The official Website of Jet Boating New Zealand

Competition Rules

Competition Rules 


The safe boating check list is designed to educate members in the safe use of their jet boat and its equipment.  It is the responsibility of the driver to ensure his/her boat meets the requirements of this list.  A member may be stopped from participating in a JBNZ event if their boat does not meet this list.  Any boat that does not comply may be able to participate in the event with a 5% penalty for each and every item that is deficient, provided the deficiency does not materially effect the safety of the driver, crew or others at the event.

  1. 1. Current JBNZ membership card sighted
  2. REGISTRATION letters at least 90 mm high fixed and legible on both boat & trailer.
  3. Tow rope attached to the boat to be 10m minimum length and 12 mm diameter attached to bow eye.
  4. All occupants must wear an approved PFD (not buoyancy aids or inflatable PFD).
  5. FIRST AID kit to be completed as per Safety Handbook.
  6. WATERPROOF matches and thermal blanket to be carried on the boat.
  7. COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT – Two forms of communication
  8. FIRE EXTINGUISHERS must be carried in all boats. Multi-purpose (A.B.C.) dry powder minimum capacity 1.4 kg or ATC or AFFF multi-purpose foam fire extinguisher minimum capacity 1.75 litres must be fitted in suitable mounting bracket capable of supporting the fire extinguishers in the event of an accident, extinguisher must carry a certificate to show they have been serviced within the previous 12 months. New extinguishers must also have certificates to show they have been serviced.  Aerosol type extinguishers not permitted.
  9. TWO PADDLES or oars in good condition.
  10. ORANGE distress flag (minimum 600mm x 600mm) to be attached to a suitable handle.
  11. REASONABLE tool kit and spares.
  12. SEATS (including back rests) tanks, battery, windscreens (where fitted) etc. to be securely fixed.
  13. BATTERY isolating switch to be fitted.
  14. BILGE PUMP – electric to minimum capacity 4400 litre per hour in good working order. Venturi optional extra.
  1. FUEL TAKE OFFS.  A. TOP OF TANK fuel line to shut-off tap to be securely fitted and above the level of the top of the tank.  Fuel line to be of appropriate NZ Fuel Line Standard and to be well secured.   B. BOTTOM OF TANK must have tap securely fitted to the tank at the outlet. Fuel line to be of appropriate NZ Fuel Line Standard and to be well secured.
  2. A FUEL FILTER with water trap must be fitted.
  3. PETROL (Methanol) resistant fuel lines must be fitted and be well secured and in good condition.
  4. WHERE carbs or air inlets are enclosed, flame arresters are to be fitted to carbs and air inlets.   (Metal mesh acceptable with at least 28 wires per 25 mm).
  5. All boats must have a minimum of two throttle return spring either one must be capable of closing the throttle.
  6. ADEQUATE BREATHERS, attached to each tank, venting overboard, and a minimum of 300mm from any uncooled part of the exhaust system.
  7. ALL EXPOSED MOVING mechanical parts i.e. driveshaft, belts, pulleys, etc must be enclosed by a secure cover- metal mesh acceptable.
  8. THE STEERING system must be in good condition and all threaded fixings must have effective locking devices. A chain guide must be fitted to boats with sprocket and chain steering. All other systems must comply with manufacturers’ specifications for their intended use.
  9. All boats must be silenced to 80 dBa as per noise regulation of the year book.
  10. ANY other items, in the opinion of the scrutineers are unsafe, must be rectified to the scrutineers satisfaction.
  11. INDEMNITY forms if supplied must be completed and signed.
  12. When a boat is fitted with a roll cage it becomes compulsory for all crew to wear an approved safety helmet and full harness seat belts must be of a type where all straps release individually from a common central release point, when the boat is in motion.



Inspected by:  _________________________          Signature: __________________________




Consists of 10 to 14 buoys spaced at intervals of 15 metres. Desirably set in a stretch of river with a current speed of a minimum of four knots.

Method, four runs through i.e. beginning from a point marked by flags on either side of the river, each competitor has a flying start from these flags which could be approximately 20 metres before the first buoy. Beginning with an upstream run, then downstream, up and finally downstream again and out through the start flags. Each boat to carry and independent observer whose duty it is to score the number of hits or misses during the run.

Scoring, the actual elapsed time converted to seconds is each competitors score. However for each hit recorded, a penalty of 15 seconds is added, and for each complete miss of a spacing between buoys a penalty of 30 seconds is added (i.e. boat does course in 1 min. 30 secs with two hits and a miss 90 + 20 + 25 = 135). Lowest score is the winner.


Consists of a series of numbered gates set at random on a short stretch of river. The water depth does not necessarily need to be shallow, and could even be set in deepish water providing the depth is not such that course setters are unable to wade it, or so swift that it will wash away gate markers.

Method, the object of this exercise is to, as quickly as possible, negotiate the gates in the correct order with preferably the competitor having no prior knowledge of the correct sequence, but having to determine this while competing. A cut off time for the event.

Scoring, elapsed time converted to seconds plus a penalty of say 25 seconds for a missed gate, (i.e. boat does course in 58 seconds, missed one gate 58 + 25 = 83). Lowest score wins.


Can be held on an out and back course, or on a one way course leading to another event. Well flagged with the flags always on the right hand side, with a flag placed at each channel to be taken. Code words to be placed on the course, and in view of a passing boat. Some codes could be placed in obvious places with some others more difficult to spot, like up a tree, or can only be seen by looking backwards, but still readable from the boat.

Method, the object of this competition is for the boats to go through in the fastest possible time, and yet correctly name all the code words in the right order, and to also count correctly the number of flags marking the course.

Scoring, elapsed time plus a penalty of two minutes for each code missed, and ten seconds for each flag not counted. (i.e. time 27 mins….. 18 secs only named 15 of 18 codes, and said there were 24 flags when there were actually 25. So 27 mins 18 secs + 3 mins + 10 secs = 30 mins 28 secs. Obviously to convert this score to seconds becomes too baulky, but the score could be achieved by adding a zero. Therefore 30 mins 28 secs becomes 300.28 points). Again lowest score wins.

Handicapping,  if the course is a skinny tight one, handicapping may not be necessary, but if the course is more open, then the faster boats have an advantage. Therefore over an easier course of say 16 kilometres, as a handicap the following times could be added as a penalty. Class 1 zero; class 2, 2 mins; class 3, 3 mins 30 secs; class 4, 5 mins; class 5, 6 mins. The 6 mins (60 points) may seem a lot between a class 5 boat and a class 1 boat but at the 1980 rally the difference between the only class 1 boat and the fastest class 4 boat was 6 mins 17 secs.


An event set in a stretch of river where a variety of streams occur. Marker poles are placed in different channels, and each marker pole has attached to it a letter, and a number.

Method, competitor needs to be able to see more than one pole at a time, he then has to decide the best and quickest way of getting to those marker poles. Competitor must record on his score card the letters in correct alphabetical order, although that may not be the way he will find them. The numbers also are to be totalled, and this completed before handing in his card. The event terminates on the handing in of the card to event controller.

Scoring, as the object is to get all the marker poles as quickly as possible and assuming they are placed in different streams which would require quick decisions, time should be the major scoring part of this event. It does not require a genius to think of entering ten or more letters in correct alphabetical order on the card before starting, then adding the number to it as they are found, nor does it require a computer to total them up. Therefore this aspect of the event should not feature predominately in the scoring, but should score as a penalty for sloppiness. If time is the basis of scoring, handicapping will be needed, and in the 1980 rally 1 min. between classes seemed to be a general rule. (Scoring would be, elapsed time, say 15 mins 30 secs missed one marker 1 min. rest entered in correct order, number correctly totalled, class 3 boat, 2 min. handicap. Therefore 15 mins 30 secs + 1 min. + 2 mins = 18 mins 30 secs, 180.30 points). Lowest score wins.


his event is one of temptation. The course is flagged, and codewords are placed in not too difficult places to find, with the codes getting closer together the further the boater goes.

Method, the competitor is given a certain time in which to do the course depending on his motor capacity. These allowed times should be predetermined for the various classes by assessing the times returned by the course setters. If the is well set, no competitor should reach the end of the course and would need to keep in mind that, even though in the upper part of the course, codewords are coming at him like a picket fence, he will reach a point where he will have to decide to cut off and return so as no to exceed his allowed time.

Scoring, this has been based on a very heavy penalty for lateness, plus points for codes and flags, but no penalty for arriving back early. A boater who arrives back 1 minute early has earned more than a boater arriving 10 seconds late and the additional codes found by the late boater has not offset this difference. Maybe it could be reworded so as to incur a penalty either side of the allowed time, with a proportional increase of penalty points for every additional 10 seconds outside the allowed time (i.e. allowed time 25 mins actual time 25 mins 30 secs, 1 min. for the next 10 secs. A 1 min. penalty for codes missed and 10 secs for every flag missed. Therefore 20 secs late, named 23 codes out of 26, said there were 47 flags out of 50. Score = 2 mins + 3 mins + 30 secs = 5 mins 30 secs, 53 points). Lowest score wins.


– Or speed sectionA well flagged course over which the competitors must get from start to finish as quickly as possible.Method, a handicap event, and given a skinny course of similar distance as the codes and flags, a similar handicap could be applied. The course should include one or two deviations in which a prominent codeword should be placed, but invisible to anyone not entering the deviation. These code incur a heavy penalty.

Scoring, actual elapsed time, plus handicap, plus heavy penalty, say 3 mins for codes in deviations not recorded, plus 10 secs for flags not counted.


Although not used for some time it may be well to keep on record the system used.Method, course to be accurately measured by either maps, using dividers, or pinwheel, or using about three boats at set speeds. Once the course has been established and measured, competitors without being told the distance, are asked to nominate their speeds. From Larry Reids rally tables their elapsed time at that speed can be quickly ascertained.Scoring, competitors elapsed time is recorded against the time he should have taken as per the rally tables. The difference is his score. i.e. if competitors nominated speed should have taken 25 mins but he took 25 mins 48 secs his score would be 48.


As can be seen this scoring is based on a demerit system. The longer the competitor takes subject to his handicap, the codes he does not find, the flags he does not count, all tally up against his, and the winner would be the one with the least points. The advantage of this method is that the scoring can commence as soon as cards come in.

The result would be a true indication of that competitors ability on the day, because his points tally is what he did actually achieve. There would not be a need to assess a cross section of results from known boaters to determine the scoring for that event. The competitor would know by his score just where he fell down. On disadvantage of this method is that where you run an event such as the stationary light test, or the slow boat test, it is the boater who has taken the longest time to do the event that wins. This of course is contrary to the method of scoring suggested here, of lowest points the winner. In this case it would be necessary to allocate a points total for these events, subtract the competitors time from it, and again you would have the lowest score the winner.

The other option would be to use this method for the other events, but you then create over a greater number of events what is really a false points tally, and again you rob the competitor of the opportunity of seeing where and how he went wrong. A further objection to this system has been that the points may not relate proportionally to all events. However, if you look at this system whereby in the flags and codes, on the distance used over the last two years, a good class 3 boat is covering the course in around 20 mins which would cost him 200 points plus whatever codes and flags he missed, plus handicap, and a slalom time of around 1min 20 secs would cost him 120 points, plus any penalties and it will be seen that it is not too far from the present system of total points for codes and flags of 250 and 150 for the slalom.

Other methods have been to allocate points for each event and the winner receives the maximum. The disadvantage of this is that two different competitors both with a win each receive for it maximum points, yet there could have been quite a difference in their individual performances in achieving a win. This over a number of events could finish with an incorrect result.

Another method has been to also give the winner maximum points and to graduate all scores so as no one finishes with a minus score. Although this is kind to the boaters with poor performances, it also tends to distort results, and as with the above system, can bring about an incorrect result. A further disadvantage is that because of the need to have the top and lowest scores before grading can be done all cards must be in before scoring can commence.

Other Comments – Over the years results have shown that in events where codewords are used, the best of competitors only get about 65% of the codes. This would suggest that either competitors are concerning themselves more with time at the expense of codes or codes are too hard to find. The scoring system as suggested would soon educate a boater into appreciating the importance of codes. The codes should not be too easy to find, or obviously everyone would score well in this department, but at the same time they should no be hidden from view. Codes should be positioned so as they can be seen and read from the boat, but some should be placed so as not to stick out like the proverbial sore thumb. It may even be worth considering informing the competitors that, “there are such and such a number of codes on the course, go find them”. Classes for handicapping should be as per the classes for speed record attempts.