As a world-champion jetsprint boat racer, Peter Caughey is no stranger to a bit of healthy competition. But a contest held on dry land, pitting himself against his peers in the world of business was something a little different.

Sprintec image 3“I guess I have a fairly competitive nature,” laughs Peter, who decided to enter his jetsprint boat manufacturing business, Sprintec, in the 2018 North Canterbury Business Awards after learning of them through a meeting with Enterprise North Canterbury (ENC). He opted for the Innovation category, which was new in 2018, and walked away on the night with the category’s top prize: The Spark Business Canterbury Innovation Award. 

“Given our company has grown from a hobby into a specialist business, there are few peers to compare ourselves with day to day. North Canterbury has heaps of talented and creative people and businesses, so to win this award has been a real pat on the back for our talented team of staff and contract suppliers.”

Peter and his team of four have been designing, building and racing jetsprint boats from their base in Ohoka for over 15 years. During that time they have become world champion jetsprint competitors, winning seven world titles and 12 New Zealand championships.

Sprintec image 1“Sprintec boats have dominated the World Superboat Champs since 2008 and Sprintec boats currently hold the six most elite and competitive championships on the planet, including both world titles in two classes,” explains Peter.

Quality of the boats aside, Peter and his team impressed the judges at the 2018 North Canterbury Business Awards with their ‘commitment to excellence in all areas of their business operation’.

“The company motto of ‘Win on Sunday - Sell on Monday’ is very evident in their overall approach to innovative design, production and marketing,” noted the judges.

Diversification is also a key element in the company’s success, with a move into the tourism sector proving beneficial.

“The competition side of our business is fairly static, due to this being a small specialized market,” explains Peter. “Our commercial and adventure tourism boats are where the potential lays for our business to grow most.”

Sprintec image 2As such, Sprintec have recently introduced the world’s first four seat jetsprint boat which has been picked up by tourism operators around the world.

“New tourism operations opening this summer near Queenstown and in Las Vegas are very exciting and we recently demonstrated one of these boats in UAE, where we hope to establish a number of operations,” said Peter.

Whilst things are moving ahead in leaps and bounds for Sprintec, Peter recalls the North Canterbury Business Awards fondly, saying that the whole process was of value to him and his business. “Often the reality is you’re so busy with developing your business and products that there isn’t much time to take a breath and complete an awards entry. But the questions asked on the awards application actually helped us to focus our thinking and to consolidate product development to generate the best result for our company and staff.”

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