2016 Lake Rotoiti Powerboat Regatta


Lake Rotoiti’s tranquil Kerr Bay erupted with the roar of powerboats on Sunday as the lakes annual regatta came to a close after two days of high speed competition.

The Rotoiti Powerboat Club hosted the event which saw a variety of powerboats racing for various championships, from junior and clubman, to the Formula 1 boats and Grand Prix Hydroplanes.

Lee Merrion of Richmond was amongst those competing over the weekend, this being his first year behind the wheel of his own powerboat, Road Runner. After only a few club days and his first regatta in Christchurch, Lee was proud of his third place finish in the South Island Junior Clubman Championships, which were decided on Saturday.

Lee says this year is all about getting to grips with the sport and getting his speed up so that next year he can look forward to trying to win a few races.

“I just enjoy being on the water and having lots of fun with everyone and competing. When I’m older I want to get into the bigger boats like the Mod VP and that,” says Lee.

Patrick Morris, also from Richmond, finished second in the South Island Senior Clubman Championships, driving The Judge, missing out on first place by a mere four seconds.

Julian Stilwell entered the regatta leading the New Zealand Formula 1 Tunnel Boat Championship, and despite mechanical troubles on Sunday, did enough on Saturday to secure the title.

In total 30 boats competed in the two day regatta, which included some of the fastest craft you’ll find on water.