A blow out in the cost of moving the moorings has forced organisers of the Tauranga Hydro Thunder racing to cancel the March event.
When the Grand Prix Hydroplanes held the world championships in harbour opposite The Strand in 2010, they had to pay $8000 to have the moorings moved for the event.
This year organisers are being asked to pay $24,500.
The event is now being moved to Auckland.
“Every year it went up and up and up,” says promoter Denise Preece.
“The last time we paid it was $11,000 or something. Now its $21,000 to move the moorings and you are looking at another $3500 to store them in the marina.
“We had no issue with that, we knew the process, no problem. But unfortunately the process has got bigger and bigger. And this is a free community event.”
They cannot absorb increased costs by charging more for tickets.
“But seriously, it's just got crazy,” says Denise.
“I don't understand. We have the same amount of boats – the same boats and the same moorings. It's all the same.
“We haven't done this lightly, this has been pretty hard to do, but we really have to look at the whole thing. Why would you put all that money in and it's not just that, we have got cranes and then we have got all our $7000 worth of safety people on the water. You have got to have all that stuff.”
The Grand Prix drivers had a meeting last week and voted to cancel because it's getting out of hand.
“It's a perfect venue. We're not happy about it. We are taking the event to Auckland this year anyway, which is a shame.
“Other than Karapiro that (Tauranga) would have to be one of the best venues we've been to because it's such a great place for people to be able to watch it.
“We want to come back. We are not sour about this, but we just want to make it happen. Not just for our event, but for other people to have events there. They're doing all that work on the waterfront it's a natural place to have events people can just come along.”
It would be great if they moved all the moorings away from the Town Reach, leaving the water open for anyone who wanted to use it, says Denise.
Tauranga City Council acting strategic and city events manager Jenna Quay says the Acceleration On Water Festival of Speed, which was held on the Tauranga waterfront in 2011 and 2013, and was scheduled to be held again on 4 and 5 March 2017 – will now be held in Auckland on April 29 and 30, 2017.
“NZGP Hydroplanes Drivers Club INC contacted Council last week, to advise that they wished to cancel their event in March,” says Jenna in a prepared statement.
“Tauranga City Council worked with the event organisers in regards to the activities to be held on land. They had been working with Bay Of Plenty Regional Council to move the moorings along the waterfront and store these boats at the Marina. The costs associated with this were more than they had originally anticipated. Unfortunately, it was not financially viable for them to hold the event this year.
“Tauranga City Council will work with the event organisers to look to assist them with sourcing additional funding or sponsorship to host their event in Tauranga in the future, and look forward to the opportunity of welcoming them back to the city. It would be a great event to stage on the Tauranga waterfront.”