New Zealand’s Waiheke Beach Sees Fast and Ferocious Race on Land and Water.


One of the unwritten rules of the road sailors love to quote is: “When one or more vessels are in sight of one another at sea, the race is on.”

Now it seems that Superyacht tender race in New Zealand is showing sailors hot competition over sea and land

Recently Waiheke Island reverberated to the sound of Sealegs amphibious vessels racing around Onetangi beach. The island’s local community, which has the most number of Sealegs per capita in the world with more than 60 of the vessels in use, has been running races on the beach for the last 100 years

The biggest amphibious race in the world, is sponsored by ATEED, (Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development) and Sealegs.

The Le Mans style start saw team USA lead the quick sprint up the beach to the line up of craft. Springing aboard, runners threw the keys to the drivers and then it was a dash for the water line. With a top speed of 10kms on land, the boats jostled for the line as their outboards descended while driving into the water.

Local boat owner and winner of the last two such annual events Simon Harding was declared the winner and celebrated his hatrick with his team mates

The unusual vessels are fitted Honda-powered hydraulic wheels that retract in the water, while on land the motorised, steerable system allows the boat to be move seamlessly from land to water.

The craft have been steadily increasing in popularity since their introduction ten years ago, with a number of large yachts, snapping them up to keep guests’ feet dry from yacht to shore.