The bubble burst early for Napier powerboat racing team of Tony Carson and Brook Faulkner when the opening race of the national offshore series was held on Lake Taupo on Sunday.
The pair lasted just two of the 12 laps before an electrical fault hit their 32ft catamaran Red Steel.
Carson said attempts to get the boat moving again were only marginally successful and the decision was made to head for the harbour barely 15 minutes after the start.
"I couldn't bare to wait around and watch," lamented Carson, who carded an unprecedented eight-out-of-eight winning record in his class last season, and finished every race the previous year.
The Superlite champion, and former two-time overall national offshore champion was last night still wondering when it was that he last failed to finish.
"It must be about 17 or 18 races in a row," he said.
The demise after such a consistent record in the boat was recognised during presentations after the race, the first of eight in this year's series, which includes the Napier Offshore 100 on the unusually late date of April 20.
Carson will possibly miss one of the races, allowing nephew Max to race in the series for the first time, with the teenager's father, Wayne.
There was an astonishing finish to Sunday's race when all-the-way leader Fujitsu Better Heat swept wide on the final turn and was passed by the Fairview Windows and Doors crew of Bob Smith and Flea Koolen, who claimed the championship last season.
Remaining races in this year's series:
February 16 Tauranga; March 2 Gisborne; March 16 Beachlands Maraetai; April 6 Wellington; April 20 Napier; May 4 Whitianga; May 18 Auckland.