Ten GP hydroplanes are expected to be the stars of the show as the third race in the Hydro Thunder race series takes place at Lake Rotoiti on February 29 and March 1.
The ENZED Rotoiti Power Boat Club Regatta has been a popular addition to the sporting calendar and club spokesman Joe Blakiston said this year’s line-up was particularly impressive with several new drivers and boats taking part in the GP series, in preparation for next year’s world championships which are to be held in New Zealand.
As always the Lupton family will be strong contenders with Ken Lupton driving LUCAS Oils GP577 currently ahead in the tightly-contested series. GP 77 Miss New Zealand lies second at this stage, driven by Canadian speed merchant Scott Liddycoat with former NZ champions Jack Lupton, Scott Coker and David Alexander also well in contention for the series honours.
South Island support will be behind GP273, Lady Liz driven by Southlander Jason Haggerty.
A full weekend of racing will be on offer at Lake Rotoiti across several classes. Formula 1 tunnel boat racer and current New Zealand champion Julian Stilwell is racing to fix his engine in time for the regatta which will also feature racing in runabouts, inboards and the popular clubman classes.
Blakiston says they are fortunate to have the support of DoC and the Rotoiti community and reminded people that racing started at 10am each day, with no dogs or drones allowed in the national park.