[Editor’s note: This letter came across our desk at the same time PWCOffshore’s Mark Gerner had it published across his website’s various social media outlets. Nevertheless, I felt it was an invaluable piece worthy of publication here at The Watercraft Journal. Even though I don’t regard The Journal as a “racing magazine” – despite all of the racing coverage we’ve published these last few days – I am forever impressed with the mettle of character of persons that I encounter at racing events. -Kevin]
I am not inspired easily, Anthony Radetic inspires me. Many people crumble when presented with adversity or true challenges; they find a way out, convince themselves that it can’t be done, take the path of least resistance, try to change the rules or find excuses. Not Anthony Radetic. Anthony is a former Army Blackhawk pilot and injured veteran, he is a spinal cord paraplegic and spends some time in a wheelchair. That is, when he’s not swimming, on a jet ski, competing in competitive hand cycling events, competitive and professional skiing at the international level which includes backflips and other impressive feats of athleticism and all other sports that he can compete in.
Anthony decided he would be the first person in history to get out of his wheelchair, mount a personal watercraft (jet ski) and take on the annual Long Beach to Catalina and Back Offshore National Championship 58 mile race. This race intimidates most seasoned jet ski/PWC racers due to the channel’s unpredictable and potentially rough conditions that involve traveling out to sea 28 miles to a turn boat off Catalina and Back to the Queen Mary in Long Beach. The channel can be flat and clear one moment and within 15 minutes winds, fog and currents can kick up whitecaps and six footers. Anthony was not intimidated, and he did it yesterday. Quite an accomplishment! Congratulations to Anthony Radetic and all respects from all of us at PWCOffshore.com for this tremendous accomplishment.