SuperBoat Champ on the attack at Jetsprint opener

Peter Caughey and Karen Marshall ended last season as Champions Photo: Ian Thornton

New Zealand SuperBoat champion Peter Caughey is as ready as he’ll ever be to defend his New Zealand title when the flag drops at Wanganui’s season-opener on December 27.

The newly-crowned World champion has signed back on with naming sponsor ENZED and with Trojan and Total, and he’s in for the full eight-event season, six of them championship rounds – and two held at the Baypark Stadium in Tauranga.

“The world champs drained the bank account, and without our sponsors we couldn’t have done the full season,” Caughey says. ENZED signed up before he embarked for the US, which gave his team the confidence to push on and keep working on their Sprintec boat. “ENZED’s commitment and ongoing support from Trojan and Total means we can focus on a full-on attack on our title defence,” Caughey says.

That attack started with months in the Sprintec workshop, not just fettling the ENZED boat after its triumphant trip to the US, but building a pair of superboats he’ll race against during the championship series, and a 400-class boat for a Canterbury team: “It’s been a busy old time.”

Caughey’s family celebrated Christmas early, as the next few days will be spent testing on the water, before they hitch up the Trojan trailer and head for the ferry north on Christmas day.

The team’s looking forward to Wanganui. “It’s a great track with a completely new track rotation which hasn’t been raced before, and that’ll be a new challenge,” Caughey says.

“Wanganui always puts on a great event. It’s a special venue, a special setting, that basin is pretty cool and the track always produces very good racing. It’s an exciting track, it produces a few crashes and a bit of action, but overall it produces very, very good racing. It’s a great place to start the season.”

Karen Marshall is back in the navigator seat for another full-on season after missing this year’s world champs when her own Christchurch rebuild created a date clash. “Karen has her house fixed up now thanks to EQC and can focus and get on with the racing. We’re looking forward to getting back into the groove.”

ENZED will be back into the groove, too. “ENZED’s involvement in the sport goes back such a long, long way and they’re developing how they get involved, with the naming rights for the Baypark event, and by bringing clients to races.

“If they’re into something they always want to do it to the best of their ability and that’s the same attitude we have in our team and our workshop. We like to get results, we need to be the best at preparing for that, and to know we’re allied to a company that has the same goals really makes a difference.”

“ENZED has set a very high yardstick for any company to follow and the good guys at Trojan have done that, we use their product throughout the year as well as we do with the ENZEDers, they are good people to work with and understand what we want to achieve, and the same goes for Total. These motors are highly-stressed and they need the best oil, lubricants and the best of everything. It’s not just money, and with our sponsors we have access to the best equipment which is a big part of going racing,” Caughey says.

“You can have a great team and a good driver but you are only as good as your weakest link.”

Caughey says the team’s achievements – with nine New Zealand seven World championships under their belts, most for the SuperBoat class – are endorsement for the team is what it’s achieved, “But without all the individuals working together, we wouldn’t have got that far.”

Meantime the crew is focusing on the 27th, and the first step towards another title.


New Zealand Jetsprint Championship season

27 December 2014 Wanganui Rd1
24/25 January 2015 Baypark
15 February Auckland Rd3
8 March Hastings Rd4
4 April Wanaka Rd5
5 April Wanaka, South Island Champs
25 April Featherston/Wairarapa, Rd 6