Southlanders Ben Baxter and Michael King can't quite believe that they're now amongst the best jet boat champions in the world.
The Winton brothers have only been in the sport for three years and yet they've just walked away with a third placing in the 2013 World Jet Boat Marathon Championships held recently across southern rivers.
"We're stoked. We were pretty surprised to come away with that result, " King said.
"We would have just been happy to finish, so to finish in third place is more than we expected.
"It's about reliability, a bit of luck and a bit of skill from the pair of us I guess."
They were particularly pleased with the performance of their new motor - a Nissan VK56 5.6 litre V8 twin turbo - which they had been built up over the past two years, Baxter said.
"This motor's completely new to the scene."
And while it was an expensive sport, with one crew using a $250,000 engine, the Southlanders cut costs in other ways.
"The only reason we can do this sport is because we can pretty much do the work [on the boat] ourselves."
Their fuel bill was supported by major sponsor Nightcaps Contracting, who had reconfirmed their support for the future, he said.
At 23 Baxter was the youngest driver to compete in the event and believed that the pair had many years of racing ahead of them.
The boys had their sights set on a Southern jet boat series next March, involving Otago and Southland boats, but were unsure about competing in the NZ Championships because of the costs of racing in the North Island.
The next World Champs in Mexico were also unlikely at this stage.
Thirty-eight boats from New Zealand, Canada and Mexico, competed in the event across the Waitaki, Clutha, Waiau, Oreti, Dart and Matukituki rivers.
Results: Overall winners: 1 - John Derry (Blenheim), 2 - Dale Whiteside (Canada), 3 - Ben Baxter (Winton).
- © Fairfax NZ News