NZ superboat title to Gisborne’s Mason

No.1 navigator

No.1 navigator

NEED FOR SPEED: Gisborne jetsprinting navigator Glenn Mason is not sure if he would have the nerve to drive a superboat but he’s happy to point the way for Hamiltonian Sam Newdick. Mason won the navigator title in the six-round New Zealand series while Newdick was second in the driver standings.
Boat picture by Ian Thornton
THUMBS UP: Reigning New Zealand superboats champion Peter Caughey offered Hamilton-Gisborne combo Sam Newdick and Glenn Mason the use of his boat in round 3 of the national jetsprinting champs at Waitara, and they won the round, with Caughey second. From left are Newdick, Mason, Louise Blythe (Caughey’s navigator) and Caughey. Pictures by Ian Thornton

GISBORNE’S Glenn Mason won his seventh national title and first superboats navigator crown in the final round of the New Zealand jetsprinting series at Wanaka.

Fourth placing on the day was good enough for Mason to take the navigator honours while the man he points the way for — Hamilton driver Sam Newdick — was second overall in the driver standings topped for the ninth time by Canterbury’s Peter Caughey.

Gisborne duo Blake Briant and Kate Hoogerbrug had a day to forget. Mechanical problems in the fourth qualifying round ended their day and they had to settle for fourth overall in their first season in the superboats class.

“That’s the third season in a row we’ve had really bad luck,” Hoogerbrug said. “They say bad things happen in threes so hopefully that’s our share of bad luck over and we get some better luck next season.”

Superboat rookies Mason and Newdick, who were the Group A national champions last year, also had engine issues.

“Our engine, which is a small block, is 15 years old and gave us trouble throughout the series,” Mason said.

“Sam’s a natural driver and he was driving conservatively throughout the day, knowing he had to finish fifth or better to come runner-up.

“By the time we put the boat on the trailer we knew it (the engine) had come to its expiry date. There was a big hole in the sump on my side and a big piece of the block had blown out on Sam’s side.”

Mason was delighted to win the navigator title, which goes along with his six wins in the Group A class.

“Sam was reasonably pleased with second overall but he’s a competitive guy who wants to win. He’ll be doubly determined to win the overall standings next season.”

Mason, a “self-confessed” adrenalin junkie, said that while he would love to try driving, he was not sure if he had the nerve.

“I’m happy to be a navigator and thank Sam for believing in me and giving me the chance to navigate in the superboat class.

“But it’s not just about the two of us. There’s a lot of people working behind the scenes — Sam’s father Mark, the team owner, John and Graeme Minchan, who do all the work preparing the boat throughout the season, and our support crew, who basically do everything in between, leaving Sam and me to concentrate on racing.

“And, of course, there’s the unwavering support I get from my wife Vicky, who comes to most races (but not the Wanaka round).

“It’s not like we go to these places for a holiday. We’re there to get the business done.”

Hoogerbrug said it was a long way to go to end up sitting on the bank watching the other boats race.

“There was nothing we could do. It was just one of those days,” she said. “The boat was going well early on but at the start of the fourth qualifying stage it didn’t sound right to Blake.

“The engine was off song and when we pulled the rocker covers off we discovered the camshaft was broken.

“We had no option but to sit out the rest of the race. It’s just as well we did. We could have caused a lot more damage.

“As it is, we’re not sure what the damage is. We’ll know better when the guys pull the boat apart. If it’s just the camshaft we can replace that but if there’s damage to the block, that’s a different story.”

Despite missing out on a podium spot in their first year as superboat competitors, Hoogerbrug said they would not be dwelling on what had happened.

“The first 24 hours after it happens is hard but then you get over it, move on, set goals for next season and focus on what needs doing to achieve those goals.”

GISBORNE’S Glenn Mason won his seventh national title and first superboats navigator crown in the final round of the New Zealand jetsprinting series at Wanaka.

Fourth placing on the day was good enough for Mason to take the navigator honours while the man he points the way for — Hamilton driver Sam Newdick — was second overall in the driver standings topped for the ninth time by Canterbury’s Peter Caughey.

Gisborne duo Blake Briant and Kate Hoogerbrug had a day to forget. Mechanical problems in the fourth qualifying round ended their day and they had to settle for fourth overall in their first season in the superboats class.

“That’s the third season in a row we’ve had really bad luck,” Hoogerbrug said. “They say bad things happen in threes so hopefully that’s our share of bad luck over and we get some better luck next season.”

Superboat rookies Mason and Newdick, who were the Group A national champions last year, also had engine issues.

“Our engine, which is a small block, is 15 years old and gave us trouble throughout the series,” Mason said.

“Sam’s a natural driver and he was driving conservatively throughout the day, knowing he had to finish fifth or better to come runner-up.

“By the time we put the boat on the trailer we knew it (the engine) had come to its expiry date. There was a big hole in the sump on my side and a big piece of the block had blown out on Sam’s side.”

Mason was delighted to win the navigator title, which goes along with his six wins in the Group A class.

“Sam was reasonably pleased with second overall but he’s a competitive guy who wants to win. He’ll be doubly determined to win the overall standings next season.”

Mason, a “self-confessed” adrenalin junkie, said that while he would love to try driving, he was not sure if he had the nerve.

“I’m happy to be a navigator and thank Sam for believing in me and giving me the chance to navigate in the superboat class.

“But it’s not just about the two of us. There’s a lot of people working behind the scenes — Sam’s father Mark, the team owner, John and Graeme Minchan, who do all the work preparing the boat throughout the season, and our support crew, who basically do everything in between, leaving Sam and me to concentrate on racing.

“And, of course, there’s the unwavering support I get from my wife Vicky, who comes to most races (but not the Wanaka round).

“It’s not like we go to these places for a holiday. We’re there to get the business done.”

Hoogerbrug said it was a long way to go to end up sitting on the bank watching the other boats race.

“There was nothing we could do. It was just one of those days,” she said. “The boat was going well early on but at the start of the fourth qualifying stage it didn’t sound right to Blake.

“The engine was off song and when we pulled the rocker covers off we discovered the camshaft was broken.

“We had no option but to sit out the rest of the race. It’s just as well we did. We could have caused a lot more damage.

“As it is, we’re not sure what the damage is. We’ll know better when the guys pull the boat apart. If it’s just the camshaft we can replace that but if there’s damage to the block, that’s a different story.”

Despite missing out on a podium spot in their first year as superboat competitors, Hoogerbrug said they would not be dwelling on what had happened.

“The first 24 hours after it happens is hard but then you get over it, move on, set goals for next season and focus on what needs doing to achieve those goals.”

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