YOUTHFUL Waverley farmer Jack Lupton continued his meteoric rise in boat racing circles to again win the Masport Cup in the New Zealand Grand Pix Hydroplane series on Lake Karapiro at the weekend.
The roar of the motors and the spectacular 300m rooster tails from the 1800hp Grand Prix Hydroplanes producing speeds in excess of 280km/h had spectators gaping in awe, while Lupton kept a level head to become the youngest driver to win his second Masport Cup.
This season was the 91st running of the cup.
Lupton, driving his Rural Fuels GP57 machine, first won the cup in 2014 at the age of 18 and on Sunday won the title by taking out both heats.
Young Lupton did not have it all his own way in the first heat. He had to battle for first place with The Boss and Raymond Hart, and his brother Ken Lupton in the Lucas Oils-sponsored craft, for the four-lap race. Jack Lupton took line honours, taking just 2min 47sec to complete the circuit in the first heat.
In the best Grand Prix Hydroplane racing seen for a while at the Acceleration on Water regatta, the second heat was another exciting battle with Fair Warning and Scott Coker from Otorohanga charging hard through the field to finish only seconds behind GP57. Overall placings went to Rural Fuels GP47 and Lupton with Fair Warning and Scott Coker in second and The Steeler 777 David Alexander from Waverley in third.
The North Island Unlimited Unrestricted Championship also featured another exciting two heats of Grand Prix Hydroplane racing. Rural Fuels GP57 won the first heat and the second saw young Lupton beaten over the line by his neighbour Alexander in The Steeler 777. Alexander crossed the line only half a boat length in front. With the points taken over both heats the overall placing went to Rural Fuels GP57, The Steeler 777 in second and Annihilator Race boats with Jack’s dad Warwick Lupton in third.
The regatta featured two days of great racing for the support classes too, with close racing in the juniors and clubmans, 25hp- and 30hp-powered boats and with the turbine-powered jet boats of multi-world champion Mark Cromie and son Nigel.
The next round of the NZ Grand Prix Hydroplane Series will be at Lake Rotoiti, Nelson Lakes on February 27-28 for the AE Baker Trophy, an Australasian hydroplane championship. Several teams are considering competing in the EC Griffith Cup on April 29-30 on Lake Mulawala, Yarrawonga, just out of Melbourne