02-18-2009, 01:41 AM #1
Rookie Nathan McLean was a hero for a day
Rookie McLean was hero for a day
By Ron Shillingford, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday 29th January, 2009 Posted: 14:40 CIT (19:40 GMT)
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All roads led to the East End Surf Challenge on Monday and like in previous years it lived up to expectations and was another great event.
Races were fast and entertaining. Photo: Ron Shillingford
People from all over the island converged there and amongst the faces in the crowd were MLA Osbourne Bodden, Bernie Bush and national footballers Benjamin Cupid, Ian Lindo and Carson Fagan.
At the Heritage Field, racers competed in two classes: modified and super stock over a series of three races held for 5, 7 and 10 laps.
Riders had a 45 minute break between races to allow for rest, mechanical adjustment and strategy planning.
A race marshal had the final say over results and disputes and marine police and medical personnel were on stand–by should assistance be required.
Thankfully, they were never needed although a few riders did have mishaps, nobody was seriously hurt.
The two visiting top Americans – Eric Francis and Jonathan Crossaw – were inevitably the fastest in the super stock class with local rider Nathan McLean third. His more experienced brother Jordan, winner of the Jet Around Cayman last year, was fifth.
The prizes included cash and contributions from many sponsors for the winners in both classes as well as awards to the Rookie of the Year and a special Naya Man award was given to the rider who displayed the best sportsmanship and whose team exhibited the best team spirit, co–operation, competitiveness and effort.
That went to Nathan McLean who at 17 looks set for a bright future in jet ski racing if he sticks to it. He fully deserved it, considering when he stopped during a race to help a fellow rider who had fallen off.
East End Surf Challenge sponsors included: Massive, Morritts, Coconut Car Rentals, Winner’s Circle Sports, Automotive Art, cay.compass.com. Hot 104 FM, Plants & Things Nursery, Derms Equipment, Cayman Concrete Pumping and Flowers Bottled Water, which sponsored the Flowers Fish Tea Cookoff.
Cayman Screen Print and First Impression were also sponsors. Announcer Chuck Taylor did another fine job. Music was provided by Selector Renegade, DJ Von and Smoke from Rennaissance Disco.
The Fish Tea competition was won by Michael Whittaker of East End Steelers with Huswell Rankine second and also people’s choice winner. Third was Georgeanne General of G Gee’s Kitchen.
The whole event was the brainchild of Shane ‘Nobee’ Edwards, managing director of the 2Frenzied team.
He was pleased that over 1,000 people attended on Monday and had a great time.
Edwards said: “Sports Supply surprised us on the day with their support for the event by supplying a Kawasaki Ultra 250 which was used as a marshal craft. They also provided Oakley goggles and life vests as prizes for the race winners.
“The Department of Tourism supported the fish tea cook off which was a success. Thanks to them for recognizing a uniquely Caymanian event.
“It was a great success and I’m happy that the sponsors, including the Caymanian Compass and What’s Hot magazine, supported us.
“Sports Supply has already committed for next, which says a lot for me, that this is a good community event.
“I was especially pleased with the sponsorship from First Impression because they are an East End company and they really helped a lot. I’d like to see more East End companies follow the example of the owner Cardell McLaughlin and support this event.
“The fish tea competition was as popular as ever and the fashion show organised by Lisa Lee Productions went well.
“It was nice to see Nathan McLean do so well. He is only a teenager but he showed great sportsmanship in his first major race.
“I’d also like to thank all the race marshals too. They were all from East End and young, aged between 16 and 20. They did a great job and without their help it wouldn’t have worked.
“To everybody who came and supported the event, thanks for showing East End the love.”
02-18-2009, 01:42 AM #2
And a kid shall lead them
Tuesday 10th February, 2009 Posted: 17:34 CIT (22:34 GMT)
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A funny thing happened on the way to the finish line of the 26 January Heroes Day East End Surf Challenge jet ski extravaganza.
Many race marshals oversaw Nathan McLean do well.
As the whine of roaring engines grew silent, an unknown stole the show from the remainder of the local riders.
It was the coming out party for 15–year–old Nathan McLean and he took everyone by surprise when he finished third in the Super Stock Class behind First Place Eric Francis of Tony’s Toys and Second Place Curtis Rienburg (both Americans) in the field of 15 riders.
He hasn’t come all the way down to earth yet.
“Honestly, I was very surprised. I entered just for the fun of it, and to gain some experience,” said McLean, who first manned a jet ski at age seven. He also added some loot and hardware.
He took away a cash prize, a trophy and a whole lot of bragging rights. His day was not done, either, for he won the coveted Nayaman award given to the rider who races the entire race without backup assistance, displays exceptional sportsman through organized, strong, fearless conduct and shows great tactical manoeuvring on the race course.
Only time will tell, but a sibling rivalry might have broke out. Nathan’s older brother Jordan is a veteran in the sport and one of the hot favourites on Heroes Day, especially after his triumph in the 2008 Jet Around Cayman. Yet Jordan would be trailing his brother to the line in fifth.
“Oh yeah, it was nice beating him, but I guess he will be coming at me even harder the next time,” Nathan believes.
And while he credits his brother’s advice with a lot of his success, the younger McLean is obviously charged up for the next encounter, which will probably be the 2009 edition of Jet Around Cayman, the local “Super Bowl” of jet ski racing. He’s pounding the pavement and hitting the weights already.
“I’m really looking forward to it. I didn’t know quite what to expect in East End because it was my first race and I had some problem mid–way with my endurance, but I’ll be better prepared the next time. East End was really nice, it was a lot of fun and we all had a nice time.”
Speak for yourself, young man. Perhaps not everybody had such an enjoyable time, like those who followed you to the finish line. However, we all know the only thing nicer than “Tryin’ a Ting” is actually succeeding at it.
Nathan has, and when he did, another hand went in the game to be continued on the Queen’s Birthday in June.
Among those that oversaw McLean reach his mark were Head Marshal Tony Coe, Alfred Rankine, Kenroy Watler, Damian Solomon, Sam Rankine, Eric Solomon, Junior Ebanks and Joval Mclaughlin.
02-18-2009, 02:20 AM #3
.. Thanks a lot for putting this up Ms. Shawn.. Nathan is coming up with my dad and I for the Mark Hahn 300 as well. Looking forward to meeting you out there!
02-18-2009, 01:45 PM #4
I am a fan, following the crew...you guys are pulling it up there on the islands. I'm really happy for you and yours to be involved in this sport and to bring awareness to the sport that many of us here appreciate. Racing isn't easy, nor is it fair, but the challenge is what drives us..
You guys are coming to the Hahn! WHOA!
We have to hook up with our crew!
I don't recall are you racing it?
02-18-2009, 08:29 PM #5
Heya, all is good just dealing with school and looking forward to the race. Thanks we really love this sport and cannot get enough of it, too much fun ..
Mos def, I'll be looking out for you.. We're coming to the Hahn, thanks to Macc Racing. I will be on the SHO with Mrs. Rachel MacClugage.
Good luck preparing for the race and stuff..
See ya soon!
02-18-2009, 09:14 PM #6
02-18-2009, 10:43 PM #7
Bring that postiive attitude and spread it around!
You are on a good ride..wow...watch out! LOL
Next week, same time, cha cha boys!
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