Championship titles at stake in jet sprint series 17 Apr 2012
- Greens back call for environmental rights News
- Entries Open As epay Silver Fern Rally Takes Shape Sport
- Villumsen headlines a strong woman’s field Sport
- ADIDAS Unveils Official Match Ball of the 2014 World Cup Sport
- Penrith Panthers comes top of Most Valuable Oz Sports Brand Sport
- Positive Outlook For Production Gt Series Sport
- Fight For Life 2013 - Sat 14 Dec - Doors open 6.00pm Sport
- Minister launches new Social Sector Trial plan in Porirua News
- Port Hills zoning review announced News
- Gordon Campbell on John Banks, and blogging’s merits Columns
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.
5 Dec 2013 News
New Zealand Government Hon Dr Nick SmithMinister of Housing 5 December 2013 Govt invests further $31 million in Hobsonville The... more
5 Dec 2013 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk SkyCity earnings to get kicker from Adelaide redevelopment in 2017, brokerage says By Tina ... more
5 Dec 2013 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk Forest owners easier target on health, safety lapses under new regime, MBIE’s Smol says By Paul ... more
5 Dec 2013 Entertainment
Two true Kiwi legends – Dave Dobbyn and Don McGlashan – have come together on stage for the first time, and this weekend... more
4 Dec 2013 Property
Auckland house prices rose at the rate of $677 a day in November, based on the average price increase from October to... more
4 Dec 2013 Property
New Zealand Government Hon Dr Nick SmithMinister of Housing 3 December 2013 Bill to rein in housing development charges passes first... more
4 Dec 2013 Migration
The typical Kiwi on Census day 2013 was aged 38, earned $28,500 a year, worked in a service job and owned his or her own... more
4 Dec 2013 Travel & Tourism
Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia are seen as the world's most corrupt countries while Denmark and New Zealand are nearly ... more
5 Dec 2013 Rugby
The All Blacks, Kieran Read and Steve Hansen enjoyed a fitting conclusion to their perfect season when they were recognised at... more
5 Dec 2013 Motor Sport
epay Silver Fern Rally Media Release4 December 2013 – Immediate release Entries Open As epay Silver Fern Rally Takes... more
5 Dec 2013 Column
Column - Gordon Campbell Gordon Campbell on John Banks, and blogging’s merits by Gordon Campbell It is hard to feel ... more
4 Dec 2013 Column
Column - Gordon Campbell Gordon Campbell on New Zealand’s PISA education rankings by Gordon Campbell Perhaps a bit more... more
2 Dec 2013 People
Universal College Of Learning Media Release Monday 2 December 2013 UCOL salutes its Top Scholars UCOL Bachelor of Nursing... more
29 Nov 2013 Recruitment
Article - BusinessDesk Unemployment to hit 4% by 2021, says MBIE Nov. 29 (BusinessDesk) – Job growth and higher... more