Waitaki River takes its turn as host of jet-boat marathon

The heat was on yesterday at the Waitaki River, and it may not be the last visit to the waterway this week.

The New Zealand jet-boat marathon, which had started last weekend on Lake Wanaka, converged on the Waitaki River yesterday.

Tom Kelly charges along the Waitaki River yesterday. PHOTOS: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
Tom Kelly charges along the Waitaki River yesterday. PHOTOS: STEPHEN JAQUIERY

There were three legs on the river, going between the State Highway 1 bridge and Kurow.

Speed was of the essence, the turbine-powered boats leading the way.

Mike Pooley, of Kaikoura, leads the way in the race after yesterday’s racing, although John Derry is only a couple of minutes behind, and Roger Preston third.

Dairy farmer Greg Wilson, of Wangaloa, near Balclutha, relaxes between legs of the Waitaki River...
Dairy farmer Greg Wilson, of Wangaloa, near Balclutha, relaxes between legs of the Waitaki River raceday during the NZ jet-boat river racing championships.

The river was running reasonably high at 400cumecs, which made for some good times.

Wangaloa dairy farmer Greg Wilson piloted his boat well in his class and said he was enjoying the event. He had won his class on mainly the same rivers when the world jet-boat marathon took place in 2017, he said.

Today is a rest day for the drivers and boats, and the action is scheduled to move to the Rakaia River tomorrow and the Waimakariri River on Friday. There are 19 boats lining up.

However, heavy rain in the Southern Alps and West Coast may lead to the Rakaia River flooding and it not being suitable for racing.

Turbine-powered jet-boats prepare to start the second leg of yesterday’s action of the New...
Turbine-powered jet-boats prepare to start the second leg of yesterday’s action of the New Zealand Jet Boat marathon. From front to back are the boats driven by: John Derry, Mike Pooley and Roger Preston.

The race would then head back to Waitaki River for another spell on the waterway.

The event has already raced on Lake Wanaka, the Upper Clutha and the Matukituki River.

The marathon was originally set to be raced in March, but was cancelled 10 days before the country went into lockdown.

Most entrants had come back to the event more than six months later.

Add a Comment

drivesouth-pow-classic-2.png

 

Advertisement

postanote_header_620_x_80.png

postanote_620_x_25.jpg

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter