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Cure Kids CREDIT: Greg Olesen
Expresso CREDIT: Greg Olesen
The Auckland and Mt Maunganui crews of superboat ‘Cure Kids’ and super 60 class boat ‘Expresso Engineers’ have won the two offshore powerboat races run today in Wellington Harbour.
For Tony Coleman, Auckland, and Chris Handley, Mt Maunganui, in ‘Cure Kids’, this was their first-ever 100-mile race win in Wellington and their first win this season against the normally dominant ‘Fairview Windows & Doors’ crew of Ted Taiatini, Rotorua, and Warren Lewis, Auckland.
These two superboats have raced virtually side-by-side all season with some spectacular racing as a result, said Rayglass New Zealand offshore powerboat series commentator Jamie McCarthy.
“Today ‘Cure Kids’ had the advantage of a clean, trouble-free run in pretty flat conditions on Wellington Harbour while ‘Fairview’ dropped two laps after suffering problems with a water pump hose. This gave Scott Lewis, brother of Warren, and Murray Tuffin in ‘A1 Homes’ the opportunity to go through for second place,” said McCarthy. ‘A1 Homes’ is the superboat, formally called ‘Fairview Windows’, in which the two Lewis brothers finished third in last year’s championship. Having raced together in the new ‘Fairview Windows’ for the first two rounds this year, the brothers decided to also bring their older boat back into the competition.
There was plenty more excitement in the 100-mile race with a great battle between the superboat lite craft ‘Doosan’ and ‘Rayglass’, added McCarthy.
“Aucklanders Sam Filmore and Cary Gleeson had ‘Doosan’ out in front for virtually the whole race, but Wellington driver and defending class champion Kelly Smith, with father Grant co-driving in ‘Rayglass’, was no more than eight boat lengths behind the whole way. Then a mechanical gremlin struck again, causing issues for ‘Doosan’ and allowing the well-positioned ‘Rayglass’ to take the class win and third overall in the 100-miler.”
Amongst the smaller boats contesting the 60-mile race, another Auckland crew, Mike Gerbic and Haydn Mearns in ‘Expresso Engineers’ had their first-ever race win from only their fourth start.
“With Hamilton’s Jeff Weake at the helm of ‘Konica Minolta’ due to regular driver Greg Brinck being unable to race due to a personal matter, Weake and regular co-driver Eldon Archer, Auckland, led the whole 60-mile race. Again, the second placed boat, in this case ‘Express Engineers’ stayed within just a few boat lengths the entire way. Gerbic and Mearns lunged for and took the lead in the closing stages of the race for a well-deserved win,” said McCarthy.
Amongst the popular Formula Honda class, current class leader ‘Building Solutions’ driven by Aucklanders Mike Knight and Shannon Thickpenny was dominant to take a start-to-finish class win and fifth place overall in the 60-mile race.
“Amazingly, the second-placed Formula Honda ‘Auckland District Collections2’, driven by Whangaparaoa’s Mike Urquhart and Darren Woods made the race start by just four minutes after forgetting some critical parts and having to dash all over Wellington to finish their pre-race preparation,” added McCarthy.
‘Fairview Windows’ leads the 100-mile series by just 27 points from ‘Cure Kids’, while ‘Konica Minolta’ has a 100-point lead over ‘Expresso Engineers’ in the 60-mile series. The Rayglass NZ Offshore Powerboat Championship heads to Whitianga next on Saturday 4 April, before the two final rounds, Whangarei on 18 April and Auckland on 2 May.
100-mile race result
Tony Coleman (Auckland)/Chris Handley (Mt Maunganui) ‘Cure Kids’ 1, Scott Lewis (Auckland)/Murray Tuffin (Auckland) ‘A1 Homes’ 2, Kelly Smith (Wellington)/Grant Smith (Wellington) ‘Rayglass’ 3, Sam Filmore (Auckland)/Cary Gleeson (Auckland) ‘Doosan’ 4, Ted Taiatini (Rotorua)/Warren Lewis (Auckland) ‘Fairview Windows & Doors’ 5
60-mile race result
Mike Gerbic (Auckland)/Haydn Mearns (Auckland) ‘Expresso Engineers’ 1, Jeff Weake (Hamilton)/Eldon Archer (Auckland) ‘Konica Minolta’ 2, Mike Cameron (Auckland)/Dennis Vivash (Auckland) ‘Holsam’ 3, Tim Fellows (Otaki)/ Mark Coburne (Wellington) ‘Stealth’ 4, Mike Knight (Auckland)/Shannon Thickpenny (Auckland) ‘Buildings Solutions’ 5
100-mile championship points
1, Ted Taitini (Auckland) ‘Fairview Windows’ 1627
2, Tony Coleman (Auckland) ‘Cure Kids’ 1600
3, Kelly Smith (Wellington) ‘Rayglass’ 990
4, Scott Lewis (Auckland) ‘A1 Doors’ 975
5, Sam Fillmore (Auckland), ‘Doosan’ 788
60-mile championship points
1, Greg Brinck (Auckland) ‘Konica Minolta’ 1700
2, Mike Gerbic (Auckland) ‘Expresso Engineers’ 1300
3, Mike Cameron (Auckland) ‘Holsam’ 1075
4, Mike Knight (Auckland) ‘Building Solutions’ 934
5, Mike Urquhart (Whangaparaoa) ‘Auckland District Collections #2’ 874