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Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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Fast, furious fun at Tauherenīkau

Speeds of up to 140kmh in two seconds!

The action is going to be fast and furious tomorrow at the first round of the Jetsprint National Championships at the KiwiSpan Jetsprint Track at Tauherenīkau.

A strong international contingent – here to test the waters in preparation for the 2025 World Championships – and current national and world champions are among the 30 combinations that will tackle the fast technical track, which, according to Carterton race Bryce Baron is in excellent condition and gives spectators great viewing.

“The track at Tauherenīkau is probably the best it has ever been, and a lot of work has gone in from the club in getting that right, and we’re pretty excited to get racing again,” Baron said.

“As far as motorsports go, there’s probably nothing better than Jetsprints to watch, just because you can see the whole course, and it’s a really good spectator sport.”

Current New Zealand number one and world champion Rob Coley in his 1800hp twin turbo powered boat, will start as a warm favourite in the Superboats.

Coley should face stiff competition from ex-pat Kiwi Chris Edmonds who is back to race the whole season after racing a couple of rounds last year. Edmonds is super excited to be racing the NZ series in a boat that has the goods, having taken the top spot on the podium twice last year.

Also from Australia are Mike Hessell and Luke Walters, who have both been racing in the LS Class and are stepping up into Superboats.

From the USA, 19-year-old River Rogers, a third-generation jetsprinter, will race in the LS class. Rogers’s father, Ryan, is the only American to win a UIM Jetsprint World Championship in the open Group A/Superboat class back in the late 1990s. Rogers has only raced in four sprints in the States but showed his pedigree by recently winning the 400 class final.

There is also a strong local flavour headed by defending Group B national champions Sam Gray and Mike Allen. Also, in the same class, Hamish Clarke and Vanessa Phillips will make their national championship in the boat previously raced by Baron and wife Kylie, who are stepping up into Group A.

Baron will meet a strong field, including current national and world champion Ollie Silverton, but he still hopes to be competitive in his first outing.

“It’s a new class of boat for us, and it’s a lot faster, so top six, but getting on to the podium, that would be a dream, but I don’t think Silverton will be nervous,” he said.

Each of the combinations will have at least four qualifying runs before eliminations, starting with the fastest nine.

The top six will then contest the semifinals, with the top three progressing to the final.

The boats will roar into action at 11am tomorrow. Tickets are $20 on Eventfinda or $30 at the gate.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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