You can't miss them on the Whanganui River and the roar of the Wanganui Motorboat Club's annual regatta ushered in two new North Island champions and the opportunity for local drivers to pick up their own prestigious silverware at the weekend.

Around 29-30 boats from juniors, Formula 1 Tunnels, Skiboats and V8 Flat Bottom craft took part in the two days of racing, a slightly smaller number than other years.

Club commodore Jason Buttimore said a few drivers had to miss the event after experiencing breakages at the Manawatu Power Boat regatta the previous weekend near Foxton.

Other drivers skipped last weekend to take part in the river race but Auckland's Sam Hughes was more than happy to double dip as he backed up his class win in Manawatu with the King of the River trophy in the finale on Sunday afternoon.


The King title is decided between all the class winners over the weekend and is usually dominated by either the V8's or F1 boats.

Hughes could not be caught in Red Express - the F1 craft he inherited from his father in 2005 and is now "humming along" after continued updates and tinkering.

"One hundred percent [worth the trip]. They always put on a good show here," Hughes said.

"With the river racing, the spectators can watch more."

Both generations of Hughes racers have celebrated with the King of the River title previously.

"We make a habit of filling it. It's one of the only trophies you can really fill and mix them," Hughes said.

There was noteworthy success for the local club members in the River City 3000 race and the Fred Robinson Cup for V8's.

Matt Gaudin claimed the 3000 in Boatary - a portmanteau of 'boat' and the craft's rotary engine.

"It's probably been 20+ years since we've had a Whanganui boat win that trophy," said Buttimore.

A field of six V8's went for the Fred Robinson Cup and Simon Watkins just managed to keep his Typhoon boat ahead of clubmate Cody Wotton, of Waverley.

"It was less than a boat length across the finishline," said Buttimore.

Watkins said Wotton has a larger engine than him now, while racing between the two of them has been very even the last couple of seasons.

"Cody is just getting faster every meeting.

"My boat went good and just managed to hold him. The lane choice probably helped.

"Meetings like this make it - the social atmosphere in the clubrooms after."

Saturday saw two North Island championships decided for the Clubmans and Prostock classes.

In a strong field of 11 boats, Auckland's Alex McBeth, 18, emerged as the winner.

The Prostock class was taken out by Wayne 'Chuck' Norris from the Manawatu club.

Buttimore said they had a short 30 minute delay on Saturday to clear a couple of logs that had floated down the river, but other than that, conditions were perfect for racing on both days, which was of great relief after the wet weather which preceded the regatta.