Super boat feature of marathon event

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The New Zealand Boat Marathon Commission race series is expected to make a big splash in the waters around Oamaru tomorrow.

Between 15 and 20 boats, piloted by drivers from as far afield as Auckland, are expected to compete in this year’s event, hosted by the North Otago Yacht & Powerboat Club.

Organiser Gary Story is excited about the event and the presence of a special attraction.

This year’s marathon will feature FMI Racing – a super boat that is 10.3m long and has a top speed of a blistering 193kmh.

“It’s the first time a boat of this size has raced down here,” Mr Story said.

The 100km event starts in the Pacific Ocean, about where Coquet St meets Humber St.

Racers will make their way to Holmes Wharf, from where the loop course will take them about 2km out to sea before heading back to a finish line near Waitaki Boys’ High School.

Mr Story’s main concern would be the weather conditions on the day.

“The biggest worry is the sea conditions for us. The sea can change and it can be too rough for us at times,” he said.

Since it began six years ago, the marathon had been a popular event for people in Oamaru to watch, Mr Story said.

“I think it’s something good for the town. It’s cost no-one anything to go and watch it.

“A lot of people can actually sit there and watch it from home, so we have no idea how many people watch it from home.”

Despite the stress of organising the event, Mr Story believed this year’s marathon would be a hit.

“Every year, you hope it’s going to be a success. Any event that you can hold is a success.”

The marathon will start at 8am and finish at 4pm.