Ready to roar
By BOB ANTHONY
IT'S been a year since the roar of jet sprint boats was last heard on the Tweed Coast, but they return this Sunday when the Tweed Valley Jet Sprint Club holds a NSW point-score round at Round Mountain.
Last year's annual Wintersun meeting was the last time the track was used, but this year the Tweed group has also secured the Australian finals for Round Mountain in November. Round Mountain is considered one of the best spectator viewing tracks in Australia, and the June meeting has attracted 34 crews competing in 350hp V8, 400hp V8 as well as super boat classes, which have not been seen on the Tweed Coast before.
The V8-powered jet boats are capable of blasting to 130kph in 2.5 seconds, with the sport known as the aquatic equivalent of car rallying as each crew, comprising a driver and navigator, makes its way around a special course in a race against the clock.
TVJSC spokesperson and jet sprint boat driver Kim Lucas said the track would be in top condition for the event, which would test the drivers' skills as well as the power of their boats.
"The islands on the course have all grassed over and the lack of sharp ledges and washouts should mean that drivers will be keen to get that little extra out of their craft in pursuit of good times," Lucas said.
The super boats should provide some spectacular action, with these fuel-injected, ethanol burning "rockets" capable of generating up to 1000hp.
Lucas won't be strapping herself into such an awesome craft, but will be driving in the 350hp category, and will be banking on her local knowledge of the course to post a good result.
Now in her second year of driving, Lucas started out as a navigator and actually met her husband through the sport.
She said the sport was "pretty addictive", especially since she took up driving, and said it still remained a fairly affordable motor sport which was relatively easy to get into.
The action begins at 8.30am on Sunday with tickets available at the gate from $20.