A roar across the water – and a whiff of fuel

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There was high-octane fuel on the nor-west as some of the world’s fastest jetboats roared up the Rakaia Gorge as part of the UIM World Jet Boat Marathon (New Zealand).
The boats left the Rakaia lagoon near the coast at 10am on Tuesday- and the first were at the gorge – 85km inland – 30 minutes later.
Spectators and supporters first heard the boats – a deep–throated roar echoing from the gorge’s southern cliffs – before the boats came into view – slithering dots in front of a plume of river water.
Tuesday’s leg of the event was on the Rakaia – famous for its salmon, and its appeal to jet-boaters – with a briefing at 9am, followed by a high-speed blast up and under State Highway One and beyond.
The racers headed back down the Rakaia at one-minute intervals at 1pm, with the river expected to be clear of boats by 3pm.
Some of the boats reach speeds of 150kmh – or more.
* See video this page.