Darryl Friend in “Terminator” ahead of Mike Harvey in “Eagle Rock” and Shane Harvey driving “Reckless 3” was third.

Tony Hall’s trip south with his new “Tempest” looked to be going well with a win in the first heat of the Mod H, however he destroyed his engine when the Nissan V6 threw a conrod in the second heat. He still placed third behind “Reckless” in first and “Outlaw” in 2nd.

Both Ken and Tradge ran laps in “Annihilator 3” on Saturday while Warwick tested “Annihilator2” and “Annihilator1” including testing rudders as he worked to get them sorted before Sundays GP and UU titles.


Sunday dawned fine and relatively wind free, so the plan to run at Cromwell was back on – a superb venue for our type of racing. A busy day was needed to complete the rest of the South Island titles including both the GP and UU titles – a full 4 heats for the big GP boats. As always the engines were strong and reliable in the Waverley based GP boats except for a wee cook up on the 3rd boat after a water fitting failure during Sundays testing putting them out for the rest of the day with a very hot engine.

The GP heats saw a great battle emerge between “California Girls 1” and “Annihilator1” with “Annihilator2” chasing these two while fending off “Terminator” and “Eagle Rock” for the first couple of laps. Both heats finished in the above positions.

The UU heat races looked like they were going to be a repeat of the two GP heats, until Dave Alexander in “Annihilator2” drove into a gap between the F1 tunnel and his boss on the second lap and took off into the lead. He stayed there for the remainder of heat 1 and then led them all the way home in the second heat from start to finish with Warwick Lupton in “Annihilator1” following for second ” – a position he worked hard to secure after missing a top end turn buoy in heat 2. Third with some great close racing was Allan Dennis in “California Girls 1”. All the GP and UU heats added up to some pretty spectacular racing! Heat 2 of the UU was also to be the Golden Gate Lodge King of the Lake.

Great to see that the “Annihilator3” boat will be back on the water for the Oreti, Southland meeting this coming weekend. In preparation, the crew spent the rest of Sunday fitting the spare engine from the number 1 boat into the number 3 boat. This was a major job as nearly all the external accessories like dry sump gear, starter, and all the mounting plates needed to be changed over to suit as the boat it is set up for does not run a gearbox like the one it was going into.

South Island Championship Results


Grand Prix
1st Annihilator1 Warwick Lupton
2nd Cailfornia Girls 1 Allan Dennis
3rd Annihilator2 David Alexander
Unlimited Unrestricted
1st Annihilator2 David Alexander
2nd Annihilator1 Warwick Lupton
3rd Cailfornia Girls 1 Allan Dennis
Grand National Hydro
1st Terminator Darryl Friend
2nd Eagle Rock Jamie Seaton
3rd Reckless 3 Shane Harvey
Mod VP
1st Exported Jeff Price
2nd Infra Red Paul Rutherford
3rd Havoc Hayden Lilley
Formula 3
1st Tunnel Vision Antony Robertson
2nd Instigator Jamie Hargreaves
3rd Southern Lights Philip Stilwell
Modified Hydro
1st Reckless Shane Harvey
2nd Outlaw Brian Railton
3rd Tempest Tony Hall
Golden Gate Lodge King of the Lake
1st Annihilator2 David Alexander
2nd Annihilator1 Warwick Lupton
3rd California Girls1 Allan Dennis
Golden Gate Lodge Fairplay Award
Jamie Hargaves Instigator



The South Island Championships to be run at Cromwell and Oreti these next two weekends are all go with 8 North Island boats making the long journey south to take on the South Island racers.  We hope to have pics and stories up here on the site as soon as the action is over so check back here soon for more news.



Recently retired GP Hydroplane campaigner Peter Knight Snr and his wife Patti reached their 50th wedding Anniversary on Tuesday the 17th of November 2004.  Their family and close freinds will celebrate at their famous hotel The Latimer Lodge in Christchurch this coming weekend and on behalf of the circuit racing fraternity I would like to wish them our congratulations.



Congratulations to Formula 3 Hydroplane Driver Scott Coker who last week won the Otorohanga Sportsperson of the Year Award. Scott, son of Grand Prix Hydroplane driver Selywn was up against many other top sports persons from Otorohanga.

Scott has had a top season winning South Island, North Island, & New Zealand titles in his Fiat powered Hydroplane “Howzat”

Scott also took the Formula 3 speed record when he completed his kilometer run at a speed of 101 mph. He now holds the Northern Zone & New Zealand kilo records for this class. Scott was presented with his 100 mph gold badge at the recent New Zealand Powerboat Assn conference held in Auckland.

The 22 year old will move up 2 classes this season, recently purchasing the 7 litre Hydroplane “Roxanne 7”, previously owned by Ian Ferguson of Upper Hutt. Scott’s father Selywn originally built and raced the Hydroplane as “GP2” and “Segedins Truck and Auto” a few years ago, and the Coker family are pleased to have the boat back in their stable.

Scott will now go onto the Waikato Sportsperson of the year Awards to be held in Hamilton in December.

We wish him all the best!


Annihilator Hydroplane Race Teams head south!

The Waverley Grand Prix Hydroplane teams have been burning the midnight oil to get their boats ready for the South Island Championships to be held at Lake Dunstan, Cromwell this weekend (20-21st November).

“Annihilator 2” has been fitted with a new F16 safety cell and is now sporting a new paint job. Australian Boat builder Tom Heffernan has spent many long hours getting this boat ready. Crew Chief Dick Corbett has taken care of maintenance duties on both “Annihilator 2&3”. At the speeds these boats travel at they need to be continually checked, as safety is a major priority.

Top engine man Grant Rivers of Wanganui has fine tuned 5 Super Charged engines ready for the South Island Champs. On Saturday the 20th the teams will have testing from 9am with the first heat of the South Island Grand Prix Championships scheduled for 12.30. On Sunday they will have the two heats of the South Island Unlimited Unrestricted Championship.

The teams will then move onto Invercargill the following weekend. The Southland club will be hosting a two day event on the Oreti River. As the river is too small for Grand Prix hydroplane Racing they will run demonstration laps one at a time.

It has been 15 years since Grand Prix Hydroplanes have competed on the Oreti River. Peter Knight Snr was the last GP Boat to compete there in his conventional hydroplane “The Boss”. Lake Dunstan is a new venue for Speedboat Racing.


Wairarapa Power Boat Club Inc
2004 Academy & Opening Day

Wairarapa’s opening day was a great success on Sunday the 8th of November with 10 boats, five Series 3000, four Formula 3 & one Mod H boat in attendance.

Water conditions could not have been better. In all the boats had 2 handicap & 1 scratch race each with 5 academy trainees trying out 2 types of boat, both the Mod H hydro and the S3000 flattie. Sadly the F3 academy boat ‘Try Me’ was having a hissy fit and would not go. Tony has sold this boat to a driver who came threw the academy last year.

A guy to watch this year will be Malcom Packer, Malcolm came threw the academy last year and bought “Beetle Juice” and ran it last season in the S3000 class. He has had some carb and cylinder head work done over the off season and renamed it “Miss Weka” and it was going very well and I must add looking very smart.

Wairarapa’s new owner driver with the old “Pure Magic” had his boat out for the first time and had two 1st placings on his first outing and is driving very well. This boat is for sale as he is looking for a Series 3000 boat. Anyone interested in this boat should contact Jeremy Thomas on 04 971 7931 to discuss it with him.

One tunnel boat crew member who went threw the academy and who was adamant he only wanted to run in a tunnel boat may now turn his attentions to a flattie, after running some laps in ‘Venom’ on this day, I guess we will just have to wait and see.



Melton 2004

Sue and I managed to get over to Aussie to catch the action at the Melton Gold Cup during Labour Weekend ‘04. This regatta is held on a little reservoir just out of Melbourne and its not much bigger than Luptons Lake here in NZ, they run up to 6 boats at a time and have single buoy turns and about 700 metre straight-aways.

All classes ran at least two qualifying heats and then class finals as well as qualifying heats for the Melton Gold Cup, these races were all 3 lap pole boat scratch races and the action on the water was very close and competitive in all of the races. All of the displacement classes were strong in numbers with 10 or 12 boats in each class, they were 4.2 litre, 5 litre carb, 5 litre injected, 6 litre carb, 6 litre injected and the big boys the Blown Alcohol Displacement class better known over there as BAD boats. There were also four logs running driver capsules at this meeting.

All classes saw the odd bang or crunch in the turns at some stage of the weekend with the ambulance needed once on Saturday and the helicopter was called on Sunday to airlift one driver to hospital with a broken arm and collar bone after getting run over after flat spinning in the turn.

There were a dozen blown log boats in the pits and I have added pics of the top three from the weekend, all of these guys were running over 130mph. Sorry I don’t have more pics but I was stupid enough to wreck a whole film by exposing it to daylight before rewinding it.


(Click An Image to enlarge)

While Sue shopped I visited boat racers around Melton first was Bob Fisher’s business ‘Fisher Super Chargers’ , Bob does engines for a number of top boat race teams as well builds his own range of blowers, he also owns and drives the GP hydro “Wasp” which was recently completely rebuilt with modified sponsons and a whole new wing section in preparation for the 2005 world GP champs.

I was also lucky enough to get to see the new GP hydroplane being built by kiwi Grant Rollason for Keith and Grant Harrison who currently run the GP-101 boat.
Grant was about ready to fit the decks to the hull and they are hoping this boat will hit the water by Christmas.

We had a great time and met up with some cool people and would recommend this event to any of you thinking of crossing the ditch to watch some circuit racing.


(Click An Image to enlarge)


News And Gossip

October 04

Kent Dunlop has sold ‘Satans’ Pride’ to Jeff Hauschild in Blenheim. Jeff was looking to replace his Thurgar hull after it started to delaminate this season. He also recently purchased the Hillborn fuel injection that Kent ran on this boat and has commissioned Mike Ryan to freshen and tune his 454 for it. He hopes to run the boat at Cromwell in November before stripping it and repainting to be ready again for the Rotoiti regatta.

Kent will return to the seat of a tunnel boat for the first time in 10 years and will be driving the F1 ‘VDO Instruments’ of Pete Edmond. The boat is very close to being ready, they have two power-heads ready to go, props are away getting freshened and Kent is itching to get in the seat and do some laps.

Kent also has ‘Razors Edge’ for sale but if not sold soon, it will be given a complete rebuild so that it is ready for the start of ‘05-‘06 season complete with the new big block Chevy engine.

Paul Hartle is bringing “Hot Ice” out of the shed this season, he is dusting off the Triple-C Evinrude and polishing up the Tennessee tunnel decked v-bottom and intends to do the local central zone meetings this season.

Tony Hall’s new Mod-H hydro “Tempest” has finally hit the water and was tested at Geyserlands Ngakuru venue last weekend. Tony had the boat builder Graeme Zander on the shore and they were very happy with the way the boat is ran and has a new prop on order as the one he was testing with seemed to be a little big for racing but he said it should be a great kilo prop for later in the season.

Ron Burton has taken “Warlord” back to Aussie to prepare for the 2005 GP World Champs to be held at Taree next year along with the Griffiths Cup. Ron’s son Paul will drive “Warlord” next season and the Burton team will use Paul’s “Big Chief” as a back up boat if it has not sold before the champs.

The Lupton GP Hydros are nearly all finished, Australian Tom Heffernan has had a couple of trips over this winter to make and fit a new cell to David’s boat and also to make minor mods to Warwick’s own boat.

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