Cayman jet ski team to compete overseas

Published on Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Participants in the 2008 Jet Around Cayman race come together to present a united team that will be competing in the Watercraft Challenge jet ski race being held in Florida. Photo by Wesley Dennis

Caymanians who participated in the 2008 Jet Around Cayman (JAC) races have come together to present a united team to compete in the Watercraft Challenge jet ski race being held in Florida, 16 August.

Several young Caymanians, who recently competed in the JAC races, are headed to a race expected to attract more than 10,000 attendees with Florida media slated to broadcast to several hundred thousand viewers.

The team comprises some of the top riders, support members - including two ski holders per rider - and three mechanics. Team organizer Vincent Ramgeet discussed the staging of this event and recognizing the young athletes for their efforts.

“In order to participate in world finals in Arizona, a rider must participate in a prescribed number of IJSBA/APWA [International Jet Sports Boating Association/Australian Personal Watercraft Association] -sanctioned events and be within the top 25 riders,” he said. “Unfortunately, these events are not held in Cayman, therefore, our riders must go overseas to participate and gain the recognition as a world class rider.”

Ramgeet added:
“We feel that the level of skill and competency in our local riders are well within the category, this was proven with Jason Smith and he has only high respect for the local riders that currently compete locally. Therefore we think it is time for Cayman to come forward and get the recognition that it truly deserves thru these young riders.”

He explained how the team was organised. “Following JAC 2008, the participating teams got together to investigate the feasibility of forming a Cayman team to participate in this upcoming event with the intent of going to such events until we qualify the riders for world finals.

“Whilst we appreciate this would be much better supported if there was a local PWC association we feel this will spawn such an association through camaraderie and collaboration of the local teams coming together in such events.”

The support personnel come under individual team managers from local teams Good2Go, WesTec, Tony’s Toys, Naut Wukin and Trying a Ting. The teams are the holders for the riders; officially there must be two people holding the craft at the start of any race where it is required.
Ramgeet explained why the sport needed support. “Jet ski racing has become a passion and hobby for many Caymanian youth, and is yet another tie to our love of the ocean and our seafaring heritage. It is also a competitive sport that the young people have access to here on the island; it’s affordable and attainable for those in their teenage years and into young adulthood.

The jet skis will be able to carry corporate logos when they race in Florida, and the symbols can also be placed on such things as banners, rider’s or crew’s clothing, give-aways and support vehicles.
“The supporting team members and organizers would like to create some local awareness and support for the youth that are going overseas to represent Team Cayman at this first effort, and would also like to encourage corporate sponsorship for the riders,” said Ramgeet.

Cayman’s annual jet ski races attract anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 spectators.