Monday, 15 December 2008

SPRINT 10-08, Meremere, Sun 14 Dec 08

The last race day for the season was a busy one with the best turnout of Predators for months and some of the V8s coming down to get the last chance for testing before their racing starts in the new year.

It was good to see some of the Preds turn up and blow the cob webs off and hopefully they will continue to show up next year.

With so many drivers and the big line up of V8s it was going to be a busy day so it was straight into racing.

We managed one run each in the Black Boat before she decided that she didn’t want to play any more and sulked in the corner to await an overhaul over the holiday break. Many thanks to Ree and Kerry for the use of their boats to get us through the day!

The day brought a few land claims with the usual suspects including myself- you quickly discover how differently the boats handle - some more forgiving than others. Great to see Mal and the RSQKRU getting in some practice for the World Series race, our land claims have never been so professionally managed.

The day went extremely well and everyone got through their runs quickly. Den and Ree took their usual 1st and 2nd place. I managed to come 3rd, driving the unfamiliar P9. It just supports the concept of Predator racing - warm hearts, and evenly matched boats, not deep pockets.

Ryan and Alison made the most of their last day racing, coming 5th and 6th respectively. Sheila pulled off of a very respectable 7th place - her first time getting through to the top 10 (albeit in P9!!) and took out 1st Handicap and 2nd lady for the season. Not bad considering she’d never driven a boat before June!

Mal took the opportunity to take P1 for a skid and showed great promise, coming 1st in handicap for the day. Congrats to Den and Ree first and second (again) and Greg taking third place. Den had the honour of 1st place in the new Pensioner category!!

Cam, El Presidente, had a distracted day with the shiny new Extreme lying in wait for him at the end of the Predator racing. Mal and crew got to test out their rescue techniques when Cam tried to turn Extreme into a Bobcat and reshape the bank on the back straight. Thankfully neither Cam nor Sandy were hurt - only pride and Extreme’s paint job!

After prize giving everyone tucked into the feast of goodies, indulged in a few drinks and enjoyed the Pred Christmas party with the distribution of secret Santa presents. Farewells were made with best wishes to Alison, Ryan and family, off to their new life in Aussie.

Must have had something to do with the Christmas spirit but the Dork of the Day went unawarded. Surprisingly no one volunteered to take it home - funny that!!

I hope everybody has a great Christmas and a safe New Year; hopefully many of you can make it down to Meremere for the World Series V8s to support Cam in 44 Extreme - Go Team Extreme!!! (Just keep it in the water, eh Cam, or should that be “Bobcat” Jones???)

See you all in the New Year


Sunday, 9 November 2008

Sprint 9-08 - 9 Nov 08 - Meremere

Sunday 9th November

I came fifth over all!!!
Day dawned really bright, should we take a jacket? Yes its Meremere. Get there early to mend the boat, first time we’ve been the first there! Then the black boat arrived (cant remember all the boat numbers, sorry)
One armed bandit and plastered put Simon out but Greg and Sheila good to go. Den and Ree, Cam and Kath, the 4 of us, Roger and Wayne and Steven. I was offered the use of the blue boat so evened up the numbers in the boats, and I would like to thank you very much.
Did I mention I came 5th over all???
Andrew tried on several occasions to break the purple peril but Martin on hand to sort that out. Ryan tried to sink the boat by not putting the bungs in!!
Oh, I came 5th over all and second lady.
The newly painted 5p boat had a few problems but did eventually get going. Kerry did come after all and the terrible two where back in the boat together with discussions about finishing as they started by rolling the boat!!! They nearly succeeded.
A few of us found the new tires and how good they are secured in the track. A few different angles needed to try and get round.
Forgot to mention I came 5th over all, probably due to the co driver, but I came 5th over all.
Den and Ree, for reasons known only to themselves, liked the same tire and decided that their co driver should see how cold the water was and believe me it was very cold when it goes straight down your back.
Just because Ryan was being beaten by his mother he decided to drive a blinder on his last lap just to keep the record straight, and probably because he had to get out and push the boat a couple of times and needed to vent his frustration at having to get his feet wet.
A good time had by all and the usual suspects up front and in the lead, but I don’t think I mentioned I got into the top 5 and came 5th over all.
See you all at our xmas sprint and don’t forget to bring your goodies.


Monday, 20 October 2008

Sprint 8-08 - Sun 19 Oct 08 - Tuakau on the River

Honesty is the best Policy.
When I awoke Sunday morning feeling lethargic it wasn’t because of a hangover. Honest! Half way to Tuakau I realised the “Trophy” had been left at home, so Den and I decided we wouldn’t mention it till the end of the day. We arrived at Tuakau where all the usual suspects were getting their boats organised for the day’s sprint. P5 has had a complete makeover, losing its yellow sub look, to a spectacular silver and blue regalia, a definite change for the better. Cam was out on the water setting up the buoys. P9 was put in the water, and by the time I’d tied the boat further up the shoreline, Greg took great delight in telling me he knew about the trophy. So much for Den saying I won’t tell anyone hon, honestly!
With briefing out of the way, Ryan and I ran the gauntlet and sorted ourselves out with the recon. Because the weather was good to us, there were a few fizz boats taking advantage of the sunshine, so caution was needed as huge wakes were occasionally thrown through the course.
At one stage Rodger anointed himself with Waikato water, and when Den shouted “Abort! Abort!” Rodger must have thought he said “That buoy, that buoy!” because he soldiered on to complete the run with a boat full of water, and the pair of them were drowned rats when they came ashore. I felt sorry for them though. Honest!
Cam kept losing sight of one of the buoys, but he still eventually managed a top five finish. It was always there, Cam, honest!
Wayne and Steve battled it out all day between themselves, see-sawing their times with each run. Wayne considerately goofed the final to let his sidekick beat him, so Steve took out second place for handicap. Honest!
Sheila, your driving is getting a lot more aggressive and first overall in handicap is only the beginning. Don’t let those two other drivers of the boat deter you - they are beatable. Honest!
Ryan had a little difficulty adjusting to P9, so lets hope we can get P13 back on the water for the next sprint. He’s too good now to be allowed to shoot it out for the Handicap (when you get to over 95%, you’re not eligible any more). Honest!
A well deserved win went to Den, whose times were pretty consistent all day, in spite of his drenching. (Honest I suppose!)
Greg was improving with each run, (having never done a river sprint before) but in the final when he tried an “all out”, he very sportingly gave second to Simon, who managed a superb final run to finally beat Greg in his own boat.
I also very sportingly purposely “fluffed” my final, to let others take some glory. Honest!
I purposely didn’t bring the Overall Trophy, so one of us could take it back home. Honest!
But I didn’t really mean to bring the DoD trophy home as well, even if it was sabotagedly given to Den mainly by the sly Greg and even slyer Cam.

Watch out at the next sprint, guys ‘n’ gals!

Someone else is gonna get the dreaded DoD. Honest!

Again, thanks to Kathy for the timing, and putting on the eats at the end of the day. You didn’t have to go to all that trouble. Honest!



Sunday, 14 September 2008

SPRINT 7-08 - 14 Sep 08, Meremere

Sorry guys and girls……I will not be mentioning names because I can’t remember any of them (had my work cut out remembering the rotation).

Not going to talk about the results because I don’t care (OK I came Last!) What I’m going to talk about is my day, the fun I had and the butt kicking dished out to me by a “predator”. I see why the little beasts are called predators now.

It’s to do with their ability to lay on their trailer in-wait for some unsuspecting green horn Group “A” driver with little respect, to climb aboard thinking how hard can it be and that’s when it turns into a “predator”!

I was feeling a little lonely for the first few rounds being the only one getting bank time until a few of you more experienced pilots started to show a little less respect for your craft than you should and join me on the bank - that brought a smile to my face!

I was pretty apprehensive driving back to the launch ramp after my first “off” as Cam sat waiting for me to bring his beloved “mini me” back in one piece but when I saw his face I realized he was more interested in seeing one of us V8 boys get whipped. I must say I understand what that feels like now as I watched an “unnamed” super boat pilot get lured in to the “M-Sprint” a little later on in the day. Let’s just say he had issues.

I would have to recommend that all V8 boys may like to humbly ask a predator owner for the opportunity to polish their skills - I learnt more in one run in a predator than I had all season in my group A boat. So if any of you other predator owners would like to make a fool of me, I would be only to happy to drive (crash) your rig. Big thanks to Doug for inviting me over for the day and to Cam for letting me crash (I mean drive his boat). It would be a real hoot to see some of the front running V8 boys go “toe to toe” with the predator crowd but they would need to lay off the pies.

One special mention “DORK OF THE DAY” - Greg if you can’t park a predator on the trailer how the hell are you going to park your fire breathing super boat.

Cheers Grass Cutter

Monday, 11 August 2008

SPRINT 6-08, Sun 10 Aug 08, Meremere

After weeks of storms and floods the weather gods finally got their act together and after a very frosty start turned on an absolute pearler of a day.

The drive down through the Waikato to the course was rather sobering seeing so many paddocks still well and truly flooded after the storms and getting to the course was a little challenging to say the least, with 4-wheel drives being the best option to cope with the flooded road and carpark.
We tried coming down the hill, possibly not recommended in a Commodore, towing a boat!
Nick made an early claim for an award for the “Best Presented Boat”, dripping with mud inside and out. Oh dear - an early bath for P14.

Today though, marked the return of P10, the legendary “Black Boat”.

During the last after race BBQ at Meremere in May, Simon and I heard that there was a Predator for sale. We were both very impressed by the concept of Predator racing and the warm friendly group of people we'd met.
Buying P10 wasn't a hard decision and after a few conversations with Greg and Doug, P10 arrived in our driveway. The winter has passed in a blur of cold, late nights in the garage slaving over P10 stripping, cleaning, polishing and rebuilding the boat with the fantastic assistance of Greg.
We had heard so much about P10, how she used to be the fastest boat and we were keen to see how she performed.

Not only was P10 on trial, it was my first day driving on the track and I was as nervous as I was excited. So different to the river - no eels to worry about - just clay banks, tight turns and Baldy! All sorts of opportunities to put in a land claim. I made my first one on my recon run - good to get it out of the way early and reassuring to see many of the more experienced drivers park up over the course of the day!

For some it was a day of technical challenges. Cam and P1 were plagued with problems, first the carburettor, then some unidentified flying underwater object made its way into the impellor and made a real mess. P9 lost a bolt and dropped its bucket leaving Ree and Den without a reverse gear for the rest of the day. Cam tried the theory that it was P9's bolt that wrecked the impellor but something about the laws of physics, mass of metal and water put paid to that one. Good try though!

Racing was competitive with some great times being posted. It was great to see some new drivers and navigators coming through. Rodger took to the track for the first time with Doug navigating. Andrew had a good run, just pipping Alison in P13 to take out first place in the handicap. For a wee while Ree has been in a limited pool for the ladies section and although there are a few ladies driving now we all have a long way to go to be competitive with such an outstanding driver.

Greg's Group A boat is undergoing a metamorphosis into a Superboat (more nights in the garage-just ask to see the baby photos!) but he kept in touch with the track as my navigator, tolerating a very pedestrian round. My excuse is that I was working on my lines and concentrating on getting to know the track!
Den, as usual took 1st place in P9, but both Doug and Greg, 2nd and 3rd respectively posted their fastest times in P10. Don't worry Cam; Simon now knows what it feels like to be beaten in your own boat!
Doug had brought down the MSprint and several drivers took it for a drive. Nick took Julie out on the track for a spin and she was so impressed she used words that Nick didn't even know that she knew!

So how was “the Return of the Black Boat” - did P10 perform to expectations?

It had been a long day and the planned thrust testing was abandoned but the boats were all measured on a GPS timed run down the back straight with P10 coming out the fastest at 68.5. Good to see the old girl back, performing well and looking good. She'll look better after a repaint (even more nights in the garage), but we are going to wait till the end of the season and for me to stop putting dents in her.

There were many contenders for the prestigious Dork of the Day award; Nick for his early morning Mud Run, Amy for nearly forgetting to return the award-she was obviously very attached to it, plenty of land claims to choose from, Den for trying to pull the boat out minus the trailer. Cam nearly scored the award for the number of times he spilled his beer during the prize giving. The award finally went to a highly deserving Den for trying to complete a run on vapour!

Lastly, a huge round of thanks to Cam's daughter Amy for her fantastic work on the timing all day. Enjoyable in the morning sun but ooh - once that southerly picked up in the afternoon. Brrrr….

Look forward to seeing you all in September …..


Sunday, 8 June 2008

SPRINT 5-08 - 8 Jun 08 - Tuakau on the River

I recently joined the predator jetsprint club. Certainly an exciting experience for someone who has never driven a boat before. I was aware there was a prestigious award handed out each month. I'd heard of the "Dork of the Day" award and was in awe of the stories for the award winning performances that had happened in the past and some I recently bore witness to, which seemed even more grand than the stories passed down from the experienced crowd - I guess you had to be there.

On Sunday 8th June I was not to know that I too would fall in this category... Although when reviewing the dictionary meaning for Dork (Somehow I think I was born without that appendage) but to be an honorary member was a prestigious moment. A Girl's gotta do what a Girl's gotta do... I guess.

This months Predator Jetsprint Club day was held at the Tuakau bridge, down by the boat ramp. It was a clear beautiful day although we were all ready for turbulent weather as per the warnings of our resident "Rain Dancer" Campbell who lives on the hill. Well maybe his fortune marbles had been demagnetised this week... but the water was glassy, the wind was still, and the boats were ready. It all looked good.

Today's circuit was on the river. The buoys marked out the course and the paper handouts were delivered after the drivers briefing. For the newbie's and drivers who had just joined this season this was a new experience and a chance to practice our lines or at least survive. No clay banks to worry about at least.

The recon run was a good chance to experience what water does when not trapped in a jetsprint track. Basically on the Meremere track you stuff up and you end up on the bank... Here it was more like you end up on the riverbed chatting with the eels. But the day didn't not bring any of that into the mix although the drivers of P19 looked like they were going for it on some corners!

A Blog would not be complete without a short recap of the drivers performance:
Simon and Sheila (who have recently bought P10) came along. Sheila got in to it with first time driving and did fantastic job of those corners in P1! Simon did really well and managed to beat Cam's time in Cam's boat (which didn't go down too well at all - you should have heard the griping and grumbling)

Den managed to pip Nick at the post with half an second lead in the top5 who also had the fastest time of the day of 63.5sec plus took out the season number one spot - well done!
Doug had a superb time with his new Mercury Boat masterpiece doing as I recall (when I timed it) a 51 on the same circuit not to mention a respectable title of third in the predator class.
Ree... There's a reason your at the top in the ladies... You drive like a mad woman and I was proud to be your navigator... Not that you needed my direction. Ree you navigated for me and I must say your hand signals were way more understandable that some people who will remain nameless...
Josh and Kirsten as navigator had a brilliant run and came 5th only 3 seconds behind the FTD.
Cam...who ditched me as the navigator for Simon...Yes it's called karma... came 6th... maybe there was something in it?
P13 got a work out with the skills of Ryan, Alison and Andrew who also navigated for Den in the winning boat.
Rodger managed to knock off over 10 seconds off his original timed run on his cut off time - absolutely fantastic improvement!
Now the boys in p19... I have never met you before, however I must say I was halfexpecting to witness a sinking of a boat. But in true style you guys narrowly (yet skilfully) managed to avoid that disaster. No... I am not available to navigate for you.

Now onto to what you've all been waiting for... How I earned the prestigious award of "Dork of the Day": We all know that I have been single for quite some time now... However my luck was about to change this day. As on my top 10 run I was astounded to learn that I had picked up two boys... Not one but two! However it wasn't meant to be... These fellas weren't really my type, a bit portly, didn't really have much to say, sat on their bums and drifted about all day (which is not very attractive and certainly not my thing).... Ah yes not to mention bloody great big sash weights tethered to the end of their ropes! (sorry about the puns!)

Yes you guessed it! I had picked up inadvertently the starter Buoy (we didn't notice) and the number 5 buoy (which we did notice) and they preceded to become needy, jealous and controlling by wrapping their ropes around each others and around the skeg on the bottom of the boat. Can't stand it when Buoys fight over a woman. Needless to say I gave them the flick. Girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do... I guess.

It was an awesome day, we all had a great time, Thanks Cam for having us all up at your place for the prize giving (fantastic view). To all who helped out on the day with timing, co-ordination, and preparations, it was enjoyed by all!

I look forward to handing on this prestigious award in August 2008 to another deserving candidate!
Take care everyone and see you next time.

What's Coming Up?

  • CONFIRMED DATES for 2014 Series 2
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