PSP NZ Jetsprint titles decided on tricky Wanaka track
A tricky rotation for the 2022/23 PSP NZ Jetsprint Championship’s final round at the Novus Glass Aquatrack in Wanaka challenged the teams as they battled for top honours.
The first 10 boats went the wrong way and many others made errors throughout the day, which made the racing even more exciting for the large crowd. There were around 3500 spectators, who turned up on a chilly Saturday morning and stayed on as it turned into a beautiful hot day. A further 11,000 jetsprint fans tuned it to watch the racing via the livestream.
After a couple of big crashes, the organisers were running out of time, so they went from Qual 5 straight into a Top 6 final as the racing needed to finish at 4pm before sunstrike became an issue.
The internationals dominated in this final round and although they did not score championship points, Australian team Daryl Hutton and Mick Parry driving the Broken Arrow superboat took first place.
PSP Racing’s Sam Newdick and navigator Shama Putaranui were leading the championship going into the final round but Newdick was unable to compete due to a family health situation. This opened up the championship race and Wanganui couple Rob and Ange Coley in the Poison Ivy superboat came out on top after finishing second for the day. The win meant a lot to the dedicated duo.
“Our day right from the start brought loads of emotion with a lot going on in our minds. Our thoughts being with our PSP team. Leaving our girls behind. The pressure of the NZ title. The unsettled boat and getting that rotation right. But we got to that podium in the end – finishing up second on the day and
finally getting our first NZ1 title.”
“Fifteen years it’s taken the team to hit this milestone, and it’s been through nothing but passion, determination, dedication, resilience, madness and Rob’s will of not giving up,” the Coleys said in their Poison Ivy Jetsprint Superboat Facebook post.
Palmerston North’s Reuben Hoeksema and Jacob Wood in Turbo Extreme set down a flyer in Qual 2 of 49.695secs, before a big crash in Qual 4 and a DNF in Qual 5. They came out in the top 6 and ended up 4th for the day which meant they jumped to second place in the championship.
Aaron Hansen and Julie-Anne Shanks, of Tauranga, in the Wired superboat made a rotational error Qual 6, which dropped them to third overall for the season.
Sprintec Boats Group A class
North Canterbury couple Si and Sarah Gibbon were fast all day and were out to win on their closest-to-home track and achieved their goal. Mechanical issues at earlier rounds meant their points tally gave them 3NZ for the championship.
Jess Sit, who navigates for the PSP team’s Group A driver Ollie Silverton was ill and unable to compete and as her driver Sam Newdick did not attend, his navigator Shama Putaranui teamed up with Silverton for the day.
Silverton was hoping to notch up another win to take the clean sweep and was pushing hard in Qual 5 when he had a big crash, which ended upside down against the fence. The PSP team worked overtime to get the boat fixed and scrutineered to come back out in the Top 6 final. Silverton gave it everything but second was as high as he could get for the day, although he still clinched the Sprintec Boats Group A overall title.
Hamilton’s Silverton says the day didn’t quite go to plan.
“We lost too much momentum during the day with a rotational error early on, followed by some lawn mowing as the crew refers to it and then our little whoopsie in Qual 5, which required a lot of work for the team to keep us going.”
“Massive thanks to everyone who helped get us back out on the water for the all-in Top 6 and the chance to claim our clean sweep, however it wasn’t to be and we settled for second place by 0.21 of a second. We’re stoked to regain the NZ title, which is all a credit to the team we have helping us,” he says.
Wanganui’s Ross Travers and Amanda Kittow in the Radioactive boat drove hard all day, getting the rotation right to claim second in the PSP championship.
MTW Group B class
In the MTW Group B class, local track knowledge paid off with Southern Jetsprint Club member, Clinton’s Richard Currie and Kymber Kennedy taking home the trophy on the day. They saved their best run for last and smashed out the winning time.
Wairarapa couple Bryce and Kylie Baron were strong all day finishing runner-up for the round and championship.
Tapanui’s Karl Brenssell and navigator Hamish Murray in the On the Hoof boat also mirrored their round and overall results with third placings in both.
Carterton’s Sam Gray and Mike Allen had banked enough points to take the overall championship win.
“We are happy to get the win overall for the championship but we had a shocker at the final round! Hats off to our fellow Group B racers, who all certainly left their best until last. It has been a great season for us overall and we look forward to what next season has for us,” Gray says.
MTW LS class
Napier-based John Verry and navigator Leila Burder struggled with the rotation and were unable to get it right until Qual 5. It meant there were a few nervous fans wondering if they would get the clean sweep of wins from the five rounds. They pulled it together, clinching the deal and taking home the NZ1 title.
Verry says that like many drivers, “we struggled with the rotation for most of the morning but thoroughly enjoyed it once we got the hang of it in the afternoon.”
“Jetsprinting is all about the technical stuff, so ending the season with a strong challenge was awesome. I am very happy with how the boat performed, and very much appreciated the ‘team talks’ and support during race day.”
Owhango youngster Dylan Edhouse drove well – saving his best for last to finish third for the round and move up to second in the championship. Edhouse and his navigating mum Debbie were delighted with the result.
Paddy and Jay Haden, who debuted in this MTW LS class at Waitara, pushed Verry and Burder hard once again to finish up second for the day.
Palmerston North’s LS Express team of Matt Nairn and Josh Gowan were third overall in the championship.
New Zealand Jetsprint Association President Julia Murray says it has been a really challenging season.
“With the way the weather has been and the curveballs it has thrown at us, we have had a rough run of it. We’ve contended with Cyclone Gabrielle and flooding in Meremere, then the ferry issues getting to Wanaka. However, we have managed to get through the season and I want to say congratulations and thanks to all the teams, they have done an awesome job.”
“It has been a great championship with a lot of the class battles going down to the wire at the final round in Wanaka.”
“Thanks also to all the sponsors and all the spectators, because it’s them that enables this PSP Jetsprint Championship to keep happening.”
PSP New Zealand Jetsprint Championship’s 2022/2023 Calendar
19 November 2022: Round One – Hastings Jet Sprint Track, Hastings.
4 December 2022: Round Two – Kiwispan Jet Sprint Track, Featherston.
27 December 2022: Round Three – Shelter View, Wanganui.
18 February 2023: Round Four – Sprint Bowl, Meremere.
4 March 2023: Round Five – Waitara Aquatrack.
8 April 2023: Round Six – Novus Glass Aquatrack, Wanaka.
CAPTIONS – PHOTO CREDITS: JEREMY WARD – SHOT360 PHOTOGRAPHY.