Lake Dunstan Boat Club: Team Revolver and the Need for Speed
Speed seems to be the prime ingredient in any motorsport; however, Team Revolver has taken Central Otago motorsport both lakeside and to the next level. They’ve created a special “need for speed” formula involving a power boat, two water skiers, a driver and spotter, all going like the proverbial “bat out of hell.” On Saturday 28th November, they will be representing Cromwell in the 2015 Bridge to Bridge National Water Skiing competition near Hamilton. Dan Rule is the boat’s driver and also the Vice Commodore of the Lake Dunstan Boat Club. He grew up in a family of “boaties” and powerboating was so ingrained “it’s almost a genetic mutation in my world,” he explains. Rule enjoys the atmosphere down at the Club, and there is always someone out on the water. Anyone who is interested in having a go at fishing, skiing or sailing is always welcome. However, the training for the Bridge to Bridge is anything but casual - he describes the race as “the most exciting thing you can do in a power boat and we’ll be up against the best skiers from New Zealand and Australia.”
According to Rule, the skiers are in charge, “they call the shots and the Bridge to Bridge is won or lost in the first few seconds.” Team Revolver is competing in the Standard Motor Open Cockpit (SMOC) with two skiers and also the novice class, which Jason Searle won with Revolver in 2014.
When racing each boat is allocated a start time in a line-up set at one-minute intervals. On command, the skiers get in the water, complete a deep water start and the boat takes off down the Waikato River for 82 kilometres - it’s basically a flat out sprint from Cambridge to Taupiri and back to Hamilton. This year Jason Searle is skiing in the Novice with team Infra Red team from Waihola and they hope to break the National Novice Speed Skiing record, which means reaching speeds of over 94 mph (over 150 kph). The observer for Infra Red is Colin Horsnell from Cromwell, one of the founding members of Lake Dunstan boat club.
The observer for Team Revolver is Mike Borthwick, he is charged with watching both skiers and looking out for navigational hazards. Both he and Rule need lightning fast reactions and excellent spatial awareness to keep the boat and skiers on the river. Rule is under no illusions, the skiers wear body armour and helmets, and he admits that “if something goes wrong it will be a quick trip to the hospital.”
Team Revolver is hugely grateful to all of the local sponsors that have made their racing a reality, these include: Kate Scott and Mike from Landpro, Paul and Debbie Wright from Mainfreight Cromwell, Paul Robertson and Nicky Robertson from Truss Tech, Doug Rayner and Nicola Ridd from NZ Composite Tech, Richard and the team from Continuous Group, Craig and Gary Lonsdale from MAXRaft and of course the awesome team at Straightline Roofing.
As the only two boats from the South Island, it’s not only Cromwell that will be hoping that team Revolver and Infra Red achieve podium finishes. For more information about the Bridge to Bridge and race results go to www.skirace.co.nz or check out team Revolver Racing on Facebook. Or, if you would like to have a go at power boating, Daniel and the rest of the team at Lake Dunstan Boat Club would love to see you out on the water this summer.