IT ALL STARTED IN NEW ZEALAND …
Jetsprinting is a sport which originated here in New Zealand back in 1981 by a group of enthusiastic jetboaters. The sport quickly caught the attention of the NZ public, and before long our National Championship was established.
Jetsprinting could be likened to rallying, only on water, where a driver and navigator manoeuvre a high powered jetsprint boat at incredible speeds around a track consisting of a maze of channels and islands in a particular sequence. The tracks are roughly the size of a rugby field, with the majority now purpose built permanent tracks, with launch ramps and safety fences. There is only one boat in the track at a time, the driver and navigator are racing the clock.
There are 4 classes within the sport, Group B, LS Class, Group A and Superboat.
The sequence is called a rotation which the drivers and navigators are given prior to race day to learn. The crews must follow the numbers in the correct sequence to achieve a timed run. If they go the wrong way then they have the opportunity to return to where they went wrong and finish the run correctly. If this is not done and the rotation has not been completed correctly then they receive a DNF (Did Not Finish) and no time is given for the run due to a navigational error. If they do not record a time in the quaifying rounds they do not get to continue through to the eliminations. Each boat has a transponder mounted on their roll cage to record their times, if they have forgotten to put their transponder on then it is an automatic DNF and they have no time recorded for that run. The rotation for the day will generally consist of around 25-30 numbers taking around 60 seconds to complete but by the end of the day it will have been reduced to approximately 45 seconds by the superboats.
Jetsprinting uses the elimination format where the racers have 4-5 high speed runs at the course to qualify. Once qualifying is completed their best time is selected from all of the qualifying rounds to find the top 9 who will continue racing that day. From here they are eliminated and previous times are no longer relevant. The top 9 will cut to a top 6, and finally to the top 3 where the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place getters are found, it is only these three who receive trophies. Points are allocated to each competitor according to their placing in the round, these points are added after the completion of the series to find the overall winner, the series consists of 6 rounds creating the New Zealand Jetsprint Championship.