Top Hamilton jetsprinter Glen Head says the rules of the Mouthfresh 2018-19 NZ Jet Sprint Championships must not become a mockery despite the push to make the upcoming final round in Wanaka count for double season points after Saturday's premature finish at Shelterview.
The fourth round at Upokongaro was called off without the unlimited power Superboats being able to complete a single eliminator following a series of violent crashes which caused time delays and saw a handful of drivers and navigators taken to hospital.
After a post-event briefing, it was announced all drivers in the division would receive equal points for an incomplete round.
That leaves Head still leading the Superboat series by a solitary point from Whanganui's Rob Coley, as their air-tight battle has seen both drivers finish 1-2 at the previous three rounds.
I want to see a credible championship with some structure.
There was a strong push at the meeting to make Wanaka a double points round to make up the difference, which Head opposed on the grounds it was not an official option in the New Zealand Jetsprint Association (JSA) rulebook, which teams had to follow and be governed by.
Despite their rivalry for the title, the 2016 UIM World Series champion Head said he was not scared of Coley possibly getting an advantage in Wanaka.
"My interest is the sport – I'm not a competitor that has a selfish way of looking at it.
"There's more than one point to it. You shouldn't alter what the rule book says.
"Rugby has referees, cricket has umpires. They don't go and ask the players if they want to change it.
"Rob deserves to be there, but it shouldn't go to a final round and have someone else sneak up [through double points] if he or I fall back, like a Blake Briant."
Fourth place in the series before Saturday, the Gisborne driver Briant was not at the Shelterview round due to attending a wedding.
Head said it was hard enough for teams arriving at the track at 7am and competing through to 6pm, with the pressure coming on during the final eliminators when drivers are already tired and faitigued, to suddenly have changes to points allocations thrust upon them due to circumstances.
"It gets chopped and changed so many times during the day, you don't know what you're going to get.
"I want to see a credible championship with some structure.
"You've got all the teams and all the spectators. You know what you're going to see and participate in."
Head said there needs to be some "rotational bits and pieces" reviewed for Shelterview in light of the weekend's crashes.
"Tight and technical rotations don't slow down the boats."
While the most violent wreck was New Plymouth's Deane and Aaron Riddick, who cartwheeled up and over the track fence, the worst injuries were suffered by Tauranga's Aaron Hansen and Julie-Anne Shanks, with their crash seeing the event called off.
After sunstrike impeded his vision, Hansen skimmed off the side of the track at high speed and smacked into a dead stop on the tyre barriers.
Shanks suffered a servere finger injury, which ulimately had to be amputated at Whanganui Hospital as it was damaged beyond repair.
Hansen was left with a fractured thumb, with both of them being discharged on Sunday.
"We are grateful that we had good safety gear that did its job so well," Hansen said on Facebook.
"The rescue crew, ambos, and all the hospital staff have been fantastic.
"The visitors we've had today at the hospital and all the messages of support have been bringing tears to our eyes.
"Sorry to our family and friends that had to see us in an accident and to see us getting pulled out of the boat and into the ambulance. So pleased the kids didn't see it."
Navigator Aaron Riddick had to be assessed for a sternum injury.
"X-rays all clear. Heading home rather bruised and battered and quite sore," he said on Facebook.
"Gutted that we have bent the boat as badly as we have but we both live to tell the story."
Deane Riddick said they will not make Wanaka on April 20.
"Hopefully the engine, unit, seats and roll cage are salvageable. Unfortunately the only thing that'll be lying down in that hull will be sardines.
"Our safety equipment really did do its job, and after reviewing the footage it makes you appreciate the progress in this area of our sport.
"We are also very grateful to have the professionalism of our rescue crew watching over us at every event."