Mainlander Raymond Hart handled conditions and delays best when winning round one of the New Zealand Formula One Powerboat Tour on the Whanganui River at the weekend.
The Cromwell driver scorched over the 2km course in his GP Hydroplane 1.6 seconds faster than Waverley 19-year-old Jack Lupton in his GP57 to also take out the Flying Lap trophy in the event billed as Down Town Thunder Wanganui 5000.
Co-promoter Brittany Lupton said while the weather conditions were not as bad as initially expected, the blustery winds forced delays on Saturday's practice day and again on the raceday Sunday.
"We still managed to get all races complete with the smaller tunnell machines racing in groups of six and the bigger more powerful GPs competing individually against the clock," Lupton said.
Her brother Jack, one of the pre-post favourites, managed second to gain valuable points heading into round two on Lake Karapiro on January 31, while father Warwick Lupton, a two-time World Grand Prix champion, in Annihilator, finished third.
Another of the Waverley powerhouses, Ken Lupton, suffered handling problems and combined with the delays was not able to clock times his craft Cheetah was capable of.
"The weather wasn't quite as bad as we expected, although it did get a bit choppy out there at times," Brittany Lupton said.
Meanwhile, the inaugural Miss Down Town Thunder 5000 attracted just four entries with Waitotara 18-year-old Taylor Perry winning the lion's share of the $2000 prize package that included $1000 cash.
Courtney Forlong was runner-up, while Emma Blenkinsop was third.
Lupton said the ice challenge during raceday also proved popular with large numbers supporting the charity fundraiser. "It was a gold coin donation to enter and we managed to raise around $200, which will be matched by Total Transport from Waverley."