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Carnage galore: World Jetsprint Champs

2 February 2016

What do you get when you dig a track inside a stadium then fill it with water? A Jetsprints stadium and the final round of the Enzed UIM World Jetsprint Championships!

We’ll have a full report on the event in Issue No.131 of NZV8, but for now, here’s a glimpse of the carnage that took place at Baypark Stadium, Mt Maunganui on January 30.

These boats are missiles on the water, ranging from a comparatively mild 500hp to a wild 1500hp in the Suzuki Unlimited Superboat class. Blown and injected big blocks, twin turbos, massive cubes, you name it, there’s a boat with it, and as you can imagine, with those sorts of power figures, things can go wrong in milliseconds — and they did. Some teams faring badly, while others escape with getting only a bit wet.

‘Grumpy’, driven by Jake Garlick and navigator Kerry Garlick from Noosa, Australia, tried to move this hay bale, which ended up bending the front of its Tuff Talk hull. They still managed to run later in the day, despite the damage. 

Brooke Avenell from Lilydale Australia, with Kiwi navigator Louise Blythe, had a narrow escape here. 

Glen Head’s machine is powered by a 400ci HRE twin-turbo engine producing 1400hp … that’s a massive motor for such a small boat!

Called ‘Meaner Machine’ this is a 440ci supercharged Ford that makes a claimed 1500hp, and was, in our opinion at least, probably the meanest-sounding boat around. 

Rapids Jet of Garry Stephen runs a 406ci supercharged small block Chev, pushing out over 1000hp. He and navigator Damon Murray took to the air after just clipping a corner. 

Launching the boat can produce wheel stands on water; this is Robert White’s 520ci injected small block all the way from Invercargill.

When a boat goes aground it’s all hands on deck to push it back onto the water. 

One of many lucky escapes with no damage.

Poison Ivy, driven by Rob Cowley and navigator Kellie Minnell, ended up going backwards into the water after a spectacular mishap. Both were OK, but very lucky.

This is Grumpy from Aussie nearly going over again after narrowly clipping a corner.

Daryl Hutton, driver, and Mick Parry, navigator, from Victoria, Australia, in their American Automotive 420ci blown Chev–powered boat, had one spectacular crash and ended up getting a bit wet. They returned later but were well off the pace.

Bad Fish racing all the way from Maple Ridge, BC, Canada, driven by Scott Jensen and navigator Cari Jensen went a bit airborne here, later hitting the hay bales, but managed to escape with no damage.

Newcomers to the sport in The Hustler, Warren Farr and Ben Thomas got a baptism here, despite the boat ending the right way up.

Bad Influence from Nevada was lucky here, driven by Ron Domoe and navigated by Steve Church.

Rapids Jet caused a few photographers — including yours truly — to take evasive action. 

Don’t stick your hand out it will get broken in a rollover. Meaner Machine never made this corner.

Devil’s Advocate was pushing hard maybe a bit hard.

Even the best in the world, New Zealand’s own Peter Caughey, was caught out on the tight track in his 572ci small block–powered Sprintec hull. This wasn’t the result he and the ENZED team were looking for after having mechanical issues at the previous round and calling in huge favours to get a fuel pump flown in from America. 

The eventual event winners were Hamilton-based underdogs Team 222, consisting of Ric Burke and Alf Kil. The duo scored third place in the first round of the two-round series, and gave what may be the best interview of any winners we’ve seen to date, so as you can imagine, the celebration when they took home the crown was equally as epic. Keep an eye out for Issue No. 131 of NZV8 for the full event report.