Re­gion to host jet­sprint fi­nal for first time

Taranaki Daily News - - News - JANE MATTHEWS

You can’t beat a home crowd cheer­ing while you whip around an aqua­track in a boat, and this year Taranaki jet­sprint­ers get to ex­pe­ri­ence that twice - and most im­por­tantly, at a fi­nal.

This year the Methanex Aqua­track in Waitara will play host to the New Zealand Jet­sprint Cham­pi­onship’s fi­nal for the first time ever. The New Zealand Jet­sprint Cham­pi­onships run dur­ing sum­mer each year and have around 50 teams com­pet­ing at dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions all over the coun­try.

The fi­nal will take place on April 14 af­ter the fifth round of the na­tional jet­sprints, and also fol­low on from the Naki 500 which is round three and be­ing held on Fe­bru­ary 24.

Event pro­mo­tion man­ager Bernadette van Wyk said Taranaki was lucky enough to se­cure the com­pe­ti­tion fi­nal with the help of the cur­rent New Zealand Jet­sprint As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent, Taranakibased Leighton Min­nell.

van Wyk said an­other lo­ca­tion fell through for the fi­nal round so the or­gan­i­sa­tion de­cided it wanted to host it - ‘‘and they thought Taranaki was the per­fect place to pick it up’’.

‘‘It’s go­ing to be ex­cel­lent.’’ van Wyk said both the events would be some­thing to look for­ward to for both the rac­ers and spec­ta­tors.

There’s usu­ally 3000 spec­ta­tors at the Naki 500.

‘‘It’s one of those mo­tor sports that you don’t have to be a full on petrol head to en­joy it,’’ she said. ‘‘The at­mos­phere is amaz­ing.’’ All the Taranaki teams will be par­tak­ing in both the Naki 500 and the fi­nal, as long as their boats are in the right shape.

And van Wyk hoped one of them would come out on top too.

De­spite the fact van Wyk doesn’t race in the jet­sprints her­self, she said one day she’d love to, and oth­ers have shown a sim­i­lar in­ter­est.

Taranaki started with five teams three years ago and has dra­mat­i­cally grown since.

The re­gion now has more teams than any other dis­tricts in the coun­try with 13, van Wyk said.

‘‘We have the strong­est jet­sprint team in New Zealand now.’’


Leighton and Luke Min­nell com­pete in Round 1 of the New Zealand Jet­sprint Cham­pi­onships in Taranaki in 2017. This year the Waitara track will host the fi­nal event

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