The Watercraft Journal sat down for a coffee with Krista Uzare, #95 the 24-year-old Latvian who took the world by storm in her first two years of international racing. A fractured tibula meant she could only sit on the sidelines of the first Grand Prix of the season.
“When I first tried jet skiing, my ski actually sank, I was going so slowly it filled with water and just sank, for many years I didn’t want to try it again. I thought that this was a message and it wasn’t meant to be for me.
“My father raced, so I was just happy to travel with him and watch, until one day I realized that it was no more fun just to watch the racing. I wanted to try it again; I had a message I think. It was half way through the 2010 season when I began to race, like normally.
“That year, Dad took us to Lake Havasu for the World Finals; I was so slow I didn’t even qualify so I am sure that there are no records of me racing. I raced with my friends in Latvia and did some Baltic events. Then three years ago my jet ski idol, the Austrian Kevin Reiterer came to Latvia to give us a training camp.
“He asked me why I was only racing at my local club and encouraged me to apply to join the World Series. That winter I applied and they agreed, I thought how better could it get just to race with the fastest girls in the world.
“I didn’t have any goals, it was just so awesome. At the last round in United Arab Emirates I finished on the podium 2nd step and finished the season third overall, I could see I could actually do it, I went home and trained harder, I had to set myself a much bigger goal.
“Then in my second year taking the 2018 world title, well I couldn’t believe how amazing that felt.
“I knew my rivals would be training harder for this year so I trained even harder. Running, cycling, cross-fit, cardio, I do everything, the more the better because for jet ski we need a diverse range of things.
“I eat healthy, I eat a lot of meat and I don’t eat sweets or junk. I am hard on myself; I am strict whatever needs to be done. I just do it. I am my own trainer and motivator. Every year I say that I have never been fitter especially this winter.
“I always have a rivalry with my dad and it was always one of my goals to beat him. Finally after the long winter training, this spring I was actually able to be faster than him. I was stronger than ever and determined to defend my position this season, and then the leg happened.
“This is my first ever injury, I wasn’t even crying, I just took it. Disappointed not to be racing in the first Grand Prix, yes, but I have been thinking why did it happen, so many factors that all happened to be in one place. What was the probability of it happening, it is so low, which makes you think. I believe in some signs.
“It is still snowing back home, so coming to the GP gives me a chance to observe how the other girls race and I have my tablet with 20 books still to read. It’s really hard to travel with crutches, I can’t even imagine for some people that have much more difficulty.
“Eventually I would really love to be on a team, so I can just train and race all of the time, but I have to work too. I’m a Financial Analyst in a bank, I love finances, I like to learn and I read a lot of books, so my life isn’t just sports.
“Time flies so I hope it goes quickly for the leg but I expect that I will skip round two. I will be back for China the UAE and India and will be stronger than ever.