This is the first pre-World Finals update of 2021. The last time IJSBA did this it was to tell you we were going to have a World Finals in spite of a COVID 19 Pandemic. We thought that we were working through a once-in-a-lifetime situation. In 2020, a team of very hard working people rose to the occasion in the most difficult circumstances World Finals ever faced so the 39th World Finals could make way for a true 40th Anniversary this year. Here we are, now, with more challenges than we planned for but, thanks to the efforts of the same diligent staff and some very generous sponsors, World Finals has reached our milestone and the event will be bigger and better than it was in 2020 albeit a little bit restricted. We are eager to tell you all about it. So, sit down for a couple of minutes of reading and, as always, please share the following news with your friends and colleagues in the PWC Racing family.
World Finals is a large undertaking. Even with reduced efforts during a pandemic, production costs enter well into the six figure range. To pull this off, the event needs generous entities to support it. This means parties that believe in the sport and the World Finals and want to ensure that the heart of the PWC Racing world continues to beat. IJSBA would like to introduce two sponsors in their official capacity of this very special World Finals.
Jettrim is a company that fits this description perhaps most perfectly for a 40th anniversary than any other title sponsor before. The very first World Finals happened, in 1982, in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. A local person, who was gifted in art of upholstery named Gary Hart became inspired by an excited new product called a Jet-Ski and what he saw at the race hosted in his home town. In 1983, Jettrim was born out of a vision that the athletes on these new watercraft needed custom accessories as unique and individual as the people who used them. Jettrim created these exact goods in the form of durable “no slip” traction mats.
Over the years, as the PWC evolved, Jettrim evolved. Jettrim produced seat covers for Runabout and Sport style PWC and innovated foot holders and lifters. In the mid 1990s Jettrim raised seats were the secret weapons of most winning Runabout competitors. The popularity of Jettrim reached ATV and UTV as well as the popular sand car industries. Wherever there was need for a functional seat of foot surface, Jettrim was the first name in powersports.
Jettrim has supported every single World Finals since they have been on the map. When Gary Hart passed, Frank Walsh stepped in to make sure the company would still deliver the very best PWC products to the thousands of customers around the world who depend on Jettrim to win races. After years of high profile assistance at World Finals, Jettrim waited for this special anniversary World Finals to sign on as the title sponsor as a sign of Jettrim’s commitment to the sport for years to come.
Like Jettrim, the racing community of Thailand too interest in IJSBA Sanctioned Personal Watercraft Racing early on. Asian Multi Sports Limited helped the Thai Jet Sports Boating Association host several high profile international invitation events. The success of these events were noticed by the Royal Family and the Jet Ski King’s Cup was created for the people of Thailand to share two things they were passionate about- PWC Racing and the culture of their beautiful county. Within a short time, the Kings Cup became a leading event rivaling the World Finals in turnout and nation count. The event further evolved into the final stop of a three round World Series beginning in Europe, stopping at World Finals, and finishing at Kings Cup.
The Thai organizers and the numerous racers have been integral features at World Finals. A Thai racer was the first privateer to win a Pro Runabout moto. The Thai teams have regularly been one of the most competitive each year and are responsible for the preservation of the 800 Runabout and Sport categories of racing. In 2019, Asian Multisports helped secure Thai Royal Airways as the title for World Finals. Forced to sit out 2020 due to COVID, Asian Multisports was determined to show their support to the legacy of the sport and returned in 2021 as a co-title sponsor of the World Finals creating the Jettrim WGP-1 World Finals. WGP-1 being the name of the World Series ending at the King’s Cup. This is the organizer directly giving back wanting to support World Finals and raise awareness of their own event of which World Finals is an essential component.
The 40th Anniversary is a very special celebration for our sport. It is fitting that we have these two very special sponsors at the top of the marquee as their passion and dedication is also worthy of celebration.
COVID Mitigation And Event Restriction
Folks, we do not make the rules. Well we make the racing rules but not the rules about COVID. To receive event permits we have to follow the policies laid out by the State of Arizona and Lake Havasu City who issue those permits. Lake Havasu City is pretty good to us. Following their rules is one of the most respectful things we can do. Frankly, many of you are pretty terrible at following their traffic rules and don’t get me started on the rules about using channel marker buoys to practice turns. So, how about we give a world champion effort to follow the COVID rules knowing that this will (hopefully) be the last time we have to deal with this? If you aren’t vaccinated, you really need to be before coming to World Finals. If something is going on where you cannot be vaccinated then you need to wear a mask, regularly sanitize your hands, and socially distance from others at all times. Don’t show up if you have any flu like symptoms. If some crazy variant is popping up and the health officials want us to employ more controls, please follow the orders without being a jerk about it. We are all pretty burned out about COVID but if we show the respect for Lake Havasu City they have showed us, we might get another 40 years from them.
COVID’s impact on the event goes beyond requiring you to wear masks, sanitize your hands, and stand a few feet away from people not in your social pod. We have to plan now for other ways we are impacted. As of right now, we cannot count on being indoors for the awards which means daily awards on the beach. That, in turn, means finishing each day early enough to get through technical inspections and get to awards while there is still sunlight out. Many classes may be reduced to two motos of equal weight opting for a lot of laps in each moto. We will be starting the day early and on time and keeping rapid pace throughout the day. Please be prepared for this type of pacing. To help the schedule stay on track, we will remove discretionary classes that do not have adequate entries.
Seating will be restricted to one set of grandstands as well as beach seating in both VIP and first come first served sections. Vendors will be spaced out in the trade show portion of the event. Check in will be first allotted to pre registered competitors to avoid crowding at registration. Competitors attending on restricted entry exemptions will have to show proof of vaccination. Please regularly read ijsba.com to check for updated rules and restrictions.
Register Now To Save Money And Preserve Classes
Entry forms and online registration are active now and can be found here: IJSBA World Finals Entryforms – IJSBA. Please note that the early discount prices end in just a couple of days. Beginning on September 7, prices will go up $15 per class. Beginning September 29, only onsite entry will be available at higher prices along with a higher grounds fee price. Beginning September 13, IJSBA will begin removing classes from the entry form and schedule if it appears that there will not be sufficient participation to warrant running those classes.
The schedule currently posted is for rough reference only. The schedule will start taking shape on September 14. Please remember that no matter how much we refine the schedule prior to starting the event, weather and unforeseen incidents can cause the schedule to change at any time. Please plan to be at World Finals during the whole event in case there is a major interruption to our plans. As it sits now, we will run the first set of practices on Monday, October 4. Racing will begin on Tuesday, October 5 and we will run an aggressive schedule on Tuesday and Wednesday. We plan to run as many Pro Weekend classes as possible on Saturday. On Sunday, October 10, we plan to complete Closed Course Racing by 2:30 PM and immediately begin awards while the Endurance Sprint is going on. Requests for schedule changes and conflict reports can be submitted to email@example.com. IJSBA will allow time breaks, during the day, for any competitors on back to back races.
Well, it is that time of the year when we start to get the phone calls asking about participating in World Finals from people who are not eligible. A notable amount of callers this year have not competed in five or more years but are asking for a COVID exemption. Such clairvoyance to predict a pandemic and avoid it years in advance is truly impressive. It is strange that the same psychic abilities seemed unable to predict the response you received. If you were eligible to compete in World Finals in 2019 but did not, this is probably going to be the cutoff for exemptions. If you haven’t competed at World Finals since 2018, please have a really really good story and rehearse it before calling. Exemptions come with a fine that goes into the insurance pool for US Insurance for regional races. If you were eligible in 2020 last year, you are eligible this year for a small fine if you did not compete in 2021.
VIP Pitting And Group Pitting
IJSBA will begin selling VIP packages in small quantities on September 14. IJSBA will also be taking group pitting requests on this day. If anyone wants Pro Tents or any other special amenity in the pits, please start contacting us beginning Tuesday, September 7.
We got hit with a tidal wave of immigration assistance requests this last week. It seems the embassies and Homeland Security aren’t sharing the same standard operating procedure manual. We are giving your applications all the attention we can. If you are trying to attend World Finals and are coming from a country listed as restricted, please send us your details as quickly as possible.
Vendor And Sponsor Opportunities
There are still vendor and sponsor opportunities for the 2021 Jettrim WGP-1 World Finals. Be part of history and cement yourself as forever an integral part of this milestone event. Please email info@Ijsba.com for more details.
This concludes the first update. See you in a month.