A superboat pilot wants to break the return trip record across Cook Strait - at speeds of more than 200 kilometres per hour.
Fairview Metal Industries director Warren Lewis wants to pilot the Fairview Windows and Doors Offshore Superboat from Evans Bay in Wellington to at least Mabel Island, near Picton in Queen Charlotte Sound, when the weather is good enough sometime over the next three months.
Each attempt will require accommodation for the crew who will travel from Auckland to Wellington, a helicopter to capture the event, a chaser boat with a paramedic, and about $1200 worth of fuel for a total cost of about $10,000. The boat burns $1000 worth of fuel per hour.
Mr Lewis wants to lower the existing record of one hour and 15 minutes to less than an hour over the 190-kilometre return trip.
"It's purely and utterly to beat the record," he said.
"Not too many people have travelled across Cook Strait at over 200 kilometres an hour."
Mr Lewis has been on the water since he sailed at a young age and grew up surrounded by boats on lakes in the Mackenzie Country, around Mt Cook.
His interest grew with him and he wants to beat the Cook Strait record because "there aren't many New Zealand water records out there".
His company's 35-foot-long Skater catamaran superboat was imported from the USA and is powered by a pair of 502-cubic-inch, 525-horsepower, Mercruiser Big Block V8 engines that produce more than 1000 horsepower combined.
It is New Zealand's fastest, capable of travelling at 219 kilometres per hour and holds the record for the quickest return trip between the Auckland Harbour Bridge and Great Barrier with a time of one hour, six minutes and 15 seconds set in 2009.
Mr Lewis said he would need to give the Wellington and Picton harbour masters at least 24 hours notice before an attempt to ensure there would be no problems with other boats in the strait.
Marlborough Harbourmaster Alex van Wijngaarden was investigating whether or not Mr Lewis could travel closer to Picton, about 200 metres out from the shoreline, by temporarily excusing him from a bylaw restricting the speed.
No official point of return was set in Picton.
- The Marlborough Express