Kiwis defend World SuperBoat title on home turf

By: Media Release

World SuperBoat champion Peter Caughey will defend his title in New Zealand this year, with round one of the ENZED UIM Jetsprint World Championship at Meremere on January 23 and 24.

Ross and Jeremy – his spannermen – are towing the boat on its custom-built Trojan trailer onto the ferry today, world champion navigator Shama Putaranui is polishing the trophy she’ll carry north on her flight from mid Canterbury tomorrow, and the pair are already learning the track rotation, which was released today.

Caughey says: "We’re set for a spectacular weekend of racing, with 21 SuperBoats from four countries, and 13 international teams among the 45 all converging on Meremere."

And there’s Kiwi honour at stake. Not only is Caughey defending his title – 2016 will be his sixth in the prestigious class if he succeeds – but Kiwi Dave Hopkins is defending his Group A title, and at least 40 per cent of the SuperBoat teams entered are racing Kiwi-built Sprintec craft.

Some of those craft will be raced by American and Canadian crews, but the front-runners are likely to come from the southern hemisphere.

Caughey will keep an especially sharp eye on Australia’s Darryl Hutton and Phonsy Mullan, a three-time Australian champion, as well as New Zealanders Rob Coley, Glen Head, Graeme Hill and Leighton Minnell, four of them also in Sprintec boats.

The Kiwis know the terrain, but the rotation will be completely new. "It will be a level playing field," Caughey says. "The locals may know the general water conditions, but the rotation is unique – right down to the start zone, which was the finish zone just last month."

The first section is blindingly fast, Caughey says. "Some of the turbo boats will knock out the fastest split times, while boats like ours with naturally aspirated motors will hope to regain that lost ground in the remaining two thirds of the track, which are more technical."

Caughey says the rotation should make for exciting watching. "At NZ championship level the racing is enjoyable, rewarding and hotly contested. But at world championship level it’s a whole new game…"

For the latest boat reviews, subscribe to Trade-A-Boat magazine here.

Keep up to date with news from Trade-A-boat or like us on Facebook!