Ross Bailey (QIK) – lives in Hastings with Clare
We have three adult children and four grandchildren all living in Hawkes Bay.
I had my first introduction to jet boats when building an engine for one in 1981 that then lead on to me being ground crew in 1982 for a Hastings team. I first started navigating in 1986 for the Worlds here in New Zealand and we managed third place in B class. After this experience I purchased a 17′ tunnel hull that was used as a family/race boat.
The next acquisition was the newer shaped Kwik Kraft tunnel that we raced with a lot of success in the North Island circuit races. In 1994 I purchased another complete Kwik Kraft tunnel from Auckland. When I spoke to Tony Ward about this boat he told me it was the sort of set up that could go out and win a marathon. So I entered the 1995 marathon with Alan Williams as crew and Tony was right, we managed to win the event. I then raced this boat for several years with Gavin Loye as crew with varying results. Then in the 2001 World event we were successful again and collected the NZ1 title. During this event I had Jarard Coleman as navigator who at 18 years of age would be the youngest person to hold this title. I then raced with both Murray Kelsen or Gavin Loye until 2006 when work got in the way of pleasure!!
I was also lucky enough to go to two World events in USA once as navigator for Tony Ward and then as ground crew for Robert Thompson.
Family boating has also been a big part of our life with many hours spent with the family and several boats have taken us around the country boating, camping and having a great time with awesome people.
I spent many years on the Central Districts committee including a term as President. I was also Secretary of RRA (with the help of Clare) for 10 years.
I am still a very passionate pleasure boater and especially keen while on the committee to encourage non-members to join the association and enjoy the benefits of the association.