Need for speed . . . A mass start on Lake Benmore at last year’s Twin Lakes Marathon Boat Race. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

It’s back to business as usual for this year’s Twin Lakes Marathon Boatrace.

Last year, the annual event had to be delayed until July due to Covid-19, but Waitaki Recreation and Boating Club president Neil Smith said it was good to see ‘‘everybody having a crack at it again’’ for Queen’s Birthday Weekend.

‘‘Back to normal, as we put it.’’

The racing takes place over two days, beginning with the marathon event at Lake Benmore on Saturday. There would be a ‘‘mass start’’, with all boats racing about 40km up the lake from Sailors Cutting to Ohau C and back again, Mr Smith said.

‘‘In that race there’s different classes, from A class, right down to G, which is a family boat class. They all are different power-rated, and they have different speeds and different things to do.

There was a ‘‘nominated speed’’ class within that as well, in which people nominated the speed they wanted to do, there and back.

‘‘That’s all calculated through timing, and a computer works out how close you were to your nominated speed over all,’’ he said.

Sunday’s racing would take place on Lake Aviemore, and was a circuit race.

The course was set in laps of about 10km, and the bigger classes would do about 100km, while the smaller classes would do less, down to around 60km.

The weekend was part of a championship series, run across eight different venues around the country. Organisers were expecting up to about 40 boats, Mr Smith said.

‘‘Some of the bigger boats, we’ve got some coming from the North Island, which are here already, and they’re a twin-motor, twin-rig boat, and they’re up to 100 miles an hour [160kmh].’’

The event would generate income for the Otematata community, and competitors did not ‘‘spend lightly’’.

‘‘They’re valuable race boats, you know. They could spend considerable amounts of money on fuel alone.’’

Racing was free for the public to watch, but the lakes were closed to other boats from 10am to 2pm while racing was on.

‘‘But we will be in close contact on channel 65 radio . . . they can be on the lake, but they must be well clear of the course.

‘‘We will clear the course at the start, and as long as they notify us, they can be on the lake.”

Waitaki Recreation and Boating Club was an incorporated society which held multiple events during the year, to raise money for the Waitaki Lakes area, Mr Smith said.

‘‘Last year, we gave about $6000 away, to first-response teams and different people that applied for it.

‘‘I have a team of seven on the committee, who are very, very hard working, and are all dedicated to what they do.’’

A major fundraising target this year was to build a floating pontoon wharf at Parson’s Rock, for people to get on and off their boats, he said. The estimated cost was $40,000 to $45,000.