Boat crew break 30-year Cook Strait record
Speed demons break Strait crossing record
Warren Lewis and crew member Chris Hanley have overcome terrible conditions to break a three-decade-old record for the fastest return crossing of Cook Strait.
Mr Lewis' boat made the trip to the South Island and back today in one hour, 33 minutes and 19 seconds. The old record was one hour and 43 minutes.
Mr Lewis said conditions were "terrible" and he considered calling off the attempt. Crossing the strait, the pair did not expect to break the record.
He said it was like "an egg beater" as the boat entered the Tory Channel.
The previous record was set by a team named Aurora in 1984.
The record-breaking vessel Fairview Windows and Doors Offshore Superboat is the country's fastest offshore powerboat. It has reached speeds of up to 219kmh on Lake Karapiro.
Comparing the modern boats with those from the 1980s is like "chalk and cheese", he says.
"The return distance is 190 kilometres, and our top speed is 220kmh, so on that basis less than an hour is possible.
"But realistically it's not, when you account for navigation and turning, and obviously we're not going to get glass flat water, " Mr Lewis says.
A paramedic in a helicopter will be standing by, marine warnings will go out to all boaties and they will be in regular contact with coastguards, maritime police and harbourmasters.
Mr Lewis competes in offshore powerboat championships, and has been the national champion for the past two years.
He also holds the record for the fastest return trip from Auckland Harbour Bridge to Great Barrier Island, in a time of one hour, six minutes and 15 seconds, taking more than 30 minutes off the previous record.
The record attempt looped around Mabel Island off Picton and straight back again.
The rules state the skipper must collect a letter from the harbourmaster at Picton to bring back to Wellington as proof of completion.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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