picture of sprint boat

Official Race Dates 2019-2020


Round 1 Saturday 30th November

Round 2 Saturday 14th December 

Round 3 Saturday 4th January 

Round 4 Saturday 25th January 

Round 5 Saturday 15th February

Round 6 Saturday 29th February

Round 7 Saturday 14th March

Round 8 Saturday 4th April
Round 9 Saturday 18th April 
Round 10 Saturday 2nd May

Book the ride of your life

Check out News as it happens from The Roving Mic!

Click here to get the latest resutls

The Roving Mic

Jet Sprint Event November 10th. The first event 2012-13 season.

Sam Blight - Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The afternoon was perfect for Jet Sprint racing. It was nice and cool weather wise, so we as competitors were not sweltering in our race gear. The boats too like the cooler temperatures and I always feel that they run stronger motor wise.

It was the first race of the season so there were a number of new volunteers working at various jobs that go to make up one of our events. The person we most relate to as drivers and crew is the person we call the “Pit Boss”. This is the guy who makes sure all boats stick to race order and also that each boat is on the water ready to enter the start shoot as the previous boat completes its race run in the Spin Out pool. It is a very difficult job to do and it requires a person who takes no rubbish from the competitors, or the crews. His word is final so due to this it is a position where you don’t make many friends. He must be very organised and very strict making sure that the boats are leaving the start shoot one after the other to do their race lap. 

This means that as a boat spins out in the spin out pool there is another boat idling up towards the start line and another boat pulling off their trailer and heading for the start shoot. If this doesn’t happen then I believe the result is that the event is not the terrific spectacle it can be for the public. On top of that and by far the worst thing for us as competitors is that it definitely gives the boat that is slow to the start line an advantage over the boat that was ready to go as the previous boat finished. The reason it gives the boat that is slow to the start line an advantage is that it gives the water time to settle. What I mean here is that after a boat has raced around the track there is still chop/waves on top of the water and there is also below the water quite a lot of turbulence from the jet unit of the previous boat. Both these things can, or do slow the next boat down a fraction. In the World Championships which a number of us have raced in if you are not off your trailer and in the water ready to start when the “Pit Boss” says you are automatically ordered to stay on the trailer, or if you are in the water but not up at the start line ready to go you are ordered back to your trailer and out of the water thus missing your round which is a very harsh penalty when you have just five qualifying rounds to make sure you register a time that will see you in the finals. The bloke who is “Pit Boss” this season is Jay Daniel and he definitely has his work cut out as there are a number of boats that are slow to the line every event. Jay did a fantastic job last event when you take into account that it was his first event as Pit Boss so he was on one hell of a learning curve. Joel Petely also had never been in the Pits at a Jet Sprint event and as Jay’s assistant did a great job also. We are also very grateful to Cheryl Welch who worked with both Jay and Joel over the course of the event teaching them how to do the Job. Cheryl has been competing as a Jet Sprint driver for nearly as long as I have so her years of experience were invaluable to Jay and Joel.

The start of the season always sees a number of new boats and a number of new competitors so at the first couple of events you as spectators will see a couple of boats circulating a lot slower that the rest of the boats. I cannot tell you how “different” driving a Jet Sprint boat is compared to anything else. Racing on water and within the banks of a channels means that you as a driver need to be very accurate and extremely quick reflex wise. Driving a Sprint Boat slowly is difficult as the boat is doughy and slow to respond to the steering which makes it that little more difficult for the new competitors. The faster and harder you drive a Sprint Boat the more precise and accurate it is. In saying this I don’t want to scare everyone away from buying a boat and competing, I’m just saying that you need to know as spectators that the guys driving these boats are extremely talented. The bottom line is if you can “Pedal” a car, or a Motor Bike at speed it means that you could “Pedal” a Sprint Boat. I believe it’s a gift you are born with if you can be at one with a machine and make it an extension of yourself when you drive it. This also goes for machine operators and truck drivers, in short anyone who can drive something well you will usually find they can adapt to anything they drive quickly and invariably be very good at it. (“Pedal” means go fast)

The new guys this event were Darrin and Maddison Jones in boat 861 “The Warlord”, a Father Daughter combination racing in the EFI Class and Matt Neilson with Steve navigating in boat 31 “Warlock” and Paul Mileham in boat 28 “Trauma” in the 350 Class. We also saw Mark Lucas with Rusty navigating in boat 26 “Woolverine” stepping up a class from EFI last season to “Group A” this season. Looking at all these competitors time they all improved on over the length of the event which says that they are all dialling in quickly which is fantastic.

In the “350 Class” the racing was tight between the three boats competing, the three boats being Matt and Steve in “Warlock”, Paul Mileham and at this point an unknown navigator in boat 28 “Trauma” and long-time competitors Dennis and Kylie Morris in boat 88 “Hammer”. Unfortunately Dennis and Kylie were out very early in the event with a motor that made a few noises it shouldn’t have made so Dennis, though he could find nothing wrong, thought discretion was the better part of valour so he put his boat back on the trailer for the event. The event came down to two competitors, the new bloke in “Warlock” and the new bloke Paul in “Trauma”. They both had their fair share of WW’s (wrong way) and DNF’s (did not finish) and they were both racing neck to neck all event. Matt with Steve navigating in “Warlock” were competitive right away which I’m sure made them very happy with the fact that they attended the Test and Tune event three weeks prior and got in lots of practice. The last run off between both new guys was rather unique as they both crashed. First to crash was Matt and Steve in “Warlock” with a rather spectacular finish to their run in the Spin Out pool. As they came through the finish line their motor cut out and we all know that no motor means no steering which meant instead of spinning out they went straight ahead at nearly full speed into the high banks of the spin out pool. This saw the boat stranded half way up the bank and difficult to get back into the water so a decision was made by race control to leave the boat there for the rest of the final runs. Matt and Steve registered a time as they came through the finish line but would you believe they had gone the wrong way so it saw them eliminated from the finals. Paul in “Trauma” had the event in the bag, all he had to do was complete his lap, go the right way and post a time and it was his. Guess what he crashed  So with them both eliminated on the first finals run the placings were decided by going back to the fastest times for the qualifying rounds which saw Matt and Steve in “Warlock” win Well done guys and I can honestly say that I have never seen two blokes in their first race ever in Jet Sprint boats win! Bad luck Paul mate, you had the event but let it go and to you Dennis and Kylie I hope the motor wasn’t terminal and we see you back on the water this event.

In the “EFI Class” we saw the beautiful Debbie back navigating with Joe Wilson in boat 24 “Razor Back”, we saw Simon Cain racing with his new navigator Rachel in boat 6 “Quality Time” and we saw the return of the very popular pair Ken Bull with Erika navigating in boat 28 “Enigma”, and of course we saw the first time competing Matt and Maddison Jones in boat 861 “The Warlord”. Again these competitors were close all night with massive improvements in time from the first qualifier to fifth qualifier by “Quality Time” and the “Warlord”! Unfortunately Ken and Erica’s return to Jet Sprinting saw them get in just four qualifying runs before they had some dramas with the motor which saw them on the trailer for the rest of the event. Jo Wilson and Debbie in “Razor Back” were on fire all event posting times not all that much slower than the slower “Group A” boats. I did see them on one of their qualifying runs coming down through the centre of the track when the boat suddenly went into this death wobble then began to porpoise a couple of times with the result being that the boat was very close to being out of control and having a really bad accident. Joe I don’t know how you saved it, but you did mate, so well done and well done to you and Debbie winning the night altogether. Simon and Rachel in “Quality Time” came in a close second and the new guys Darrin and Maddison in “Warlock” came in third. Really well done Darren and Maddison and congratulations on your placing in the first event you guys have done.

In “Group A” we saw the usual very close and exciting racing with Nigel Johnson and Andrew Hughes in boat 55 “Weapon of Choice”, Rod Wood and Sharon Power in boat 23 “Triple xxx” and Jaimie Welsh with Corry Welsh navigating putting in very fast times straight away on their first qualifiers. Myself with Isabela navigating in “CrazyAz 07”, Adam Mileham and Al Pash in boat 11 “Short Fuse” and Mark Lucas with Rusty navigating in boat 26 “Wolverine” prefer the more sedate first qualifier and came in approximately four seconds slower than the first three. Tony Carr and his navigator in “CrazyAz 77” were flying on their first qualifier and would have come in with a very quick time but unfortunately about three quarters of the way through their lap the motor let go in a big way pretty much destroying everything, not the way the CrazyAz team wanted to start the season at all.

By the end of Qualifying four of the six boats were under fifty seconds. Jaimie and Corry in “Skywest Racing” had a 49.88, myself and Isabela had a 48.86, Rod Wood and Sharon in “Triple xxx” had a 48.31 and Nigel Johnson with Andrew had the fastest time of the event at 47.58. Unfortunately for all, the weather had turned for the worst and as we went into the finals it was raining on and off which made it extremely difficult to drive under lights because the visor of our helmets get wet and the big flood lights that light the track make the moisture on the visors reflect and distort what we see as drivers and navigators. So for the finals the best time was a 48.13 which saw Nigel and Andrew in boat 55 “Weapon of Choice” take off first place with Rod and Sharon in boat 23 “Triple xxx” a close second with a 48.50. Jaimie and Corry in boat 19 “Skywest Racing” came in third with a 49.97. Mark West and Rusty in their first “Group A” event in boat 26 “Wolverine” did really well with a best time of 53.39 which is terrific when you think they haven’t driven at this level before. It says that Mark is going to be very competitive going forward as he gets used to the boat, the speed and the power. Adam Mileham and Al in boat 11 “Short Fuse” did a best of 50.70 which was less than a second behind third place so again a great effort by these guys considering they have a different motor configuration than last season and are running things in. This too says that when these guys have the boat working properly they are going to be right amongst it even more than they are now. Myself and Isabela, well we crashed out on the first qualifier which was a real pity as we had a bit up our sleeve time wise and were confident of definitely being amongst the top three. For those of you that saw our accident it was very unspectacular the way it happened, as in when we were cornering down at the speed bowl end of the track and the boat just slid out wide until it hit the tyres and span 180 degrees. We are at a bit of a loss as to why it skidded out as it had handled pretty well all event. It had slipped out a couple of times in previous laps but each time I had been able to catch it and bring it back on course. On this occasion it just wouldn’t grip and recover, or bite as we call it, which means bite down into the water giving me steerage again. If you have a look at “Crazy Az Jetsprint Team” on facebook you can see two video clips taken from the boat on the night. One of them is of the boat sliding out and then spinning followed up by me putting it into another 180 degree spin to get us heading the right way again and back in the race, this is after getting drowned as well It’s worth a look Unfortunately the boat slipped out again on another corner and we ended up sitting on an island. If you listen when we come to a stop you will hear Isabela coughing and spluttering in the back ground. Unbeknown to me when we took all the water over the front of the boat it hit her fully in the face. The hazards of Jet Sprinting – Keep ya mouth closed! Talking of facebook, join the pages of both the “Crazy Az Jetsprint Team” and also the “West Coast Jetsprint Club”. If any other team has a Facebook Page let me know and I can plug it in the next article.

It was a great night though the weather did slow things up a bit which was unfortunate. Thanks to all the volunteers, the ones who have been with us for a number of years and the ones who have just joined us. Thanks to “Dan the Man”, great commentating mate, thanks to the couple on the gate, you do a wonderful job and don’t ever think we don’t think of you down there, thanks to the Mudrats, for a lot of you it was your first night so well done on your first event. Thanks to the Medic, it was his first night also and fortunately there was little for him to do but we all feel wonderful that you are there in case things go wrong.

There are a number of boats to return to the water so we look forward to a bigger number of racers this event and some really exciting racing as it always is

The Roving Mic :)
Trackback Link
Post has no trackbacks.