Jet skier in un­charted wa­ters

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - JAMES PAUL

‘‘You’re es­sen­tially com­pet­ing against your­self – it’s like train­ing for the 100 me­tre sprint all your life and then throw­ing your hat into the ring for a marathon.’’

Pip­ping New Zealand’s top jet skiers four years run­ning isn’t enough for one Pau­ata­hanui res­i­dent – he now has the world’s elite rac­ers in his sights.

Carl Lampe (26), who is the four-time New Zealand Pro Run­about Open cham­pion, will be­gin his bout for this year’s UIM-ABP Aquabike World Cham­pi­onship ti­tle in June.

The only Kiwi rider among a pack of 16 from 13 coun­tries, his ti­tle con­tention will see him race in six stages through­out Italy, China and the United Arab Emi­rates.

Lampe’s in­vite to wres­tle the ti­tle from de­fend­ing cham­pion Yousef Al Ab­dul­raz­zaq comes off the back of an im­pres­sive list of na­tional and in­ter­na­tional jet ski racing achieve­ments.

It’s a pretty big deal, Lampe said.

‘‘This is where the best jet ski rac­ers in the world come to com­pete, so I’ve put a lot of pres­sure on my­self to per­form es­pe­cially as it’s my de­but.

‘‘This a mas­sive hon­our, not just for me and my fam­ily but also for the New Zealand jet ski­ing com­mu­nity. I want to do my coun­try proud.’’

He has his work cut out for him; man-han­dling a 300kg jet ski at up­wards of 140 kilo­me­tres around a 10-15 lap course will be no small feat. But the op­por­tu­nity has been a long time com­ing with his com­pet­i­tive jet ski­ing streak dat­ing back 13 years.

Af­ter mul­ti­ple ti­tles, in­clud­ing winning the Na­tional New Zealand Novice ti­tle aged 13, Lampe hopes to carry on his winning streak.

He also hopes his luck won’t run out – he has seen nu­mer­ous rac­ers suf­fer se­ri­ous in­juries in col­li­sions while he has come away rel­a­tively un­scathed.

It is one of the most de­mand­ing and com­pet­i­tive racing en­vi­ron­ments on wa­ter, Lampe said.

Cham­pi­onship course sizes vary slightly through­out each stage but each lap takes ap­prox­i­mately 25 min­utes to complete.

Com­par­a­tively, most New Zealand jet ski cour­ses are 10 min­utes long.

‘‘You’re es­sen­tially com­pet­ing against your­self – it’s like train­ing for the 100 me­tre sprint all your life and then throw­ing your hat into the ring for a marathon.

‘‘When the rid­ers churn up the wa­ter and the con­di­tions worsen, one wrong move and you’re out. Or worse, you could get hit.’’

Jet ski racer Carl Lampe has set his sights on a top 10 fin­ish at the UIM-ABP Aquabike World Cham­pi­onship.

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