Please select your home edition
Edition
Absolute Marine

Powerboats Thunder Under the Bridge

by Cathy Vercoe on 9 Apr 2011
Fairview wins the Superboat Championship at Auckland. Cathy Vercoe LuvMyBoat.com http://www.luvmyboat.com

The penultimate race of the Rayglass New Zealand Offshore Powerboat Series took place on Auckland Harbour today with everyone keen to get out on the course and show the Auckland crowds what they were made of. With so many teams racing on home turf there was a great turnout with crowds lining the foreshore, cheering for their favourite team.

Racing today was about the winners as we saw several of the New Zealand Offshore Powerboat Class Titles claimed, including the Superboat, Superboat Lite, Classic, Sports 60 Restricted and Honda Classes.

In the Superboats Fairview driven by Warren Lewis and Chris Hanley established an early lead and using the same tactics and technique learnt on the Auckland racecourse a year earlier, built on their lead during the race, lapping two of their opponents and winning from the third by half a lap.

Bob Smith and Andrew 'Flea' Koolen flew around the course for their seventh consecutive win in the Superboat Lite 'NZ Blokes', even beating two of the superboats across the finish line. 'Barracuda Kayaks' and 'Red Steel' had a great race in this class, swapping the lead at times with Red Steel just managing to hold out 'Barracuda Kayaks' at the finish.

In the Classic Class 'Konica Minolta' also saw their seventh consecutive victory, cementing their title for the 2011 season. 'Topaz' looked to be going well, but retired from the race before finishing. 'Gull Force 10' however, not only made it out on the course but after weeks of niggling engine problems, ran strongly and finished in style taking third place in the 60 mile overall race for the day.

Mikey Knight is set to take the Sports 60 Restricted title for 2011, securing the win and preventing Jono Hanley of Marineworkz from gaining enough points to challenge his lead. One has to wonder what class he will be looking at in 2012 after winning the Honda Championship in 2010 and now the Sports 60 Restricted title.


Mike Urquhart secured his lead in the Honda Class today in 'Auckland District Collections 2', keeping ahead of the pack on what was a course more suited to the bigger boats. Total Oil finished second in the Hondas, and had a great race, as did CRD Automotive who came third ahead of Rayglass in fourth place.

'Back2Bay6' and 'Espresso Engineers' looked set for a pretty even battle in the Sports 60 class until the black batboat of Mike Gerbic and Dave Vazey stopped dead in the water. The problem was identified as a faulty sparkpack , cutting out the ignition and proving too unreliable to continue. Despite missing three races due to the hull damage sustained at the Maraetai race, 'Back2Bay6' appear to be back in the race with the points they gained today putting them within reach of Espresso Engineers. The two boats go into the final round with 'Espresso Engineers' on 2150 points and 'Back2Bay6' on 1900 points, ensuring a full on battle for the championship.


As predicted the conditions were perfect for a fast and furious powerboat race - we saw the 'fast' on the water, and we saw the 'fury' back at the dock - with a few of the teams pretty irate after engine issues kept them from performing at their best.

It had been a busy week with several of the teams working late to overcome engine issues in time for the race. Schick Hydro even moving their engines forward to accommodate the Mercury 6 drives which they installed to replace their old outdrives after ripping them off during their spinout at Marsden Cove two weeks ago. Doosan identified problems with their engine only the day before the race and, unable to borrow the part needed from a boat that no longer races in New Zealand, resorted to flying in one of the Australian Offshore crew who unbolted the part off an Ozzie raceboats for them to use.


Great to see so many of the Australian teams and drivers over to watch the Auckland race, particularly the boys from Team Three who raced so successfully in New Zealand in the 2010 season. As usual the Trans Tasman Tomfoolery was in full swing and Stevo Nugent from Team Three goes back to Australia a few grams lighter after losing his 30 year moustache in a bet with Schick Hydro. Steve valiantly raised 600 dollars for the Christchurch Earthquake appeal after submitting his top lip for hair removal with the assistance of some Schick Hydro merchandise and staff who were only too happy to put their wares into action - well done Stevo!

The eighth and final race in the 2011 series takes place in Wellington on 23 April and all will be looking forward to more exciting racing and a chance to celebrate what has been another fine year of Offshore Powerboat Racing in New Zealand.


The NZOPA would like to thank Westhaven Marina, JFC, Pier 21, Global Securities, Swashbucklers and Energizer for their support in making the Auckland race possible.

They also acknowledge the ongoing support of the series sponsors Rayglass.

More information and updated championship points table can be found on the New Zealand Offshore Powerboat Association website www.nzoffshore.co.nz.

NaiadPantaenius - Fixed ValueLancer Industries - Lasts Longer

Related Articles

America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ give first look at the pedaling AC50
Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. The team has been sailing for the previous two days making news headlines after it was revealed in Sail-World.com that the AC50 would become only the second yacht in America's Cup history to use pedal power.
Posted on 16 Feb
America's Cup - Kiwis sign Olympic Cyclist for the Tour de Bermuda
Ttop cyclist Simon van Velthooven, a 2012 Olympic Bronze cycling medallist had been signed by the America's Cup team Emirates Team New Zealand put in a second foiling display on Auckland's Waitemata harbour ahead of the official launching of their AC50 tomorrow. With brighter skies the cycling team took their places on the pedalstals and used leg power to provide the hydraulic pressure necessary to run the AC50's control systems for the foils and wingsail.
Posted on 15 Feb
A Q&A with Anna Tunnicliffe about her return to competitive sailing
I talked with Anna Tunnicliffe before the Sailing World Cup Miami to learn about her return to Olympic-class sailing. Anna Tunnicliffe won gold at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in the Laser Radial before shifting her sights to the Women’s Match Racing event for the London 2012 Olympics. Here, she came up shy of expectation and left sailing for the CrossFit Games, but now she is returning to her roots. I talked with Tunnicliffe before the Sailing World Cup Miami to learn about her return to Olympic-class sailing.
Posted on 23 Jan
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race – Race record smashed
On Day Three (just) of the 72nd Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race Perpetual Loyal smashed the race record On Day Three (just) of the 72nd Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, in the strongest downwind conditions in recent times, certainly as good as the 1999 iteration of the blue water classic, Anthony Bell’s supermaxi, Perpetual Loyal, the former Speedboat and then Rambler 100, smashed the race record for the famous 628-nautical mile event.
Posted on 27 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race – right turn means record in mortal danger?
A while ago we talked about not unprecedented conditions, but certainly ones that had not been seen for ages. A while ago we talked about not unprecedented conditions, but certainly ones that had not been seen for ages. Those that did a lot of Hobarts in the 90s would scoff at the thought of using the kite sheets for the whole journey. Their memories would be why they even bothered to clip them onto the rail at all.
Posted on 27 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race – The Derwent awake or asleep for Loyal?
With steady winds now pushing everyone down the Tasmanian East Coast With steady winds now pushing everyone down the Tasmanian East Coast, it does appear that barring a mechanical failure, Anthony Bell’s Perpetual Loyal will be the first boat into Storm Bay tonight, and well on record pace too!
Posted on 27 Dec 2016
AeroMedia Drone Video from Rolex Sydney Hobart Race start
Jono Whiity drives the 18-Footer, Line 7, and also pilots the hAeroMedia drone for these images of the #RSHYR start. Jono Whiity drives the 18-Footer, Line 7, and also pilots the AeroMedia drone that captured these images of the #RSHYR start.
Posted on 27 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race – Situation normal
You could easily say that all is right with the world again. You could easily say that all is right with the world again. After the worst start in 12 years, the Oatley family’s 100 foot Wild Oats XI, the eight times line honours winner skippered by Mark Richards is leading the fleet South, as she has done so many, many times before.
Posted on 26 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race – Changing of the guard
So as darkness descends on the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, watch systems and red lights take over from sunglasses So as darkness descends on the 72nd Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, watch systems and red lights take the place of sunglasses and hats. Yet another of the Hobart maxims is now coming into play. You go out early and come in late. It means you stay offshore early to pick up the East Australia Current running down South and then come in back to the Tasmanian coast and stay there.
Posted on 26 Dec 2016
Wild Oats XI Training Day - VIDEO
As your Christmas Day preparations get into full swing, chances are you won’t have much time to get into the mood As your Christmas Day preparations get into full swing, chances are you won’t have much time to get into the mood for the big race to Hobart on Boxing Day. So here’s a pacey one minute video we've compiled from a training day that we shot aboard Wild Oats XI this time last year in a solid nor'easter, shortly after her major rebuild was completed. Merry Christmas to all from Crosbie and Dale
Posted on 23 Dec 2016