Caughey second in World SuperBoat championship

Peter Caughey and his navigator, Shama Putaranui, pushed eventual winner Glen Head hard in the earlier elimination rounds.

Peter Caughey and his navigator, Shama Putaranui, pushed eventual winner Glen Head hard in the earlier elimination rounds.

Defending World SuperBoat champion Peter Caughey is philosophical about handing the title trophy over to rival Glen Head. After all, at least a Kiwi won – and in a Sprintec boat Caughey built.

“From where we started and where we were last night, with engine gremlins with the fuel pump and the boat not really dialled into the track, to where we raced today with a healthy motor, good fuel pressure, and able to put in respectable lap times that put us in the top two… We could so easily have had a really challenging final up against Glen, as we did last week.”

But in the event Caughey ran a touch wide in the top eight elimination round, touched the bank, and it was all over. “I wanted to find a bit more width, for a faster, better line heading into the top five and three. But where I thought there was enough water there wasn’t, it was skinny, the boat slid further than anticipated and I touched land. It flicked the boat straight, and it hit the other bank: I gave it a go to recover, but the tail was down too much – if it had landed flat, we’d have had half a chance.”

Even the crowd was disappointed. Lap times earlier in the day from the likes of Richard Burt and top multi-Australian champion Phonsy Mullan had promised a cut-throat final.

But the track caught a few out – “At a track like this you need a lot of boat control and a lot of discipline, and all your ducks in a row, and it can still turn pear-shaped.”

On a happy note, “You have to take your hat off and congratulate Dave Simmons and his navigator, John Berry. Second place at a world round, and not in the most expensive SuperBoat out there – great guys, friendly dudes, and to see them come through and get such a great result is heartening, I’m rapt for them.”

And there was good news for Caughey, too. “Yes, the two winning boats, one from each class, are new Sprintecs less than six months old.”

“It’s a big congrats to Rick Burke and his navigator, Alf Kil, in the Group A Sprintec, and of course to Glen Head in the SuperBoats and his navigator, Darren Todd. If we can’t win, at least our boats did.”

Caughey said that overall it’s been a hugely successful event, “The grandstands were packed, the crowd has been awesome, very responsive, ENZED got involved and had all their corporate people along, and of course it’s a big thumbs up to the NZ Jetsprint association for all the effort they put in to make this event so successful.”

Caughey said, “I’m obviously gutted for my crew, who put a huge amount of effort in, as the defending champion there’s always the expectation, which comes with some pressure. I have a really young crew but they’ve risen to the challenge. Maybe I’m biased, but they deserved a better result, and they’ll be hungry to prove that’s the case in the future.”

Speaking of which, it’s a month to the next round of the New Zealand champs and the boat should be ready to race by then, “so now we turn our focus totally to the New Zealand title.”

ENZED UIM Jetsprint World Championship
SuperBoat top 3 overall

1 Glenn Head (NZ)
2 Peter Caughey (NZ)
3 Aaron Hansen (NZ)

New Zealand Jetsprint Championship season

28 February 2016 New Plymouth – a new track, NZ round 3
13 March 2016 Hastings, round 4
9 April 2016, Wanganui (under lights) round 5
24 April, Featherston, round 6 (final)