The opportunity to see the rare sight of the best powerboat racers in the country tearing across the water drew large crowds to watch the final round nine of the national championships at Paihia from both water and land on the Sunday of Queen’s Birthday Weekend.
Organisers noted the venue provided amazing weather and a fantastic venue for the last ’round’ of the 2013 national offshore powerboat championships – although with the championships completed no series points were at stake – and noted this was the first time offshore powerboat racing had been seen in Paihia for over a decade.
“With help from various local organisations who had working for the past three months towards this, 17 boats from all over the North Island arrived ready to do battle in the idyllic Bay of Islands.”
As an extra round added to the 2013 series used mostly to promote the sport in the Far North, there were two races held on the day instead of the usual one for all boats, timed over 20 minutes and 40 minutes respectively with a half-hour break in between.
The afternoon spectacle attracted one of the biggest boat-spectator fleets ever seen at an offshore power racing event in New Zealand, while huge numbers lined the Paihia and Waitangi foreshore and watched from the clifftop in front of the Waitangi Treaty-house.
Afterwards, series organisers announced plans to include Paihia in next year’s championship “if possible”. More from the event including results can be found on the NZOPA website.