Stadium jetsprinting good as it gets

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Jimmy Fogan (left), co-driver, and Tristan Hynds.
Jimmy Fogan (left), co-driver, and Tristan Hynds.

Local jetsprint driver Tristan Hynds' second race was at the ENZED V8 Jetsprint Championships at Baypark on Saturday - the world's first jetsprint race inside an enclosed stadium. We talked to the novice driver about the event, the sport and his dreams.

1 Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm married with three kids. I'm a dairy farmer and sharemilker out in Papamoa and a contract driver in Te Puke. I was born and bred in Papamoa. I've done a bit of travelling but it's a good spot in the world, so I keep coming back.

2 How did you get into jetsprint racing?
I bought a river boat just for fanging up and down the Kaituna and going for a bit of a hoon. Then just from watching it on TV and going to a few events ... I thought we'd get amongst it.

3 What does it cost to get set up with a boat and the gear?
It's six figures. It's taken us five years to get a boat. Ours is a top-end boat so it's cost us six figures just for the boat.

4 What was it like racing inside a stadium?
It was certainly an awesome event. It was very, very tight. We didn't really notice the crowd. You don't have time to worry about that. It was pretty cool. It's the best thing I've done in my life so far apart from having my kids.

5 What was the competition like?
There was fierce competition. We went out there and just got lost had a mind blank. This was only our second event. The top fellas, they did well.

6 What do you love about the sport?
I love going fast. I was born to go fast and nothing goes like these things. Nothing accelerates from 0 to 100km/h, nothing corners like these it's awesome. I just love it to bits.

7 Have you had any crashes or near misses?
We rolled at Wanganui at our first meeting. You don't have any time to make a decision. The corner was a bit blind. We did a couple of barrel rolls. At the hairpin we rolled on, we were going 103km/h. Jimmy (co-driver Jimmy Fogan) got a bit of a bump on the shoulder and I got a red mark on my leg. The boat was a little bit worse for wear.

8 What's involved in preparing for a jetsprint race?
It's mainly just getting your head around it mentally. Getting the track in your head. Tuning it. Taking it down the river and giving it a run see what the computer says and see how it feels.

9 What's next for you and co-driver Jimmy?
On February 9 we're off to Meremere for round three of the jetsprints. Two or three weeks later we're off to Hastings, that's round four. Then Wanganui again for the night meetings.Wanaka is April 18.

10 What are your long-term goals?
We're going to do it for a bit. I'd like to see myself start to get up there on the board. We'd like to win. We'll just get some experience under our belt.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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