Speed fans take to the wa­ter in Bal­clutha

Central Otago Mirror - - LAKES DISTRICT SPORT - By CHE BAKER

Rac­ing on wa­ter at speeds of up to 210kmh is an adren­a­line rush not to be missed for the 22 jet boat driv­ers tak­ing part in the 2012 New Zealand Jet Boat Marathon. Jet boat­ing en­thu­si­asts from across New Zealand will com­pete against each other in 14 stages be­ing held across Otago and South­land in a bid to recorded the fastest time. The event will kick off in Bal­clutha on Satur­day and will move to Beaumont, Tu­at­a­pere, Lums­den, Glendu Bay and Cromwell be­fore fin­ish­ing in Glenorchy on Oc­to­ber 12. Event or­gan­iser Tim Guthrie said each dif­fer­ent river would be an ex­cit­ing chal­lenge for the rac­ers. ‘‘A mix of wide open rac­ing and very tech­ni­cal shal­low rivers will make this a truly mem­o­rable event in the holy grail of jet boat river rac­ing,’’ Mr Guthrie said. ‘‘This event is a long haul with over 750 kilo­me­tres of rac­ing over five days which will test the re­li­a­bil­ity of their boats and the men­tal tough­ness of the com­peti­tors them­selves.’’ Cromwell racer Kruse David­son would be the only lo­cal racer com­pet­ing in the event this year. The com­pe­ti­tion has also at­tracted the strong­est con­tin­gent of over­seas rac­ers since the 2005 World Marathon with reg­is­tra­tions from Canada and the US. The cham­pi­onships will dou­ble as a trial run for the 2013 UIM World Jet Boat River Rac­ing Marathon held in New Zealand next year.

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