Ready to race
there’s an advantage to being small; there’s a power to weight ratio, so yeah, [with a smile], I’ve never had a problem racing with the boys.’’
Dermott has retired from racing, however, while she concentrates on organising the South Island and national championships and deals with peak wedding season.
She hopes to encourage more people into jet skiing, but thinks some ‘‘are a bit apprehensive about getting into it’’.
‘‘They think maybe they’re not good enough or their jet ski will get bashed around.’’
There’s also the public perception that jet skis are noisy, a nuisance, or worse, cause accidents. ‘‘Like any sport, like motor biking or cars on the road, there’s a very small percentage who ruin it for everybody else.’’
But Dermott says one of the strengths of the club is that it has its own separate facility.
‘‘We have a good relationship with the council and the lake provides a safe area for people to jet ski on, somewhere they won’t annoy the public too much.’’
Furthermore, jet skiers can play a positive public role. ‘‘Many of our club members have rescued people from the Waimak when they’ve got into trouble, or towed boats in when they’ve broken down.’’
The racing is ‘‘adrenaline packed – so emotions can run high at times’’. The club doesn’t have a high accident rate ‘‘because the riders are trained in what they’re doing and wear the appropriate safety gear’’.
Stress buster: Lisa Dermott is one of the key figures in the jet ski community and loves an occasional ‘‘blat’’ around the lake.
Social side: Lake Roto Kohatu is the place where enthusiasts can meet and enjoy the sport together.