That’s more Indie 500 than Le Mans, but there they wave the flag, the drivers (used to) run across the track, jump into their cars, crank them up and head off for a 24 hour jaunt around the track..
At the NZ Antique & Classic Boat Show, held annually at Lake Rotoiti in the Nelson Lakes National Park, it’s a bit different.
The chappy in the Control caravan cajoles the owners of dinghies powered by Marston Seagull engines to gather on the shore in front of him (6 obliged).
The boats are held in position by non-participants and the countdown begins: 5-4-3-2-1- blast of the air horn;
Drivers rush (at various degrees of rushingness…) to their boat, clamber in and start the engine.
Which involves winding a cord around the flywheel and pulling, releasing all 1 (or 2) horsepower in a cacaphony of 2-stroke madness.
If it doesn’t catch, wind the cord again, pull.
If all fails, paddle away and accept last place while watching the others motor around the 2 lap course….