Yamaha’s stunning 250hp SHO again makes history in Bridge-to-Bridge

Outvoted features Yamaha’s highly impressive 250hp SHO four-stroke outboard to again scored a sensational “first” at this year’s Yamaha Rollos Marine Bridge to Bridge Water Ski Classic on the Waikato River
© Mike Rose

Yamaha’s highly impressive 250hp SHO four-stroke outboard has again scored a sensational 'first' at this year’s Yamaha Rollos Marine Bridge to Bridge Water Ski Classic on the Waikato River.

Outvoted, a 1880 Bullet owned by Dave and Lisa Strong, driven by race veteran Greg Dutton and powered by a single Yamaha 250hp SHO four-stroke outboard, totally dominated this year’s Time Trial race, winning by more than a minute.

It is the first time in the event’s 30-year history that a F2 class boat has won the fiercely fought Time Trial.

Despite competing against far bigger and more powerful engines (the F2 is only the third largest engine class and the SHO is far from the biggest engine in F2), Dutton and his 250hp SHO proved better able to handle the challenging conditions.

Dutton, a 25-year veteran of the Ski Classic, says he has never seen the river so rough and difficult to race on.

Outvoted features Yamaha’s highly impressive 250hp SHO four-stroke outboard to again scored a sensational “first” at this year’s Yamaha Rollos Marine Bridge to Bridge Water Ski Classic on the Waikato River
© Mike Rose

'It was very windy and, in many places, the wind was blowing straight down the river. Virtually every time we came around a corner the conditions would change from oily calm to 600mm waves with white caps. Our skiers did an amazing job to ski so well in those very difficult conditions.'

Because of their comparative lack of horsepower, Dutton and his crew of observer Luke Kennedy and skiers Mark Luxford and Dylan Stevenson were only seeded 14th for the Time Trial, well behind the big inboard V8 and twin outboard powered boats.

However, Yamaha 250hp SHO-powered boats have something of a history of beating their larger and more powerful competitors.

Outvoted features Yamaha’s highly impressive 250hp SHO four-stroke outboard to again scored a sensational “first” at this year’s Yamaha Rollos Marine Bridge to Bridge Water Ski Classic on the Waikato River
© Mike Rose

In 2011, the Yamaha 250hp SHO-powered Phantom 20, Smokin’, not only took out the F2 class in the Bridge to Bridge Water Ski Classic (beating far larger outboards in the process), it also smashed the F2 race record by a quite astonishing 5 seconds. It was the first time a four-stroke outboard had won the F2 class and the first time it had been won by a 250hp outboard (most of those competing in F2 run 300hp two-stroke engines).

The lightweight 250hp SHO then again beat much the much higher horsepower 2-stroke powered boats last year, winning the F2 class in both the Bridge to Bridge and the Twin Rivers ski races — and carving another incredible 24 seconds off the race record they had set just 12 months before!

For Dutton, the thing that really impresses is that this incredibly sophisticated and reliable outboard is not a specialised race engine.

'I just love it that this amazing Yamaha 250hp SHO 4-stroke outboard is a stock-standard, straight-out-of-the-box outboard designed for family boating, fishing and cruising and available right now to Kiwis everywhere.'
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