After 4 rounds of chasing Hi Jinx Racing around the race course we have finally come away with the much elusive 1st place in Superboat 400
We have said all season, the only reason we were chasing Hi Jinx was due to our unusual weather conditions – we are set up for Offshore Racing, but have been playing in Circuit Racing conditions.
Ramada Resort in Taipa Bay were our host’s for this event and what an amazing job they did. The location was incredible and the resort put on a fantastic event, complete with live music and great food. If you are looking for a place to stay which has great food and service in an absolutely stunning location, then try Ramada Resort in Taipa – we definitely recommend them.
Our saving grace was the race start time which was all due to the tides - Kick off was scheduled for 2pm and the forecast was for a 15knot S/E breeze, now we were excited.
All morning we looked out over Doubtless Bay waiting for our conditions to kick in – and we waited – and we waited !!!
By 1pm we had to make a call on which props to run, and given the sea state was “as per usual” (FLAT) the big props went on and our heads went down.
Lucky for us the tide was still too low for the biggest boat to launch – thank you FMI Racing – and the race was delayed to a 3pm start.
Chris and Karl took NZHL #16 out to the milling area on Doubtless Bay with not much in the way of expectations, but luck was on our side and the breeze filled in a little more to a fairly solid 7-8 knots down the back straight. This may not sound like much but the key for us was it was on the back straight which was the longest leg of the course (5kms long) and the wind was on the nose, in simple terms this equates to lift – and lift equals speed.
Off the start Chris and Karl had to practically push their way through the fleet, but managed to get a good start and the all-important jump on Hi Jinx Racing.
The breeze on the back straight created just enough lift to make NZHL #16 competitive again and the boys quickly pulled out a 100mtr lead which they managed to hold for the entire race.
The great thing for us during this season is the opportunity to race against Hi Jinx Racing and therefore determine where we need to improve and confirm where our strengths are.
For us the day was confirmation of what the boys have been saying in their TV interviews – we are not set up for dead flat water and we have no intention of going down that path.
We can (and will) extract more speed from NZHL #16 but not at the expense of rough water driveability.
As we saw with D&H Steel when Max and Jamie crashed and sunk their boat causing a red flag and ending the race prematurely – You can be fast in the flat, but seas conditions change and they can catch out even the best crews. The great news is Max and Jamie were cleared by Kaitia Hospital and although very sore the boys were able to join us in the evening to shore their story.
Their Race Boat may be a write off, but these two boys are still here to race again.
Next Round is in Napier on the 22nd April – A venue which is Never Flat ?