Day four of the U.I.M World championship jet boat marathon has seen the loss of Winton racer, Garth McMaster.
McMaster and navigator Phillip Stirling were sitting in second when their crank shaft pulley came off on the upstream of the Oreti river.
"We lost an underdog [in McMaster] in a boat that was punching well above it's weight," event media liaison Paul Mullan said.
The pair attempted to get the boat going again for the second leg of their home river, only to suffer turbo failure.
Mullan said yesterday, "he's on the side of the river right now and with a lay day tomorrow they're working hard".
The loss of McMaster meant the unofficial results would see John Derry take a clear lead with Dale Whiteside moving into second.
Fellow Winton racer Ben Baxter had a good day on his home river and moved into third place.
Chad Burns, who was the Canadian title holder, had also suffered engine problems and Mullan said, "he will be struggling to rejoin tomorrow".
Rob Pooley, who was sitting in fourth place after leg seven on the Waiau also suffered engine problems yesterday.
The weather also played a part in yesterday's racing as the boats roll cages could not fit under the Benmore bridge due to the rise in river so the course was changed.
Competitors completed four shorter legs rather than the two planned and by the afternoon the river had rose by half-a-metre, Mullan said.
Race organiser Tim Guthrie said, "It's just jet boat racing, it's just what it's like [with problems]".
On a positive note Gord Humphrey (Canada), who smashed his gear box on Monday, had travelled to Queenstown yesterday to pick up parts for his boat that were flown in from Tauranga and should be back racing tomorrow.
"He should be ready for racing the last two days," Mullan said.
Today will see a lay day with racing set to continue on the Dart river tomorrow.
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