JAN 13th 2015

Video: How to drive a four‑rotor, 960hp Jetsprint‑boat very, very hard indeed

Sadly, the Festival of Speed can’t cater for water-borne craft. If it could, then I would nominate this astonishing clip to encompass this year’s theme of Flat-out and Fearless: Racing on the edge.

What we have here is a Jetsprint boat, which is something of a first for us. These are short-hulled craft which compete over an artificial course through metre-deep channels while the co’-driver points out which turn is next with their left hand. It began in New Zealand in the early Eighties and is now also popular in Australia and the States.

This Jetsprint boat competes in the Super Boat class, which has no restriction on the size of engine. Competitors usually take advantage of this by using big-block Chevy V8s of up to 1400 horsepower, however in this case there is a 960hp, turbocharged (presumably Mazda-based) rotary engine installed, which has the advantage of being light and keeping all the weight low-down …

Annoyingly, the clip begins slowly and with music playing over the audio, but from 0:36 seconds onwards you’re treated to an orgy of high rpms and hard cornering that would make a gearbox kart blush. There are points in the run where I almost strained my neck just watching it!

Fasten your seat belts … 

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