Since the V8 Jetsprints first arrived in the Bay of Plenty back in 2014, organisers have sought to identify opportunities which keep the award-winning, action-packed event at the forefront of innovation.
The inaugural event heralded a new era globally for the sport, as ASB Baypark played host to the world's first stadium-based jetsprinting event.
With the 2018 ENZED Jetsprint Stadium Cup event back in town on Saturday another pioneering first for the sport has been achieved, in a low impact sustainable water source for the event, which supports the city's water-saving efforts.
On average Tauranga city uses 39 million litres of water a day whilst the Jetsprints event only requires two million litres of water, the equivalent to three Olympic swimming pools.
Organisers have been working to find a sustainable and cost-effective water source which meets the event requirements, without any negative environmental impact.
As event preparations for 2018 got underway last year, predictions of a long, hot, dry summer led the event organisers, Jetsprint BOP and Bay Venues, to ramp up their efforts and take a proactive approach to identify a sustainable water sourcing solution that would not draw on the city's water supply or potable drinking water.
Bay Venues commercial manager Ervin McSweeney along with Jetsprints BOP event director, Matthew Minnell, have been working with local water and pumping specialists to investigate the feasibility of a range of possible options.
In collaboration with the Tauranga City Water Management staff, they have identified a solution to enable the event to reuse and ‘upcycle' storm water from a large nearby storm water storage pond.
“We are delighted to announce that after discussions with council we have obtained permission to pump storm water from the storage pond to Baypark – a distance of approximately 1.2 kilometres.
“During the feasibility exercise, landscape architects and ecologists were consulted to ensure there would be no damage to the local ecology – most specifically, the surrounding wetlands.
“This is a great long-term option for this event as the city clearly will require all supplies of potable water to satisfy the growing residential population in the foreseeable future,” says Ervin.
The water will be piped across to ASB Stadium where a specially-designed pumping system is used to fill the purpose-built aqua track.
The pumping system recycles and filters the water through a series of pumps, before pumping it back into the main track, for the duration of the races.
At the conclusion of the event, the water will be filtered to remove pollutants before being returned to the storm water management system.
“Upcycling the storm water is the most optimal solution for everyone,” says Matthew.
“It was a challenge to identify a suitable water source that met all the criteria. It was really important to us to not draw on water from the town supply or any potable water source, due to the water restrictions currently in place.
“However, we also need to have water that meets the water standard requirements for jet boat engines.
“This means no saline and no solid matter in the water. Additionally, the water has to be drawn from a source that flows at the required volume and rate needed to retain water quality and water levels for the aqua track.
“Last, but not least, we need to make sure that the water is coming from a safe source so that we can protect the health of our race teams and rescue crews.”
The organisers say they are pleased, that through consultation and collaboration with the local community, they have been able to find an innovative, sustainable, long-term solution for sourcing water and proactively played their part in supporting the city's water conservation efforts.
The race is this Saturday, January 27 from 5-10pm. Gates open at 3pm.
Tickets are available through Eventfinda with a savings of $10-$20 on gate ticket price for general admission adult and general admission family.
To win your pass to the race visit http://sunlive.co.nz/competitions