New Zealander John Derry so far leads the 2013 U.I.M World
Championship Jet Boat Marathon at the wheel of his
unlimited class boat, powered by a helicopter jet engine,
photographed on the Clutha River criterium on day two of
the marathon. He and fellow competitors will race on the
Dart River, Glenorchy, today. The chasing boat is driven by
Gord Humphrey, of Canada, who finished second behind Derry
on the Clutha leg. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Kinloch beach should prove a good place for spectators to
watch some high-speed action when crews in the 2013 World
Championship Jet Boat Marathon race on the Dart River today.
The New Zealand champion of the past three years, John Derry,
of Blenheim, will defend his lead against Dale Whiteside, of
Alberta, Canada, who lies in second place and fellow New
Zealander Ben Baxter, of Winton, who is third overall.
They are among 39 teams from Canada, Mexico and New Zealand.
Race organiser Tim Guthrie, of Mosgiel, yesterday said the
marathon had been troubled by a few mechanical failures,
which was just a part of racing, but also by ''appalling''
''We cancelled leg eight on the Waiau River [on Monday
afternoon] for safety reasons because of torrential rain,
high winds, river rising into flood and poor visibility ...
to make sure everybody got off the river safe.''
However, Mr Guthrie predicted the Dart River would be in good
shape for drivers to race the 35km from the Glenorchy boat
ramp up to Beans Burn, with as many as 14 boats on the water
at one time.
The marathon crews will tackle the Matukituki and Clutha
rivers tomorrow. A prizegiving will be at the Golden Gate
Lodge, Cromwell, on Friday night.
Mr Guthrie described the event as ''a huge economy boost''
for Otago and Southland. An estimated $75,000 to $100,000 is
spent daily by teams.
The marathon is sanctioned by the New Zealand Jet Boat River
Racing Association, the New Zealand Power Boat Federation and
the Union Internationale Motonautique, with the support of
the Otago Branch and Southland Branch of Jet Boating New