The bad news for the Whanganui drivers in the Mouthfresh Superboats is they finished at the back of the pack at Featherston today; the good news is it wasn't a large pack so they still pocketed some decent points.
The 2019-20 PSP New Zealand Jetsprint Championship season got underway at the weekend with a slightly smaller turnout than was expected in the signature unlimited power Superboats class, with six entries instead of 11, including Whanganui's Rob Coley and Richard Murray.
Unfortunately, both of them would experience problems with their boats and have to settle for fifth and sixth respectively.
Looking to move past the fuel pump problems which signalled an early end to his 2018-19 season, Murray had Meaner Machine out for two runs in the qualifiers, one of which was as fast as he's ever gone.
However, a camrod broke and signalled a very early end to their afternoon.
"We don't know what the damage is yet," Murray said.
"Checked the filter and it looked ok.
"The fuel pump was fine, (so) from one problem to the other.
"The beauty of coming last today, we still came sixth, so we got reasonable points."
Some jetsprint rounds can have 11-12 boats compete in each class, with points dispersed accordingly.
"It's not over till the end," Murray said regarding the championship.
"It is what it is, but we'll see, look at the damage, and go from there."
Looking to renew his rivalry with Hamilton's defending champion Glen Head, Coley is understood to have had electrical problems, going over to the Murray tent to borrow a battery when he heard his townmate was done for the day.
The fifth qualifying run would be the Coley's —Rob and navigator Ange – last recorded time of the day.
Glen Head and navigator Hayley Todd would go on to win the round, with the local Featherston crew of Scott Donald and Nicole Reesby coming second after the final.
The surprise package was Palmerston North's Rueben Hoeksema and Jacob Wood earning their first jetsprints podium finish with third, a big effort from the crew in just their second season, while Foxton's Keven Roberts with Grant Gibson was fourth.
There were familiar faces on the podium for the Group A class, even without Whanganui's Ross Travers attending the opening round, due to a birthday commitment in Australia.
Hamilton's defending champion Ollie Silverton and Jess Sit won the round, followed by New Plymouth's Neil Marshall with Haley Bruning, while Canterbury's Si Gibbon travelled a long way to finish third with his Whanganui navigator Donna Thompson.
In Group B, Waikato's Karl Beaver and Jay Ammon finished top of the podium, with New Plymouth's Kris Rasmussen and Holly Sutherland coming second.
That reduced Owhango's defending champions Tim and Debbie Edhouse to third after the opening round.
However, this six round season will see the rule introduction where drivers drop their worst result from their final tally, so there will be a chance for underperforming or absent competitors to make up the points gap in coming months.
The next round is at Whanganui's Shelterview on December 27.