Championship titles at stake in jet sprint series 17 Apr 2012
- Comvita board proposes increased fee pool Business
- Jono Lester Signs McLaren Deal for Asian Le Mans Series Sport
- Stars to hit the court for FAST5 Ferns Living
- Christchurch can squeeze capital from investment arm Business
- RBNZ pushes for new quarterly disclosure regime Business
- UPDATE: Intueri faces possible sanctions Business
- Blue Sky Meats names Todd Grave as new chief executive Business
- Opening Exchange Sets Tone For Title Tilt Living
- NZ wool auction sees varied selection, higher volumes Business
- King Salmon to sell shares at $1.12 apiece in IPO Business
Three teams are in line for New Zealand titles this weekend at the sixth and final round of the 2012 Jetpro Jetsprint Championship being held Wairarapa’s Tauherenikau J & S Aquatrack on Saturday 21 April.
Wanganui husband and wife pairing Leighton and Kellie Minnell have a 20 point lead in the Suzuki Superboat category; Taupo’s Reg and Julie Smith have a paltry one point advantage in the Whitepointer Boats Group A standings with Whangarei pairing Denis and Steve Crene ahead by ten in the Jetpro Lites class.
However, each has rival competitors to first surpass in their high horsepower water-jet propelled boats around the 22-turn course. The second time the national series has visited the Wairarapa this year, a change to the numbered rotation around the multi-channel water track will bring a fresh challenge to finalise the standings for the 38 teams entered.
In a season that also included the UIM Wanganui.com World Series, Minnell and Smith are respectively looking to wrap their season with back-to-back New Zealand titles on top of their new international crowns. And while Minnell has the Suzuki Superboat title all but secured, Smith has been in a tit-for-tat battle with Hamilton’s Sam Newdick. Needing to finish second or better in the elimination shoot-out heats, Smith says his last season competing has come with life-long highlights:
“We’ll go as hard as we can because we’d obviously like finish with the two championships and a world title, but to be honest I’m very content with what we’ve done so far and we’d be going out on a high regardless,” says the Taupo businessman. “To even be in the top-three of this series is significant. In some ways it would be good to see Sam get something out for all the effort he and his team have put in as well, along with Richard Murray (Wanganui) who has pushed us all season. But also Shane Wood (Lower Hutt) or young Blake Briant (Gisborne), they could pull one out, same too for Bevin Muir (Thames) or Baden Gray (Auckland) – it’s not just a three-horse race.”
The Smith’s need to finish second or better to secure the title, based on round count-back ranking.
For the Minnell’s, they have another goal than just securing their second New Zealand title to go with the freshly etched world trophy. Needing to only start the event to collect enough points for victory, they are eying an opportunity to win the day outright and write a new record for successive round victories in a season.
“Obviously we want to finish the season being unbeatable – that’s our new goal. We’re rapt we’ve basically got the trophies in the cabinet and want to finish the year on a new high and reset that record book,” says Minnell.
“The guys are coming pretty hard behind us so I’m sure the final will be the toughest of the season. Rumour is former champion Richard Burt from Palmerston North will be there. He’s always a good hard charger to have in the mix and along with Steve Bron (Wanganui), Ray Ferguson (Lower Hutt) or Pat Dillon (Wanganui) – it is going to be a hell of a show and an interesting day.”
Also with a nearly insurmountable lead, Whangarei marine electrician Denis Crene and brother Steve got a ten-point break on title rivals Brett Thompson and Megan Brodie from Piopio at the recent night round held near Wanganui. Having taken the lead in the Jetpro Lites entry-level category early in the season, Crene says the long drive from Whangarei to the Wairarapa will be one he’s looking forward to given the likelihood they will return with a New Zealand title. Holding two round wins and two second places, they have a preferential ranking should any of their rivals manage to tie on overall points and need to start in the top-eight elimination to secure enough points for the title.
“I think just staying focussed enough and not letting that get to me is the biggest hurdle I face this weekend,” says Crene. “Every race you’re going hard to get on the podium so this one should be no different. Obviously the bonus will be the championship, and if we make the podium we’ve definitely got the championship.
“I think it is going to be very tight right until the end. There is Gerry Linklater (Wanganui), Brett Thompson, Ray Thompson (Whangamata) is up there and even Paul Gaston (Australia), when he keeps going the right way – he can be a threat as well. So the top-five is going to be very interesting.”
Starting the day with four qualifying runs to affirm drivers and navigators direction around the course, teams enter a series of elimination heats start with a top-twelve at around 2pm. The eight fastest move to the next round, which will get cut to five and then three for the final to decide the podium. Laying it all on the line in each heat, teams’ occasionally catch a lucky break when a rival self-eliminates through either mechanical failure or driver error.
Each of the New Zealand titles will be presented in the evening following post-event technical scrutineering.
Spectator entry opens at 11am, tickets are $20 for adults, children 5-15 years $10, under five years are free and a family pass $50. The Tauherinikau race course is sign posted for spectator entry and is located 4.5 kilometres north of Featherston on SH2.
25 Aug 2016 News
New Zealand Government Hon Gerry BrownleeMinister of Defence 25 August 2016 Minister welcomes Baghdad appointment Defence Minister... more
29 Aug 2016 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk Monday 29 August 2016 03:47 PM Auckland Council debt rises 4.1% to $7.6 billion on infrastructure spending By... more
24 Aug 2016 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk NZ trade deficit narrows in July from year earlier as imports fall faster than exports By Jonathan ... more
18 Jul 2016 Lifestyle
The Outlook for Someday Young New Zealanders Making Films For Good What does sustainability mean to you? Since 2007 The Outlook for... more
3 Aug 2016 Property
Wednesday 03 August 2016 10:30 AM Auckland house prices are stabilising, may have plateaued, Barfoot says Aug. 3 (BusinessDesk) -... more
2 Aug 2016 Property
Article - BusinessDesk NZ home values rise at fastest quarterly pace in 12 years By Tina Morrison Aug. 2 (BusinessDesk) - New... more
30 Mar 2016 Migration
British High Commissioner Jonathan Sinclair is defending changes to skilled migrant rules for Britain but suggests they won't affect... more
25 Aug 2016 Travel & Tourism
New Zealand Government Hon Wagner using the new eGates at Wellington Airport.... more
10 Aug 2016 Travel & Tourism
Article - BusinessDesk Wednesday 10 August 2016 12:19 PM Aug. 10 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand accommodation providers had their... more
25 Aug 2016 Motor Sport
25 Aug 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell Gordon Campbell on the end game in Spain First published on Werewolf more
11 Aug 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell Gordon Campbell on the Impotence of the Reserve Bank First published on Werewolf more
29 Aug 2016 Appointments
New Zealand Government Hon Jo Goodhew Minister for Food Safety 29 August 2016 Jane Lancaster has been appointed to the Food ... more
12 Aug 2016 Appointments
New Zealand Government Hon Hekia ParataMinister of Education 12 August 2016 Appointments to New Zealand National Commission for... more
3 Aug 2016 Recruitment
New Zealand Government Hon Steven Joyce Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment 3 August 2016 Jobs growth continues... more
3 Aug 2016 State of the Market Report
Wednesday 03 August 2016 11:57 AM NZ private sector wage inflation misses expectations in June quarter Aug. 3 (BusinessDesk) - New... more