An official's boat on Lake Dunstan is dwarfed by the shower of spray from hydroplane The Boss, driven by Raymond Hart, of Christchurch. Photo by Lynda van Kempen.
Mallard ducks shared their "pond" with a host of
super-charged craft at the weekend as 34 boats, including
Formula 1 and hydroplanes, went through their paces
The Lake Dunstan Boat Club two-day regatta attracted boats
and their drivers from all over the country, with South
Island titles for Formula 1, Grand Prix and hydroplanes at
stake on Saturday and mixed field racing yesterday.
Racing took place near Old Cromwell and hundreds of
spectators turned up to view the action. Several pairs of
ducks paddled nearby on the lake, seemingly unperturbed by
the noise and the wake from the racing boats.
Race convener Peter Crowle said it was a great warm-up to the
national power boat championships, which will be held on Lake
Dunstan for the first time at Easter next year.
"Cromwell's popular because the weather's so settled here.
We've never had to cancel or postpone racing because the
water's too rough, " he said.
A variety of craft took part, ranging from 25hp boats in the
"feeder" class for younger drivers, to two turbine jet-boats,
tunnel boats and F1 boats.
"Some can go from 0-100 miles [160km] in four seconds.
There's a lot of money spent here and tied up here, and
they're highly-tuned machines," Mr Crowle said.
Seven Cromwell drivers were racing and there was also a
dedicated band of volunteers behind the scenes helping to
host the event - "we're a small club but we've got a great
bunch of volunteers".
The event would also be impossible to host without the
co-operation of the St John medical staff, he said.