The Watercraft Journal was pleased to welcome Robert Sands, Race Director for the 2017 Bud Light Jet Jam Tour, who provided us this first-person recap of the inaugural race of the season:
Saturday Morning came fast as we started a little behind schedule, but once we started the races they ran flawlessly with only one short delay (a bouy losing the battle against a runabout). After the National Anthem was sung beautifully by Breanne Eisner from Southern California, we were ready to go racing!
The Junior Stars 13-15 Stock were up first and they opened the series with a great race for all the spectators that gathered at Lake Havasu Rotary Park. Theo Beaumer took the overall win for the day, followed by Tallon Chambers and Reese Maricich. Another first was for the new Kawasaki SX-R 1500 stand up! They sure looked great out there on the race course during the Pro-Am Ski classes and have a good future in watercraft racing! Rounding the top three were Mike Klippenstein, Kurt Samuels and AJ Luinstra.
The largest class for the day was Amateur Ski Lites. Again, Theo Beaumer with the top honors followed by Guy Vinatieri and Preston Matzdorff. Vintage Class and Vintage X2 is always a treat to watch as that is where it all began over 30 years ago! Junior Ski 10-12 Stock was the highlight for me as these Junior Stars are our future and wow, can they race! First-time racer Julien Beaumer finsihed first with Revin Harris close behind in second and Haden Skellett taking the third spot on the podium!
Other classes that Jet Jam offers is Pro-Am Veteran Ski GP, Master Ski Stock, Novice Ski Stock, Amateur Ski GP, Pro-am Women Ski Mod Limited, Novice R/A Stock, Runabout NA, and Pro-Am R/A Stock, Runabout Rec Lites, Runabout GP, Amateur R/A 800 Limited, Sport Spec, Novice Ski Mod Limited, Pro-Am Ski Lites and Amateur Freestyle!
Racer’s asked for laps and Jet Jam delivered! From 6-to-12 laps per moto, 2 motos per day depending on the class and level of racer, on a large technical course with split courses. Good sweeping turns for passing for some exciting racing!
Sunday was a cool brisk morning. The riders’ meeting was done and practice for the second day of Bud Light Jet Jam Tour was on. The whistle blew for the start of yet another day of family, friends and fun Racing. Once again the Junior Ski 13-15 Stock was first up and taking the win for the day with a first, and first was Tallon Chambers, with Brady Courson in second and Reese Maricich third. Junior Ski 10-12 Stock once again was the race to watch with these kids dicing back and forth and keeping everyone on their toes! Revin Harris made it to the checker flag first followed by Jake Pearce and Haden Skellett.
Sunday the Pro-Am Women Ski Mod Limited was a great race as well with Carla Hunt with a 2-1 and Bibi Carmouche 1-2 and Shannon Brooks right behind in third. Master Ski GP was fast and Mitch Durica with top honors followed by Steve Fitzen and Brain Edwards. On both days during the break between motos we had Kelsey Albert and Keith Jacques give us an old school/new school freestyle show that was a treat! So after four motos and two days of racing we had Brock Austin finishing first with Mike Klippenstien in second, Ian Roberts third and Pete Zernick fourth in the cash payout!
With all that said, Race #9 was a very interesting as young 13-year-old Tallon Chambers was in his first race against other classes a lot older than him as we combined the classes (with parents’ approval), we had 11 Limited Stand ups all fired up! After the start and they ran around the split course start Tallon Chambers comes out first with the holeshot! He ended besting the entire field of 11 riders and lapping a few along the way! That’s the kind of racing we all love to see!
All photography provided by Bob Metheney; original, unedited versions can be purchased at www.jetskiracephotos.com.