The 2015 PSP New Zealand Jetsprint championship came to a conclusion at Featherston last weekend. With the final round being an important one for the crews, the championship was yet to be decided for many of the teams.
Jetsprinting is a brutal sport that punishes the slightest of mistakes, so with Wanganui’s Pat Dillon and Steve Edmonds looking to wrap the championship up in the Superboat class, keeping the boat in the water was a priority.
The track was a tight and tricky one, with shelves lurking just below the surface, ready to catch out any drivers who dared to push the limits just that little bit too far. Three classes — Biolytix 400, PSP Suntuf Group A, and Suzuki Superboats — that ranged in horsepower were fuelled up and raring to go, as the crowds piled in through the gates.
The day started off with four qualifying runs, where drivers attempted to post their best times, before things started to get serious in the elimination rounds. A few wrong turns, a spot of sliding across the islands — and, for the unlucky few, a high-and-dry beaching against the fences — it was time to get down to the serious end of the proceedings.
As the roar of V8s filled the air and waves of methanol fumes wafted over the grandstand, the action got more and more frantic. The drivers were pulling quicker and quicker times out of the bag, and with a boat that does 0–120kph in 1.9 seconds, and pulls 5–6g in corners, the wow-factor reminded everyone that it isn’t a sport for the faint-hearted.
At the point-end of things, Ollie Silverton and Ross Travers were neck and neck on points in the Biolytix 400 class, while PSP Suntuf Group A wasn’t quite as cut-throat. Sam Newdick, Tristan Hynds, and Simon Gibbon were ahead of the rest of the field occupying the podium positions.
Of course, the punishing nature of jetsprinting didn’t guarantee that this would be the case at the end of the day. In the top tier of Suzuki Superboats, it was only 21 points blanketing the top five boats. Peter Caughey, Rob Coley, and Pat Dillon were fighting for the top step on the podium, and with this being the last chance to get there, all were out to make it count.
After some frantic sub-minute runs, the championship was decided. In the Suzuki Superboat class, Pat Dillon was out for his last hurrah and was rewarded with the championship number one spot — a fitting way to end his career.
With all crews giving 100 per cent until the last minute, the round was a nail biter, and, if 2015 is anything to go by, 2016 shall be just as exciting. The final points are currently being double-checked before an official announcement is made, so until then, here are the round results for the final round of 2015.
First: Ross Travers/Shane Travers
Second: Patrick Haden/Jay Haden
Third: Ollie Silverton/Geoff Sisterson
PSP Suntuf Group A
First: Sam Newdick/Glenn Mason
Second: Duncan Wilson/Jaimee-Lee Lupton
Third: Blake Briant/Kate Hoogerbrug
First: Glen Head/Darryn Todd
Second: Peter Caughey/Karen Marshall
Third: Pat Dillon/Steve Edmonds