Jetski enthusiasts race against clock

Making a splash. . . Jacqui Gifkins of Wyndham safely navigates her way around one buoy during the Jetskiing Southland Group’s time trial at Eden Pryde’s pond on Sunday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Jetskiing is a family affair for the Gifkins family of Wyndham.
Three members of the family — Chris, Jacqui and Scott, 10 — were part of the Jetskiing Southland group that took to the still waters of Eden Pryde’s pond near Gore on Sunday morning to give the eels a noisy hurryup.
Daughter Sophie, 13, was having a day off from the sport.
Mr Gifkins said 11 riders took part in the annual time trial event, which involved racing around buoys on a course set up on the pond.
Two riders competed at once, starting on opposite sides of the pond, and had three laps to try to complete the race first.
Group members were becoming more competitive as time passed, Mr Gifkins said.
‘‘The people who are here are buying bigger skis to win.’’
Some of the jetskis could reach 130kmh in 3.2 seconds.
However, the way the buoys were set up on the course, it was not easy to achieve that speed.
‘‘You can’t reach the high speed because it’s too tight.’’
He started the group about four years ago after the family bought a jetski and wanted to go on weekend trips with likeminded jetski enthusiasts.
‘‘There wasn’t a group or a club out there, so we took some advice from some old motocross buddies and started a group.
‘‘There’s always safety in numbers.’’
The family started off riding motorbikes, but found jetskiing more family friendly.
‘‘It’s great for the kids.
‘‘Much safer than motorbikes.
‘‘You land on water and you bounce.’’
The jetski could be used to pull someone on water skis, knee-boarding or a biscuit.
Scott said he had been jetskiing for five years.
‘‘I think it’s pretty cool how you can ride on water.
‘‘Falling off’s the fun part.’’
It was only in the winter he did not enjoy outings on the jetski.
‘‘We do a winter run and it gets really cold.’’

Water play…Jetskiing Southland member Jacqui Gifkins won the women’s event at the group’s time trial on Sunday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON