Superboat torn to pieces in high-speed crash
A BOAT has been towed to shore in two pieces after crashing during a Superboat race.
Maritimo 1000 crashed at about 11.10am on Sunday, just after race 1 of the Offshore Superboat Championships began at Mackay Harbour.
Protected by a reinforced cockpit and a six-point safety harness, drivers Andrew Searle and Andrew Willaton were unharmed.
Offshore Superboat Championships race director Russell Embleton said the destroyed boat would have been worth about half a million dollars.
"They just put the nose of the boat into a fairly significant wave," he said.
"(It's something) you see from time to time, it's not uncommon."
Mr Embleton said the drivers would likely not be able to see out the rest of the Championships.
When the Championships started in Bowen last month, Mr Searle and Mr Willaton won the first race in its class and came second in the second race.
"They had been doing very well and it's a heck of a shame," Mr Embleton said.
"It's an older boat... but it's not that long ago been rebuilt and modified slightly, so for all intents and purposes it's a fairly new boat."
Parts of the boat were towed back to shore by the Offshore Superboat Championships' own rescue vessels.
However, the drivers still took out the first race yesterday.
As race one was stopped, judges took the results as at the time of the crash and Maritimo 1000 ended up winning the first race in its class Supercat Extreme.
The boat Gold Coast City Marina also suffered bad luck at the weekend - an engine failure partway through the second Supercat Outboard race meant that they were unable to complete the race.
Mackay competitors Yellow Brick Road did well. Drivers Chris and Brendan Frier came in second in the first Supercat Extreme race and won the second race of that class.
Offshore Superboat Championships rounds will continue at Coffs Harbour, Lake Macquarie and Hervey Bay.