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Duayne Barry Insley died on Sunday morning while racing at the World Championship Jetboat Marathon.
The accident happened just before 11am at the Waimakariri River and Insley died at the scene.
Racing was brought to a halt, and all racing today had been cancelled as a mark of respect.
In a Facebook post Oregon-based company Epic Motorsports said jet boat racing is a small world.
"Our condolences to the family and friends of CS21 in New Zealand", it said.
"We are thinking of you from across the pond."
Likewise, Jet Boat Racing Mexico shared the news of Insley's death on it's Facebook page, calling the news "so sad".
NZJBRRA spokesman Paul Mullan said event organisers decided in a meeting on Sunday night racing would commence on Tuesday.
"We're putting in an extra leg on the Waitaki on Wednesday in place of the two legs cancelled on Monday", Mullan said.
Today's scheduled course would have gone up and down the Waiau River, as the third day of the week-long world competition held on eight rivers across the South Island.
The New Zealand Jet Boat River Racing Association said Insley was a navigator of the race boat CX21.
In an earlier post on the association's Facebook page Insley was described as one of the group's "family members".
"Details of exactly how the incident happened are still under investigation but it occurred in the braided section of the river about 10 to 15 minutes above the area known as 'the pylons'," it said.
Mullan said no further comment could be made as to how the accident happened.
"The situation from here must be guided by police", he said.
Insley operated a horse-trekking business with his wife, Deana Insley.
On the pair's company website, High Country Horses Deana described Insley as an "awesome man". She described how he proposed to her in Monaco when picking up a trophy for a jet boating world title, which she said was his passion.
"He loves to race jet boats as a sport, having picked up two New Zealand Champion titles plus a World title last year", she said.
Investigations into the accident are ongoing, and were being led by police.