Peter Caughey and his Enzed team have won the penultimate round of the Suzuki SuperBoat Champs which was held in Whanganui on April 5.
Taking out round four of the SuperBoat Champs sees Caughey defend his four-time world and six-time New Zealand SuperBoat champion title as he also prepares for the World Championships coming up in America in August.
“Up to this point we’ve not only been focusing on the New Zealand champs but in pushing the boat and the team as hard as we dare in pursuit of greater understanding of the team’s capability as the Worlds loom. Is the boat up to it, and is the team up to it.”
Caughey’s Sprintec boat has repeatedly set each event’s fastest time, yet he’s taken the chequered flag less often than his speed might suggest, as chasing ultimate pace can backfire.
“We’ve raced harder than we needed to at times, but for the worlds you need to be on your best game,” the Canterbury racer says. “Racing internationally is a big undertaking, and we want to go there knowing we have a package capable of winning.”
Caughey’s team is aware there are no guarantees, but it takes time – and time spent in the white heat of top-level competition – to fine tune a high-powered lightweight racer like Caughey’s Sprintec-built SuperBoat.
“It’s not easy to find that last two or three per cent of your boat’s ultimate performance, and that is what we have been focused on this season,” Caughey says.
His biggest hurdle will be raising the money to go, Caughey says, but he’s suspended sponsor talks to focus on the last two rounds of this season’s NZ champs, with the points now tight at the top.
He’s had the boat’s motor out, given the hull a few tweaks after its fast airborne exit from the last round, and fettled the jet unit in pursuit of more speed, which should suit the fast, flowing rotation at Whanganui’s Shelterview track.
“It’s a rotation I expect will deliver a level playing field for the top three. Phonsy will have his twin-turbo back in after trying a new motor at Hastings, Hill has good power too, and we’ll all be looking over our shoulders this weekend,” he says.
“The big variable is night racing, it’s difficult, and the faster you go the trickier it is, but it’s difficult for everyone, and traditionally Wanganui prepares well.”
The final round of the Suzuki SuperBoat class will be held in Wanaka (ending under lights) on April 18.