The Ardmore Showdown, a slightly ambiguous name, and it doesn't…
After having our minds melted at the first round in Wanganui, we decided to take the entire team along for the next event at Baypark, Tauranga. Between you and us, we weren’t prepared for epic-ness ahead of us.
There was a moment when we felt as if the only thing missing was Russell Crowe, aka Maximum Desimus Meridius, (commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions and loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife) standing in the middle of the stadium and shouting, “are you not entertained!” Jet sprinting is crazy but the organisers are equally potty or really convincing, not quite sure which. They somehow managed to pitch this idea… “we would like to dig up your beautiful track, fill it with water, and have around 50 boats (some that have upwards of a 1000hp and pull 3G in a corner) attack this tight and narrow course against the clock. Not only has this never been done before inside a stadium, but we will sell out the stadium.” Not really sure how they did it, but glad Pip Minnell and her team made it happen, as the atmosphere inside the stadium is a balance of intense and electric.
We mentioned Russell Crowe earlier and this reference was made because, like the colosseum in Rome, the spectators wanted to see their heroes win, but were equally out to see carnage. At Baypark that same mentality was in the air. There was bloodlust in the eyes of the lively crowd, they cheered on good runs from all the drivers but when a mishap occurred the audience erupted off their seats.
You could feel sorry for the drivers, but no sympathy needed, as they all knew they are up against the perils of the tight course. At the same time they each knew what this round means for the sport. It is a chance for the sport to be encapsulated in a condensed area, creating a vibe that will see the sports popularity increase substantially. There was actually a handful of american competitors that had come over for the event. They came to see how the event was run and how they could adopt it to work in the states. This is an important fact as in 2016 the World Jet Sprinting championship has been confirmed to be held at Baypark (we even think they stole the worlds off the Australians, didgeri-who?).
Next year if you are in the North Island and you love the sound of a V8 on full song, make sure you add this event to your calendar!
For a full run down of the event and the current standings check out the NZ Jet sprint Association website here: www.jetsprint.co.nz