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Thundercats get ready to take on Cook Strait

10 January 2007

Thundercats get ready to take on Cook Strait

This weekend, in Lyall Bay and, weather permitting, right across Cook Strait, Thundercats are go!

Thundercat racing is a high-adrenalin, high-action sport with explosive wave jumping and tight competitive surf racing in tunnel-hulled inflatable boats. The crews consist of a driver steering the boat and a co-pilot who uses their weight to stabilise the craft and obtain optimum speed.

Part of Meridian Energy Summer City '08, the Wellington round of the New Zealand Thundercat National Series will provide spectacular jumps, thrills and spills with boats reaching 80kph in the surf.

From 10.30am on Saturday the 'Surf-cross' races will be run off Lyall Bay. Kicking off with a 'Le Mans'-style start where the driver dashes out into knee deep water to the co-pilot holding the boat, the teams then battle it out over several laps on a rectangular shaped course running parallel to the shoreline in as little as 300mm of water.

The finish is dramatic as boats skid up the beach for co-pilots to leap out the front of their boats and run to the finish line.

From 10am on Sunday, sea swell permitting, the teams will compete in a potentially-gruelling Cook Strait Endurance Race, where teams will cross the Strait and return to Lyall Bay.

City Council Events Coordinator Lauren Fantham says Thundercat racing makes for a fantastic spectator sport. "When the surf's running, these boats seem to spend more time in the air than on the water. Everyone should get down to Lyall Bay, grab a vantage point, and enjoy!"

Also on in the city - as part of a particularly busy Summer City weekend - is:

* McEntee Hire international beach volleyball at Oriental Bay

* ASB Gardens Magic - 8pm Saturday: Wellington City Chorus (champion women's barbershop quartet); 8pm Sunday: Niko Ne Zna (gypsy music from the Balkans)

* Enchanted Tales storytelling with Fairy Trina - in the Dell at the Botanic Garden, 10am-11am and then 12 noon-1pm on Saturday and Sunday.


© Scoop Media

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