Reiterer Turns Up the Volume on the Race Safety Discussion


On October 16, Kevin Reiterer turned the volume up to 11 on the industry’s conversation about race safety. 

In a public post on his Facebook account, Reiterer published a copy of a letter he drafted, addressed to Jet Ski World Cup Grand Prix tournament director Drake Parikhet.

In the letter, Reiterer requests that a race committee, “composed of selected professional racers chosen by their peers,” be involved in the pre-event design process that determines the physical layout of the race course for the World Cup, to be held Dec. 13-17 in Pattaya City, Thailand. 

Citing specific areas of concern regarding course safety, such as the design of splits and placement of penalty buoys, Reiterer states that input in this area from those who “understand the intricacies of the sport, the abilities of the machines, and the thrill of the competition” will not only improve safety, but help event organizers create “an exciting, challenging, and memorable racing experience.”

Pointing out the advances in jet ski technology and performance, Reiterer urges the Jet Ski World Cup Grand Prix to become “a beacon of thrilling, innovative jet ski racing,” leading to “a constructive and progressive dialogue between professional racers and race organizers, allowing us to collectively set new standards and raise the bar for racing worldwide.”

Reiterer stressed that cooperation and a joint effort from the race community would be necessary to move forward with this effort, stating in his social media post, “We, as racers, have all come together, pulling on one string for the sport we love. It’s time to act now!” Two dozen prominent racers signed the letter posted by Reiterer, including Quinten Bossche, Jeremy Poret, Emma-Nellie Ortendan, Deven Farthing and Raphael Maurin; dozens more have expressed support of the proposal in social media comments. 

“A lot of things need to change for the better. Good to see the riders step up for the second year in a round. I hope to see change, but nothing will happen unless we all stand together,” wrote Chris Hagest.  

Deegan Newton added, “A race union/committee of pro racers that actually have a say in the production of these events has been needed for years. I love this! New tracks, 2 split sections, that are CONSTANTLY adjusted to remain even. The freedom to adjust the buoys or the track is the racers deem it unsafe. Clear rules that are enforced across the board.

And David Cabrera wrote,” It is awesome to see that we are passionate about our sport, and that there’s hope to make it better.”

The Watercraft Journal has contacted several racers, including some who signed Reiterer’s original letter, to get further comment, but have not yet heard back from them. We will continue to monitor this story, and provide updates as they become available. 

See the full text of Reiterer’s letter below:

Dear Promoters and Race Organizers of the Waterjet World Series.

We hope this letter finds you well and in high spirits. As professional racers, we are writing to express our shared commitment to the growth and improvement of the sport we hold dear – jet ski racing. Our aim is to enhance the excitement of the races for our dedicated sponsors, enthusiastic spectators, and the vast television audience, all or whom contribute significantly to the success of the Waterjet World Series.

Over the years, we have seen remarkable advancements in the technology and performance of jet skis. We believe that it is now time for the racetrack to evolve and we feel compelled to act.

Our collective vision is to establish a Race Committee, composed of selected professional racers chosen by their peers, to collaboratively shape the design of the race track before it is finalized and made public by the organizing body. 

We believe that the input of those who understand the intricacies of the sport. the abilities of the machines, and the thrill of the competition can provide invaluable insights into creating an exciting, challenging, and memorable racing experience.

We advocate for several key elements that we believe should be integrated into the race track design. To name a few: 

  • We propose incorporating splits consisting of a minimum of six buoys or more. 
  • Certain entry and exit of those sections and degree of difficulties within. 
  • Penalty buoys shall be placed at each end of the split sections before the finish line, and many more.

We acknowledge that our attempts to communicate these ideas with various race organizers have not always yielded the desired outcomes. Therefore, we are taking this collective initiative to make our voices heard and drive the necessary changes. 

We invite you to join us in making the Waterjet World Series a beacon of thrilling, innovative jet ski racing. It is our hope that this proactive approach will lead to a constructive and progressive dialogue between professional racers and race organizers, allowing us to collectively set new standards and raise the bar for racing worldwide ahead of this year’s final round in Thailand.

Thank you for our time and consideration, and we eagerly await the opportunity to discuss these important matters further.

Sincerely,

Jonna Borgstrom, Valentin Dardillat, Nacho Armillas, Quinten Bossche, Estelle Poret, Jeremy Poret, Mickael Poret, Samuel Johansson, Emma-Nellie Ortendahl, Sofie Borgstrom, Deven Farthing, Daniel Andersen, Anders Keller, Axel Courtois, Kevin Reiterer, Kylie Ellmers, Francois Medori, James Bushell, Raphael Maurin, Rasmus Koch-Hansen, Virginie Morlaes, Oliver Koch-Hansen, Morgan Poret, Dustin Farthing.

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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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