Couple's world title hopes comes to fiery end

The No.52 boat barrel-rolled, then went end over end multiple times before coming to rest right way up. Photo / Stuart Whitaker
The No.52 boat barrel-rolled, then went end over end multiple times before coming to rest right way up. Photo / Stuart Whitaker

This is the moment a Gisborne couple's world title hopes came to a spectacular and fiery end.

Blake Briant and Kate Hoogerbrug were competing in the third round of the UIM world jetsprint championship at Mount Maunganui's Baypark on Friday when their boat came to grief.

Their No.52 boat barrel-rolled, then went end over end multiple times before coming to rest right way up.

The pair, much to everyone's relief, popped their heads up and were able to get out and walk away from the carnage.

The boat was a write-off but the engine was intact. Photo / Stuart Whitaker
The boat was a write-off but the engine was intact. Photo / Stuart Whitaker

They were taken to Tauranga Hospital, suffering bruising but otherwise alright.

Hoogerbrug was kept in overnight and released the next day.

A still shaken but upbeat Hoogerbrug said they were gutted but in good spirits. She could only speculate on the injuries she could have suffered had she not been wearing a head and neck support. Briant was wearing a simple foam support.

"It could have been so much worse."

The crash bruised their bodies and egos but not their enthusiasm for the sport.

"We're still leading the New Zealand champs ... we're not ready to throw that away."
The boat was a write-off but the engine was intact.

The pair returned to Baypark on Saturday as spectators and threw their support behind rival duo Sam Newdick and Glenn Mason.

Hoogerbrug said there had been many offers to double-drive other boats but they felt if they were going to win the world title, they wanted to do it in their own boat.

- NZME.

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