For the first time in over a decade, the NZ Offshore circus rolled into New Plymouth and what a fantastic weekend it was
We started with having #16 on display out the front of Glenys’s NZHL Taranaki office, mixing with staff and clients and generating a lot of interest from the traffic on this busy road.
Race Day and Taranaki turned on the goods – the water did not look much from the shore, but the photos on NZ Offshores website tell a different story.
It was great to confirm that the work we have done in the offseason has not affected #16 balance as she flew true and straight off the coast of New Plymouth
Race 1 kicked off at midday on Saturday and our game plan was simple – get on the inside of Hi Jinx and hold them out on the corners, settle into a grove and just outdrive them.
All went to plan with BCRacing #16 leading Hi Jinx racing into turn 1 – However, no one had told Hi Jinx Racing our game plan, so they decided to turn up the heat in turn 1 and slide right past us. They ran wide as they had come in hot to get past us, but now we were on the short leg between turn 1 and 2 with BCRacing heading directly to the next marker buoy and Hi Jinx Racing coming in hot on our port side.
Now normally this means we all race for the marker buoy, go around the marker buoy side by side and drag race down the next straight.
But with Hi Jinx Racing now approaching the marker buoy from a different angle to us, it was a drag race to the marker buoy, and given we were in front, we were the one who sustained damage when Hi Jinx hit us on the port side.
As per usual there is always two sides to every story, we were in front so believe we had racing room and they say they didn’t see us as we came up on them so quickly, at the end of the day it was ruled a racing incident so we must all move on and get ready for our next race in Napier on the 10th March.
End result was this “incident” got Chris and Karl a little bit annoyed and they decided they weren’t going to hang around to play bumper boats, so they got in their groove and passed Hi Jinx then proceeded to put over 400 metres on them in a fairly short time frame.
Unfortunately we did not realise how significant the damage sustained was, but #16 was taking on water and this changed the balance enough to really concern our crew about the structural integrity of our beloved race boat.
The only choice was to pull back, relinquish our substantial lead and limp around the course in constant fear she was about to disintegrate. Last lap, past the chequered flag and straight into port where we had the crane ready and waiting to pull her out of the water – Close inspection revealed enough water in the back compartments to unsettle the boat and a crack approx. 400mm long forward from the transom.
We decided we needed points, so with copious amounts of Race Tape and fingers crossed the boys went back out on the course for race 2, intending to just complete the required laps to grab as many points as we can for the championship, while in constant fear the transom may fall off as we had no idea of the total extent of damage.
At the end of racing, we submitted our protest to the NZOPA but unfortunately the jury could not form a decision and therefore our protest was thrown out – “Racing Incident”
Check out our website http://bcracing.nz/ for the footage of the “Racing Incident” from our on-board cameras
Now we rely on our good mates at Boat Fix NZ to make the necessary repairs and do battle again in Napier