Thread: Offshore Endurance Racing
10-05-2009, 09:45 AM #1
Offshore Endurance Racing
I was offshore in NJ practicing this weekend with my 250x, ran from LBI to Atlantic City and back. (For those who are unfamiliar with NJ, basically it's a solid 10-12 mile stretch one direction)
The ocean was calm this day with large rollers and slight chop in sections. I want to improve my offshore racing ability. I'm the recreational rider, but want to get more experience at higher speeds, techniques, and tips.
What makes a good "racer"?
What are the different techniques?
Throttle position, when do they ease off, when do they push forward?
I don't practice with anyone seasoned or experienced, so anyone with any knowledge please chime in!
10-05-2009, 11:03 AM #2
All excellent questions. If you want to get into offshore racing definatally check out www.pwcoffshore.com read up on the site, it talks a lot about safety, because at the end of the day, we ALL want to return to the tow vehicle.
That is the most important thing IMO….Safety…
Now the second most important is riding ability/craft/ etc. etc.
I would first and foremost Purchase a set of 30 inch Lifter wedges. Install these onto your craft, and you will automatically become a better racer/rider. I've posted several pics I think of what they look like, I can take a few tonite and post them here for you for folks to see. No problem.
Such a shame that the East coast has no endurance or offshore races. That said, SOMEBODY has to start the movement of offshore racing out there. It might have to be you. Get some buddies to start joining you, riding solo is cool, but would be much better with a few buddies to push eachother, and for safety reasons as well. Riding with better riders IMO is another way to get better. That’s not the case for you though, you mentioned nobody does this that you know.
What makes a good offshore racer? That’s a great question. Look at the great ones' such as Warner, Farthing, Leimoine, Gerner, Phan, Pham, Roque, Bushong, and the handful of other Greats IMO..They are fearless, they are seasoned, they all stand (maybe 1 or 2 sit). But you have to get your rear end off the seat. Use your legs like a jockey. I've seen two different stands by guys racing. First is both feet parallel with eachother, center Keel of the boat. Knees slightly bent, slight hunch in the back, or even verticle a bit. Like your about to sit in a chair. Utilize your legs as shocks when you hit the rough parts, but be sure that you don’t let your ass hit the seat. Reason being is the craft is bouncing all over the place, as is your body. The craft may be on the way up, while your body is on the way down. The craft will hit your butt, and bounce you off the ski. Have seen it happen. It’s a fine line keeping the knees bent slightly, you also don’t want to have them locked, as you may hyperextend the knee with all the bouncing. It's tough to pin point what makes a great racer. MANY variables, I'm still trying to get to that "Great" racer status LOL….Constant improvement, big balls, control, stamina, strength, RESPECT, reliable craft, strategy, courage…..
The second stance is like a wide receaver at the line. 1 foot slightly in front of the other, and slight bend in the lower back. Same concept, use the legs as shocks. This allows you to keep more pressure on the font foot to keep the nose of the ski in the water. I personally use this technique often. However, I also "dance" in the tray. Left foot forward, right foot back. When your body starts getting fatigued, switch it up, right foot forward, left foot back…I even use the first foot position I mentioned as well while racing or practicing.
Offshroe racing is all about speed and hookup. Looks cool when the boat comes outta the water, but your loosing speed when it does so. Hence the reason to learn body positioning, and craft control. Sometimes you do have to scoot back further if its get flat, sometimes you have to hug the stearing with your nuts if it gets rough (more weight up front to keep nose down, HOOKUP)…..
Don’t squeeze the crap outta your grips, you'll only get tired. Don’t lock your elbows…Keep them loose, I like to go with the flow. My body is one with the craft. I don’t "muscle" the ski, I let the ski do the work, I just direct the way it goes, and how fast it goes.
10-05-2009, 11:05 AM #3
THROTTLE CONTROL: Very important…Sometimes WOT is slower than 3/4 throttle…Sometimes its not. Learn throttle control. When you come out of the water, feather your throttle. Back it down to 1/2 (otherwise your SC will end its life sooner than expected) The MOMENT you are about to land on the water if you come unhooked, GUN IT! Its called loading and unloading your pump. You want to try to keep it loaded while you come out of the water. Water propells the boat, not air in the pump. Sometimes I have my middle finger under the throttle, allows me to ride over 3/4 throttle minus the finger fatigue, sometimes its WOT, and just feathering the throttle. Really depends on the race, this is where experience and practice come into play.
Practice, practice, practice….And you will get better. Some of it has to do with no fear, and agility though. You cant be afraid to wipe out, you cant be afraid to push the envelope, you cant be afraid of going 25 miles into the ocean. The later is why we prepare our craft for safety. (read www.pwcoffshore.com). I am confident if I break with nobody around, I can get the proper help to save my life (ex.vessel assist, 2 GPS's, VHF radio WITH GPS built in (on my body at all times) , Flares, water on me, cell phone, people knowing when I left, and when I should be back, and where I went)…usually we practice with 3-4 guys, we ALL have a wingman, NOBODY gets left behind. PERIOD!
Race day is a bit different…Values and what not come into play here. Would you stop if you see a downed rider? I did…Cost me 3-4 positions…..But I did the right thing, I helped a friend that seemed to be in need of help, his craft was 30 yds away, current was taking the boat further, chop was rough. We were 52 miles into our 58 mile race. We were ALL tired…I'd do it again in a heartbeat!
Gym time/endurance/strength: Your cardio and body HAVE to be in shape to average 60 MPH in the ocean for an hour. Hit the gym, core exercises, get your body in shape, get more strength so if you NEED to use it, you have it. We are atheletes ( at least I think we are), your body is a shrine, treat it that way.
If I was you, I would purchase the DVD's from PWCOFFSHORE.com Long Beach to Catalina race's. You can learn a lot from watching the racers. The new DVD is to be released soon, 08 and 07 DVD's are available.
Good questions, great dialogue we can get going here……Another thread should be "How do we get MORE offshore races on the East Coast"?
10-05-2009, 11:14 AM #4
Notice the stances, some are the same, some are different. Sometimes what feels comfortable is not necessarily the right stance. Maybe another position would make you go .5 mph faster?
(please note) These are not my pics, I've simply downloaded them from various websites. Credit to photographers in watermark
10-05-2009, 07:29 PM #5
I truly wish there was offshore racing here on the East Coast. I would love to get in on this, but currently have the wrong craft. Unless there are other "classes" of slower PWC. There are so many places here on the East that we could have races... It's a shame we don't....
10-05-2009, 07:55 PM #6
10-05-2009, 09:07 PM #7
Great thread. I wonder the same things and would love to see some down here on the "South" Coast also. I am beginning to think I will just have to head out west. Which in all honesty I would not mind that one bit. Actually would love to make it out to the MH, LB2 Cat, and DP to Oceanside. I will keep up with this and hopefully this sport can become more widespread before we are too old to enjoy it.
10-05-2009, 09:57 PM #8
This was our first trip to AC, so I wanted to conserve fuel on the way down so we were only cruising about 30MPH. Coming home was a different story, my friend and I went down to the marina for a bite to eat. By the time we finished, it was LATE about 630. PWC's need to be in before dark, it was a race against the clock pretty much...made it back in 20 minutes. That was a killer workout and adrenaline rush in itself!!! Can't wait to do it again.
Dubz: Thanks for the GREAT information! I have seen the lifter wedges, and looks like it holds your ankles into the tray better. Won't this break your ankle if you wipe out?
10-05-2009, 10:56 PM #9
If you do not double up the lifter wedges it is much less likely you will become hung up should you get tossed. I personally do not double up the lifter wedges.
Using just one set of lifter wedges I have to keep in the back of my mind to keep my feet under the wedges. Using just one set of wedges there is enough material to keep you feet planted in the trey you just have to make sure your feet are in the right spot. I have been thrown off at nearly 80 in the rough and my ankles suffered no injury.
10-05-2009, 11:13 PM #10
there is always a possability of something happening. Yes, its a possability. Thats a risk we take though, I'd be more worried about face planting, or hitting my throat on the bars than my ankle breaking. Just dont come off, and you'll be fine.
I've come off once in a closed course race on a very small turn, I am grateful my ankles are intact. Only thing that happend was my toe got disconnected. No biggie after 4 months of rehab.
Heck, I tore my MCL on a standup doing 5MPH!
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