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Two NZ record attempts for inaugural AquaFest

Two NZ record attempts for inaugural AquaFest

Two national record attempts will be made at the inaugural Ashburton AquaFest on New Zealand’s newest lake - Lake Hood - next month. New Zealand champion Peter Knight will try and break a new powerboat sprint record while world recognised kite-flyer Peter Lynn hopes to fly the world’s biggest kite at the festival on January 25.

Lynn plans to hoist his giant kite to a national record height at New Zealand’s newest man-made lake, near Ashburton.

The festival is Ashburton’s answer to similar wine and food festivals around the country but with extra activities including, art, water skiing, triathlon, rowing, yachting, bathtub racing and model boat racing.

Organiser Ingrid Temple said AquaFest would become annual event showing off Canterbury’s best wine and food and would attract people from all over New Zealand.

She said the wine and food were just a part of the festival based around water activities.

``The event is designed to introduce new audiences to a positive outdoor experience in a festive atmosphere that’s fun for the family,” she said.

Former Olympic champions Barbara Kendall (windsurfing) and Ian Ferguson (canoeing) will be offering free lessons.

Knight hopes to set a new mark on the water in his hydroplane boat The Boss AC Delco which can reach speeds up to 270kph.

He has won more than 25 Australian and New Zealand speedboat championships. Festival-goers will watch the proceedings on probably the world’s first man-made recycled sandy beach at the lakeside. The beach sand is made of recycled and polished glass. It was prepared by WasteBusters Trust Canterbury from Christchurch and Ashburton recycled glass.

WasteBusters devised a scheme that will see tonnes of finely crushed and polished recycled glass delivered to the Lake Hood site.

The recycled crystal beach has attracted the Gardening Australia tv show interest in flying to film the event.

Kite-flyer Lynn said MegaBite, officially the world’s largest kite, to be seen at AquaFest is 22 metres wide and 64 metres long and required more than 2000 square metres of fabric.

The Guinness Record for a kite was officially observed flight of 22 minute 57 seconds at the Bristol Kite Festival on 7 Sept. 1997.

The kite has only been flown once in New Zealand but Lynn hopes to set a national altitude record for flying a kite.

International-class kiteboarding champions Kane Hartill, Chris Brent and Stefan Cook will be in Ashburton showing off their skills.

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