VIDEO: 14 amphibious boats battle it out in Sealegs race

Viral videos 23 Videos VIDEO: The world’s fastest electric surfboard in action 02:51 VIDEO: Two rescued from burning boat off Eastbourne 00:54 VIDEO: Van Geest Design reveals shimmering superyacht concept 02:48 VIDEO: Burning superyacht filmed in US Virgin Islands 00:51 VIDEO: Princess 95 superyacht fire in Turkish marina 00:00 Boat Fail: $24m superyacht fire caught on drone camera 00:00 VIDEO: Two superyachts damaged in Turkish marina fire 00:00 VIDEO: Abu Dhabi Yacht Club fire destroys 8 boats 00:28 VIDEO: RNLI crew rescue five from listing fishing vessel 00:00 VIDEO: Coastguard rescue 13 from sinking superyacht 00:00 VIDEO: 106ft Italian superyacht sinks off Mykonos 00:00 VIDEO: Planing motorbike surfs waves in Tahiti 00:00 VIDEO: Hydrostream Venom in car vs boat drag race 00:00 VIDEO: Gibbs Amphibians launches new jetski motorbike 00:00 Boat Fail: Fireworks on boat dock lead to explosive disaster 00:00 VIDEO: 14 amphibious boats battle it out in Sealegs race 00:00 VIDEO: Canadian boater shows off super-charged swan boat 00:58 VIDEO: Drone captures 5,000-tonne tanker in tight squeeze 00:00 VIDEO: Peugeot 308 GTI vs F2 raceboat in 2km drag race 00:00 VIDEO: Powercat flips in 2015 XCAT Gold Coast GP 00:00 VIDEO: Roger Federer plays motor boat tennis in Sydney 00:00 VIDEO: Safehaven Marine capsizes Barracuda stealth boat 00:00 VIDEO: Shannon class RNLI lifeboat spins on a sixpence 00:00

The annual Sealegs race has seen 14 amphibious boats race across sand and surf on Waiheke Island in New Zealand

From bungee jumping to white water rafting, New Zealand is the spiritual home of many extreme sports, but the antipodean nation has now come up with our favourite sport of the lot – amphibious boat racing.

Hosted every February on Waiheke Island, the Sealegs race sees amphibious vessels go head-to-head across Onetangi beach and into the surf.

This year’s event on February 22 featured a field of 14 amphibious boats, but before they could set off, the skippers had to be tagged in by their runner who starts the race by sprinting up the beach, adding a Le Mans-style sense of drama to proceedings.

Once the Sealegs’ Honda-powered beach crawler system has sprung into life, the two-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive vessels make their way down to the waters edge at a modest top speed of 6mph.

However, when the Evinrude outboard engine hits the water, the real action starts, with boats leaping into the surf like excited salmon. Salmon capable of 43 knots, that is.

Once they’re past the second buoy, the boats make their way back to the shore for another crawl along the beach, followed by a second hair-raising lap of the course.

This year’s Sealegs race was won by multiple champion Simon Harding, with Waiheke Island resident Scott Unsworth taking second place.

But judging by the smiles on the faces of the all competitors in the video above, it seems like even the losers had a great time just messing about in amphibious boats.

Latest videos