Ready to race

The Press - Escape - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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