This Saturday 21 April is the final of the six round 2012 Jetpro jet sprint championship season.
It is being held at the Tauherinikau race course J&S Aquatrack, 4.5km north of Featherston in the Wairarapa.
The championship is contested across three classes: Suzuki Superboat (unlimited engine capacity/configuration), Whitepointer Boats Group A (up to 6.7litre 600horsepower) and Jetpro Lites (up to 6.7litre, cast iron engine block with standard carburettor producing 500horsepower).
Each aluminium hull boat is propelled by a water jet unit. The boats often exceed 100km/h on the narrow short course consisting of turns and brief straights. Acceleration from 0-100km/h is typically under 3.5sec with a G-force of 2-4 (depending on size and power of the boat). Lateral cornering forces exceed 4 in either direction, with the frequent shifting amounting to a total of 8 under full race conditions.
The multi-configuration course is contested from memory by the driver with the navigator to affirm they are heading in the right direction. There are no navigational markers.
Each crew gets four qualifying runs before entering elimination heats, starting with top-12. That gets cut to the eight fastest, then down to five and the three fastest then run off for the podium positions.
Each run takes on average 50seconds.
Winning the last five rounds and setting fastest time outright, Wanganui's husband and wife team of Leighton and Kellie Minnell lead the Suzuki Superboat category by a nearly insurmountable 20 points over fellow local Rob Coley.
Taupo's Reg and Julie Smith have a one point lead in the Whitepointer Boats Group A over Hamilton's Sam Newdick. Smith has three round wins to Newdick's two.
Whangarei's Denis and Steve Crene have ten point lead over Piopio's Brett Thompson and Megan Brodie after Thompson dropped from title grasp at the last round held under lights near Wanganui.
Popular with spectators due to the high action and adrenaline nature of the racing, there are frequent highlights when the boat and crew don't quite get things right.
Family friendly: Enjoyed by the whole family, it is often used as an excuse for a day out with groups packing a picnic using the boat racing as entertainment in the foreground.
Gates for public access open at 11am. Adults are $20, children 5-15years $10 and family groups $50.
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