Waiheke Island hosts world’s largest amphibious vehicle race


Waiheke Island will host the world's largest Sealegs amphibious craft race on 24 February 2013, an event guaranteed to be one of the most hotly contested at the Onetangi Beach Races , a free race meeting first held more than a hundred years ago.

Race crowds will be treated to a myriad of events and activities from the community spirited wheelbarrow and tractor races to the popular horse races with the Sealegs Amphibious Race the highlight for many, according to event organizer Linda Marincas of Waiheke Rotary.

"It's a thrilling spectacle, watching a dozen or more of these agile craft being raced into the water, around a circuit and back on to the sand.There's no holds barred in this race, most people who enter are in to win," said Linda.

Sealegs International, the New Zealand company which designed the craft and manufactures them in Auckland for worldwide markets, has been announced as a new sponsor of the Onetangi Beach Races for 2013.

"We're delighted to be on board.It's a great historic event which can now boast the largest amphibious race in the world," said David, Mckee-Wright, co-founder of Sealegs.

"Onetangi is the ideal location for a race like this, not least because Waiheke has around 40 Sealegs already on the island but also it really is one of the best free family days out in Auckland each summer."

A chance to experience the thrill of racing in a Sealegs is being auctioned on Trade Me with entry for two into the VIP hospitality tent and one place on a Sealegs craft up for the highest bidder.

Offering a full day at the races experience, Onetangi Beach Races has a tote, a Waiheke take on Fashion in the Field, and plenty of hospitality, from the beach front cafes and extra stalls to bubbles under the shade of hospitality tents on Onetangi's near two kilometres of golden sand beach. Families are encouraged to join in with the Big Dig and Under the Sea Tea Party for kids up to 10 years old.

Onetangi Beach Races is a free event starting at 10am on Sunday 24 February.Race packs can be purchased on the day, with event profits going to local community groups.

The event is supported by Platinum sponsors Sealegs and the Waiheke Local Board and Gold sponsors Sealink, Gulf News and Fullers.

Visit www.onetangibeachraces.co.nz for more information.

- THE AUCKLANDER

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