Speed fans take to the water in Balclutha
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.