Ten teams head to World Jetsprint Champs
For immediate release: 19 November 2009.
Ten teams head to World Jetsprint Champs
Ten New Zealand teams are heading to Australia for the two-round 2009 UIM World Jetsprint Championships starting on 21 November, including defending World Superboat title champion Peter Caughey of Christchurch.
Having won the New Zealand based World’s title at Featherston (Wairarapa) in January, Caughey and navigator Marshall are joined by Kiwi representatives in both the international Group A and Superboat categories for the two-weekend competition.
Each round is contested over two days, starting from 10am Saturday at Australia’s newest water sprinting venue; Temora is approximately half way between Sydney and Melbourne in New South Wales.
As dominators in the sport of jet sprint racing, New Zealand’s title chances are boosted with a strong line-up of Superboat competitors contesting the Australian hosted event. Although runner-up in the World’s title and New Zealand Superboat champion Richard Burt of Palmerston North will be an outsider for the title. Having been given a drive in an Australian boat quite different to the white-pointer hull he is used to, he is the only Kiwi not to have shipped a boat – for financial reasons.
Along with Caughey (Rangiora) and Burt, Leighton Minnell (Wanganui) finished third in the World’s title last season – ahead of fourth placed Phil Dixon (Australia). Pat Dillon (Wanganui) and Duncan Wilson (Wanganui) also add pressure from the Kiwi entrants to the mainly Australian line-up in the Superboat category.
Australian former V8 Supercar driver Nathan Pretty currently holds the title in the Group A class, and will be against Kiwi’s Reg Smith (Taupo), Phil Wheelans (Wellington), Baden Gray (Auckland), Bevan Muir (Thames), Andrew Guthrie (Levin), and Blair Gibbard (Levin).
Keeping the title out of New Zealand hands for the past two years, defending champion Pretty and former champion Slade Stanley (Australia) topped last season’s table, ahead of Peter Briant and current New Zealand class winner Bevan Muir.
Beginning the two-weekend series, practise and qualifying takes place on the Saturday, while Sunday leads to successive elimination runs to find the top-two for a run-off in each of the Group A and Superboat classes.
A week later the teams repeat the format, moving to the Melton jet sprint track – 35 kilometres west of Melbourne (28-29 November), before returning to start the New Zealand series on 27 December.
Facilitating the journey for the New Zealand contingent to contest the world title has been a joined effort by each of the team members – guided by journeyman Reg Smith.
“We have managed to get the boats to Aussie and back, at very little cost to the competitors - almost cheaper than going to a local event,” says Smith, an executive member of the New Zealand Jetsprint Association (NZJSA).
“The boats (sent over in shipping containers) are all sitting in Phil Dixon's depot in Melbourne with tow vehicles and helpers supplied by the local competitors. It proves the trans-Tasman relationships still have good standing in our sport.”
“The Aussies are laying on a big event, with all sorts of displays and have put a lot of work and money into it. They are expecting big numbers to attend, so it’s something that may go down in history, and we are all proud to be a part of it.”
“We raised a significant amount in sponsorship and they will get some great television exposure for it. So a big big, thanks to those who made it possible.”
The Hire Co
Phil Wheelans Fuso
Drainage Systems Ltd
Blast and Paint
Total Body Shop
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Photo: Christchurch’s Peter Caughey and navigator Karen Marshall head to this weekend’s opening round of the 2009 UIM World Jetsprinting Championship being held in Australia as defending title holders in the Super Boat category. Photo: Lance Hastie. http://www.comtechnology.co.nz/jetpro/caughey_worlds091.jpg
Calendar - 2009 U.I.M World Jetsprint Championship Series
one: TEMORA, NSW - 21/22 November
Round two: MELTON, Vic - 28/29 November.
About the first round: