With the revving of V8 engines and plenty of water spray, the Jet Boat Track at the Keith Showgrounds will again roar to life on the weekend of October 27 – 28, when almost 50 jet boats from as far away as the United States and New Zealand vie for the world series title.
Organising committee chairman Glen Simpson said the boat track is looking great, the teams are pumped and the weekend will see the very best in jet boat sport compete in one of the two rounds held here in Australia.
“We are very fortunate to have won the bid to host this event and we expect that around 4,500 people will attend on both days of the competition. Our track is considered by the AFJSA (Australian Formula Jet Sprint Association) to be one of the best they compete at,” Glen said.
“Most of the aluminium hulls are purpose built in New Zealand with only a few built in Australia. They are about 4 meters long with a roll cage and only need about 25cms of water. The course is designed to run from 40 to 45 seconds. Boats are crewed with a driver and navigator who reassures the driver on the course direction. There are sometimes spills – usually a roll over, but generally only their pride is hurt.”
With the jet boat price tags starting at about $40,000 for a second hand one, reaching up to $150,000 plus – depending on engines, there will be a lot of interest at the Friday afternoon scrutineering “Street Party” in the main street of Keith.
The street will be closed off from about 1pm, the jet boats will come in, line up along the street and the public will have the chance to see the boats up close.
Food stalls, a band and shops will be open till late to create a nice way for people to see the boats and for visitors, many of whom are camping at the showgrounds – a chance to see what Keith has to offer.
This will be the start of the big weekend which will see qualifying round on Saturday and the main race on Sunday.
The event is fully catered, and camping is available.
This is another event run by the Keith and Tintinara Show Society which runs the annual show and the Diesel and Dirt Derby which has grown from attracting a few hundred people in 2012 to having 11,500 through the gates in March this year.
Tickets are available online through the website https://www.keithdieselanddirtderby.com.au/world-series and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/KeithDDD/ (Check out the YouTube link to the action).