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Earth moves at Baypark

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Almost 200 truckloads of dirt are being trucked out of ASB Baypark from today as the stadium prepares to host a world-first jet boating event.

Baypark will host round two of the high-octane ENZED V8 Jetsprint Championship series on Saturday, January 25 – the first time V8 jet sprint races have been held in an enclosed seated arena.


Click the image above to watch the video

World number one super boat driver Leighton Minnell and NZ Jet Sports Association chairman Erik Hoeksema setting out the temporary track at ASB Baypark. Photo: Zoe Hunter.

Diggers are on site today, moving about 1800 cubic metres of soil – about 180 truckloads – out of the centre of the stadium during the next three days. The channels, as deep as 70centimetres, will then be filled with 2000m3 of fresh water.

World No.1 super boat driver, Leighton Minnell, took SunLive on an exclusive test drive around the temporary circuit featuring five-metre-wide channels covering 450 metres on a straight and twisting rotation yesterday.

Leighton says the Auckland Anniversary Weekend event has been more than two years in the making with the New Zealand Jet Sprint Association teaming up with event promoters, Jetsprint BOP and ASB Baypark, to bring this world-first spectacle to Kiwi audiences.

“It’s great to finally get here. It’s been a massive goal to get here for a stadium event,” says Leighton.

“It’s been a dream to get it this far.”

Leighton and wife Kelly will be racing their 1000hp superboat at next weekend’s event.

He says racing in an enclosed stadium for the first time is going to be different for everyone.

“All the other tracks that we go to are actually purpose-built tracks. That are actually left running for the whole year and we go back time and time again.

“The difference is that we’re on a track that no one has used. We’re here, it’s been dug, it will be put back to grass the following week.”

Leighton says speeds of up to 130kmp/h can be expected, with crews of two racing individually against the clock through the channels, providing fast-paced action for spectators.

NZ Jet Sports Association chairman Erik Hoeksema says the stadium setting will give spectators a unique opportunity to get “up-close” to the racing action.

“If they [audiences] want something that is different and exciting, they should definitely be here.”

As many as 50 teams from NZ, and six from Australia, will compete in three classes – Suzuki Superboats, PSP Ltd Group A and Jetpro 400’s.

With NZ scheduled to host the 2015/16 World Jetsprint Championships, Erik and Leighton hope to bring the event to ASB Baypark again.

“With Tauranga being a big speedway-based town and used to a lot of racing, I think the people are going to go away from here and say why didn’t we do this years ago?” says Leighton.

Will you be going to the Jet Sprints? Comment here.


Comments on SunLive

Watersports in Tauranga awesome

Posted on 13-01-2014 20:20 | By Sandyshirl

As there are many many boating fanatics in Tauranga - this will be so so awesome. Go Major Crosby. Well done. We are water sport and also motor sport lovers -love it. Come on Jet Sprints. Make Tauranga the 1st in the world to host a Jet Sprint in a stadium. Can’t wait, as also many many in Tauranga can’t. Everybody I speak to is going – so bring it on…………. GO JET SPRINTS.

Earth moves at Bay Park

Posted on 13-01-2014 16:35 | By relvino

What an utter waste of money. Is it to filled with sea water, or with the city water supply ( which is supposed to be conserved by the ratepayers ) especially in mid summer.???? Surely there are more deserving projects that this finance could be spent on.???

Bring it on but...

Posted on 13-01-2014 12:48 | By Bronzewing

Don’t give City Hall that much credit for having that level of foresight. One option for the Domain is dig a hole to set the playing surface below ground and this means that the seating will not have to be as high above ground. While you have the diggers in, build an underground multi level carpark. Entrance off Cameron and exit out onto the expressway. Much like Bob’s Baypark carpark. Oops that won’t work it is too logical.

Permanent facility ...

Posted on 13-01-2014 12:31 | By Murray.Guy

“With Tauranga being a big speedway-based town and used to a lot of racing, I think the people are going to go away from here and say why didn’t we do this years ago?” says Leighton. Our region does have a significant following of motorsport competitors and followers in all code types. The All-Terrain Park up Pyes Pa accommodates many and likely has room for a permanent jet sprint track. I believe there is also room at the Baypark multiplex for a Jet Sprint course (other than on the inside of the stadium) on the south side. looking ward to it.

Bye bye rugby ground ...

Posted on 13-01-2014 12:21 | By YOGI BEAR

Looks like Mayor Crosby has a plan, just dig it all out then of course there has to be a "new" rugby field created afterwards, why not just make the new one at the Domain.

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