Jet skier in uncharted waters
‘‘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.