KJet Jet Boat River Racing Team

As well as providing legendary Jet boat trips in our Twin Engine V8 Jet boats, KJet has been heavily involved in the Jet boat river racing scene since 1992 and competed in Marathons all over the country since 1996.

Director and Jet boat river racing driver Shaun Kelly and Navigator son Joe (aged 19) won the NZ3 title in the 2018 ITM Jet boat Marathon.

Driver Shaun has a passion for Jet boat river racing and can only describe it as “a real buzz”. Being able to share it with his son Joe also makes it pretty special. Joe has had his commercial Jet boat licence since he was legally allowed at 18, but has been in boats since a young age with his Father.

Shaun competed in the World Jet Boat Marathons with Navigator Mark Jackson held in Whitecourt, Canada in 1999 and Oregan, USA in 2000, placing 5th out of over 50 competitors. The World Jet Boat Marathons are held annually in rotation across the USA, Mexico, Canada and New Zealand, with the last Marathon in New Zealand being in 2017.

Typically, the Jet boat marathons are between 800km – 1000km in distance and are held over a week across multiple rivers.

KJet’s company Mechanic Tony who has been with KJet for over 17 years, also joins the father and son duo, in order to maintain the race boat to peak performance levels. As well as Tony, a crew of around 3 travel with the group, with extra hands required to assist with maintenance and fuelling the boat. A general passion for Jet boating is obviously required too!

KJet Race Boat 2

Our race boat is designed to be much lighter and slimmer than our standard Jet boats, in order to reach maximum speeds of up to 217kph.

With a single Jet T58 Gas Turbine engine and Eagle Tunnel Hull design, the Jet boat has a capacity for two passengers – a driver and navigator.

The race boat differs from KJet’s twin engine Jet boats, featuring a roll cage, full harnesses and intercoms. Drivers and navigators are also required to wear helmets.

Recent and Notable Awards

6th Place – 2021 Otago Rivers Jet Boat Race

NZ3 Champions in the 2018 ITM Jet boat Marathon

NZ2 Champions in the 2016 ITM Jet boat Marathon

5th Place – World Jet Boat Marathon USA, 2000

KJet are also a member of the NZJBRRA: NZ Jet Boat River Racing Association

KJet River Racing Jet Boat on the Waiau River Jet boat River Racing team Shaun and Joe Kelly at the 2018 NZ Jet boat Marathon KJet Race Boat blasting through the canyons