Powerboat racer escapes unscathed after 186mph flip

Veteran powerboat racer Warwick Lupton has admitted he was very lucky to escape unscathed after his hydroplane flipped over in mid-air

The life of a powerboat racer is fraught with danger, but even seasoned professionals must find this footage quite alarming.

Over the weekend, New Zealand powerboat racer and world champion Warwick Lupton flipped his hydroplane while racing at 186mph on Lake Dunston.

As the video above shows, the crash was pretty spectacular, with the 55-year-old’s entire 2,000hp powerboat launching up into the air and completing a 360-degree inversion.

UPDATE: On-board footage from son Jack Lupton’s rival boat

Photos posted to Facebook after the incident show the entire rear end was shorn off, but Warwick was lucky enough to escape with only minor bruising.

Talking to local TV channel 3 News, the understated Kiwi said: “She was a pretty wild ride. We hit two waves in a row, I couldn’t get it back down and I knew I was on for a ride then.”

Perhaps the most frustrating detail is that Warwick had just edged into first place when he caught air. Even though the flip carried him over the finish line, he was pipped at the post by rival Raymond Hart.

Regrets? He has just one: “We actually discussed it before we went out that we should raise the back wing to keep the nose down.”

So Warwick will live to race another day, but his yellow speed machine Annihilator wasn’t so lucky, as the picture below shows.

Annihilator powerboat race damage


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