A father and daughter combination from Rotorua will eye a top-10 finish at the Jetsprint World Championships in January.
The world championships are being held in New Zealand and include two races in Meremere (January 23/24) and Tauranga (January 29/30).
Rotorua's Nick Berryman and daughter Ella Berryman, 19, will take their powerful jetsprint boat to both events, as they compete against the best teams in the world.
The second and final race of the world champs will be staged at Baypark Stadium in Tauranga.
"It is still the only stadium event in the world. It is just such a spectacle," Berryman said. "It's like the Colosseum, you can see all the action and, while it's not what the drivers are trying to do, when there is an off it certainly entertains the crowd."
Nick will also race the New Zealand series with another navigator, Tanya Iremonger (Hastings), over the coming months. He has been racing the New Zealand series for about 10 years and has finished as high as third overall. Unfortunately, his last two seasons have been cut short following two big crashes.
"This season the goal is to put the boat on the trailer safely and let the placings come to us," he said. "It's an exciting year with the world champs coming to our back door, and it is an opportunity to get a world ranking and we are hoping for a top-10 world ranking."
The Berrymans' boat currently boasts 1040 horse power and goes 0-100km/h in less than two seconds. Nick explained they had changed the hull and made some big changes to the engine in recent seasons, which had given them a lot more speed.
"The changes have been very noticeable. It put us in the top five instantly and shaved four seconds off our time."
Nick and Ella have had some spectacular crashes in the past two seasons, both of which have happened at Baypark Stadium. The last one saw them both taken to hospital but Nick said it didn't knock their confidence.
"Ella was really positive and supportive and more than willing to step back into the boat."
He said the safety requirements they had to meet were very strict, and they walked away with only bruising following the high-speed crashes.
Nick said he got into the sport after a friend bought a sprintboat. "A mate of mine bought a boat so I did. It was a spur of the moment thing," he said. "And it was a chance to promote our business New Zealand Riverjet."
The Berrymans' two businesses, New Zealand Riverjet and Lakes Lodge Okataina, are the main sponsors behind their jetsprint team. Nick also thanked fellow sponsors Stitch N Print Rotorua and Advocate Printing.
-Tickets for the Jetsprint World Championships at Baypark Stadium can be bought online at www.eventfinda.co.nz.