A Look Back At The 2024 Mark Hahn With Ross Wallach

With the 2024 Mark Hahn 300 Memorial Race in the books, and the 2025 Mark Hahn on the calendar, The Watercraft Journal caught up with race director Ross Wallach to take a look back at his history with the race, how this year’s race went, and what to expect for next year’s Mark Hahn. 

He explained that it is a unique race, and talked about his history with Mark Hahn, who had been instrumental in getting Wallach involved in jet ski racing again after a hiatus, and who passed away during a race held by Wallach.

He said his connection and friendship with the PWC Racers is another reason the race is important to him, and why he works hard to keep the legacy of the race alive. 

 His friendship with  Mike Fulmer and Jim Russell also played a part in his involvement and dedication to the race, Wallace said. 

Aside from his personal connections, Wallach says it is important to PWC racing in general to have a race of this nature.

Despite the popularity of the race, and how well it is respected among racers, every year sees registration lagging well into the registration period, but Wallach says that, although challenging in terms of organization, it is normal in the race world, and said the racers alway come through in the end.

Wallach talked about the starting location, which moved last year from Crazy Horse to its new spot Lake Havasu State Park.

He said that the move has been a positive one, despite concerns expressed prior to last year’s race when the move first took place. 

He said the time of year, and the weather is part of the reason the race has become known as a tough race. 

This year, on the 20th anniversary of the event, unlike most years, the water on Lake Havasu was calm and mirror smooth, leading to faster lap times, with laps times up to one minute faster for the top racers, as well as a higher percentage of racers completing all the laps.

Wallach discussed how endurance races require a flawless day to make it through the race. 

As with what seems to be a high number of races lately, a small amount of drama ensued online following the finish of this year’s Mark Hahn, and Wallach addressed the events that led to some online tension.

WCJ is working to talk with Jon Ford & Mike Maniscalichi, overall winners of the 2024 Mark Hahn Memorial Havasu 300, and will have that story soon.

Be sure to check out the race website, as the date for the 2025 Mark Hahn Memorial Havasu 300 has been set for Saturday, February 22, 2025, and registration will be available soon. Full race results from this year’s race are also available on the website. 

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Jessica Waters

Editor – jessica.watersedge@gmail.com Currently the News Director at WNEG Radio in Northeast Georgia, Jessica Waters is a photojournalist and reporter who has covered competition stock car racing, downhill skiing, motocross, horse racing and hydroplane races for more than 30 years, and added jet ski races and freestyle competitions in 2010, covering many competitions for local and national media outlets.

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