Occasional contributor George Empson’s photo somewhere on this page reminded me that boating takes many forms – and that Kiwis enjoy it all year round. George took the photo after a recent powerboat racing event on Lake Tekapo in a spectacular setting surrounded by the snowy peaks of the Southern Alps. It shows racegoers enjoying some welcome, I’m sure, post-race sunshine and socialising outside Lake Tekapo Boat Club.

George is a keen and talented photographer who happened upon this event on his way home from feeding out his merino flock. He took a few moments to snap a series of pictures of the event and later swung by the clubhouse. We’ll feature more of his images in our next issue – Editor’s Note is always the last page we send to the printer, so there was only room for one picture of the event in this edition.

Powerboat racing in all of its many, many forms, including ski-racing and circuit jet-boat racing, is popular, not only with enthusiasts, but also with the public. Bigger events can draw large crowds. Even a boat race held on Lake Tekapo in the middle of winter attracted plenty of interest from the racing fraternity and from spectators staunch enough to brave the cold. Good on them.

Since March, boating of any kind has been somewhat problematic for me personally, with a dicky knee seriously compromising my mobility and making most boating activity too painful.

My new Stabicraft trailer boat has languished in the driveway for months – I’ve only been out in it three times since I picked it up in February – and I suffered terrible knee pain for days after every trip. It’s been the same story with boat reviews for this magazine, most of which I’ve had to assign to others in the magazine’s brilliant team.

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I’ve missed boating – a lot. I realise it is human nature to take your health for granted until something goes wrong, but I found the months of reduced activity and constant pain very frustrating. It was a bit of a wake-up call – a reminder that stuff happens in life, so we need to make the most of our opportunities while we can, including taking every chance to go boating.

The good news is that I had knee surgery a few weeks ago. The chronic pain has gone, and after months of hobbling around, I have regained most of my mobility. It’s now just a matter of working out stiffness in the knee and regaining strength in the leg.

So, I’m hopeful that by this time next month, I’ll be back to my old self. With a bit of luck, the new boat will finally see a bit of use. Can’t wait.

Happy Boating!

John Eichelsheim
Editor