Dart Engineering Five Rivers Jet Boat Race
31st March - 1st APRIL 2012.
Saturday 31st March
Leg 1: Matukituki River Glendhu Bay to Beech Forest Distance approx 38 km
The day dawned clear and majestic except for a thin fog up the river. Race Controllers Eddie McKenzie and Tim Guthrie, were supported by numerous jet boaters from as far away as Oamaru in various safety roles including Lester Singleton, Regan Williamson and John Derry in a helicopter., the 19 starters were sent away in a mass start 15 mins behind schedule.
Great to see Bonner Anderson back although he was to be tested every inch of the way with numerous little mechanical niggles ending his day up the Matukituki with oil pressure problems, bad luck mate
The blast across the lake saw Roger Preston give the Pooley Bros a fright when he scorched away to lead the field. The Pooleys were to ease back in front and this year rounded the corner 10m off as opposed to the 1000m last time!
It was welcome back to the Sutherland Bros and first time out since the 2010 Marathon. A stuff up at the start line saw them robbed of the chance to stick it to the Pooley’s, so they settled for third off the lake, some twenty seconds later.
The rest of the field settled into run order with the odd story of dead heats at the Matukituki mouth. The rivalry in the new classes was great to see with little separately the newly finished rigs of Aaron Morrison (Second up) and Tony O’loughlin
The river was clear and low having dropped about 50mm since the day before, so the benefits of pre boating were too obvious and particularly so when the fleet ran into fog. Looking down from the chopper the air appeared clear but at water level it was visibility down to 100m and less. Fortunately commonsense prevailed and the racers eased right off and boated to the conditions until the way was clear. Well for most. Stephen Price momentarily robbed of visibility in the weird, sun, fog, shadow conditions took a wrong turn and his weekend ended right there. Further up Paul Collings succumbed charged a little hard so he and Butters burnt off last nites meal. Benn Quinn who having travelled all the way from Tauranga edged his immaculate Kwik KJraft into a back water. Bad luck guys. Paul and Benn both made it to the top Benn with the assistance of a nice big set of rotors above. Unfortunately Roger blocked his cooling system and suffered an over heat which ultimately lead to his withdrawal, on the way back down.
Leg 2: Matukituki River Beech Forest to West Wanaka Bridge
Heading back down the Pooley Bros went off first knowing the record set last year at 10:01 was pretty safe, they were followed by Aaron Morrison, Roger and the Sutherlands. The race controllers sensibly elected to use a rolling start to avoid any safety issues in the shallow pools at the top. Ray Casey in his new CX charger was the first casualty to be joined by Roger and Ben, otherwise everyone had a clean run and headed off to the lake outlet at the top of the Clutha, happy to have the first two races of the season out of the way.
Leg 3: Clutha River, Lake Wanaka Outlet Camp Ramp to Cromwell on Lake Dunstan.
The Clutha was running clear and low. With otherwise perfect conditions no wind and no waves. Elevated observers mused at the Pooleys clean but boring run, they stayed out of trouble all the way down, which means they failed to see 301 crash across the big nasty shelf at the bottom of the Clutha destroying the bottom. No issues with porpoising on the lake! The Sutherland Bros were dialed in and ready to take it to the Pooleys closing right up at the Luggate Bridge but it was not to be. Standout performance went to Tony O for a 30 min run, only a couple of mins off the bigger unlimited boats. The CX boys are into it!
Back in the field the CX and FX boats had a fun run down the Clutha with no further dramas, so a quick didymo and lake weed clean up and it was back to Queenstown and Glenorchy for the evenings prize giving
Compulsory Roll Call and Prize Giving 7.00 pm Sat 31st
There was plenty of good cheer and humour at the prizegiving.
Rob Pooley got cited for overconfidence having “forgotten” to bring the Twin Rivers Trophy which of course he won again this year. So Rob and Mike took out Unlimited Class, Paul Collings and Butters A Class, Aaron Morrison CX, Nick Sullivan B class and Nick McMillan R class. (Two years in a row Nick)
The outlook for Sunday was good but the showers at Glenorchy spooked most drivers that nite. The teams relaxed for a quiet evening at the Glenorchy Lodge supporting our principle sponsor on the Dart River legs the next day.
Sunday 1 April 2012
Leg 4: Dart River Glenorchy to Beansburn.
Sunday dawned crystal clear and calm apart from fog up the river. It soon dissipated and did not cause any issues for start times.
Seeding was as per the rankings off the Clutha so the Pooleys were away first. They were hotly pursued by the Sutherlands who very quickly and to immense disappointment succumbed to an ignition gremlin, later diagnosed as the HT splitter on their MSD ignition.
The Pooley’s put the pressure on and recorded a flyer up pursued by the CX mob all within a min of each other Aaron once again piping the Tim and Tony.
Back in the field and maintaining steady runs Ben Baxter in A class and Jason Young in D class boated sensibly to ensure they were in the still in for overall. As was Dwyane Terry in his new FX boat. He ended up being placed into B class due to low FX numbers but acquitted himself extremely well given the frustrations as he ran the boat up ready for its debut race.
Parking at the top proved a challenge and the Pooleys did the first nuts up crashing onto a bar at Chinamans Bluff. They got going and found a layby up round the corner which fortuiantely accommodated everyone.
Leg 5: Dart River Beansburn to Glenorchy
The start was again a rolling one and thankfully so turning and getting on the plane was a real challenge and caught a couple out. The run down was pretty uneventful for everyone, with Ben Quinn celebrating a clean run up and down on the very demanding Dart River, well done mate.
So with the exception of Johnny and Davey Sutherland everyone celebrated a clean run in perfect conditions on the Dart. Unheard of!! Off to Queenstown for the face off on the lake.
Leg 6&7: Queenstown Bay to Tuckers Beach and Back to the Kawarau Base.
The Mass start in Queenstown Bay is always a crowd pleaser and hard on crews, its all very well getting to that post first getting round the 130 degree corner always throws up its challenges. Amid the spray and waves all made it onto the run for the Kawarau Bridge. The lake surface was very rough in places due to high vessel movements so the Pooley’s were eased off a bit until the yellow nose of the Sutherland boat turned up in the peripheral vision. What the Hell! Game on! Second separated them under the Bridge with Rob doing his best to end for end the boat in the big drop off. Going to slow apparently! They held lead for the rest of the run and made it to the top unscathed, in low clear Shotover River.
Ben Quin clipped a rock on the way up and broke a fuel line away loosing quite a bit without even being aware of it.
He was able to borrow a few litres to get back down
The rest of the field all turned up quite quickly and with a clear river Race starter Temp got us away as soon a possible again with a rolling start. The Pooley’s in preserving their overall position conceded 12 seconds to the Sutherlands handing them the Fastest time of the Rivers for that leg.
It seemed there were thousands of folk out watching waiting for the spills and thrills. Obliging them were Kruse who had had an indifferent weekend but was still there at the end. Who supported by Nick McMillan took the only “shortcut” in the Shotover and parked up together. Very sporting four pushing is better than two.
Thanks to all the guys in the background, Temp, Rusty and co and to all the safety crews. I think the weekend can be summed up as one of the best for a long while, lovely weather, great organization and commonsense approach, epitomized by the guys who stopped to help Stephen Price who I believe did not accept a credit for time given.
So all in all a pretty good start to the Interprovincial Series with everyone in good spirits heading for the Canterbury Race weekend on May Results, times and IP series placings will all be available here on our website.
Make sure the check out the fine photos and video on Face book presented by the one stop jet boat racing shop SSS Engineering.
Face book can be accessed off the RRA site