Racers are used to close finishes, but the wait for the South Island to move back to Covid alert level 1 has event the staunchest supporter chewing their nails.
With the largest field of boats in recent memory entered for the two-day regatta on Lake Rotoiti March 13-14, the ENZED Rotoiti Power Boat Club are preparing for a very busy weekend both on and off the water, although the biggest relief will be a change of alert levels.
Club spokesman Joe Blakiston says 72 boats from all over New Zealand will be contesting nearly 60 races over the two-day event from Junior Clubman racers to the 10 mighty GP Hydroplanes that are entered in the final races of the HYDRO Thunder series.
Plenty of other locals will be racing in the Formula 1 series plus inboard and racing outboard classes.
“With such a huge range of entries we will have to start racing at 9.15am each day with the racing expected to go well into the afternoon."
Blakiston says the audience will also be treated to a WW2 fighter, the Blenheim-based Yak 3 ‘Full Noise fly over in the lunch break on both days, weather permitting, to add to the entertainment.
“We are really looking forward to a huge crowd and repeating the Mexican wave that was seen on the lakefront last year.
"As always the club are thankful to the St Arnaud Community and also to DOC who make us feel welcome – no drones or dogs in the National Park please."