IJSBA reports from day to of the 2015 Inka World Jet Raid Championship.
Day two of the 2015 Inka World Jet Raid Championship was full of both excitement and disappointment. Day two started where day one left off, at the Sombrillas beach in Lima, Peru. The previous day’s field had already shrunk by one competitor with Stephan Breton suffering a possible broken ankle in the second portion of the day’s events. Round one, of day two, would be the longest trek so far, a 60 km sprint to Ancon beach.
Racers sprinted off, and once they were out of site, crewmembers, administrators, family, and media boarded busses to join their counterparts who were already prepared to receive the competitors at Ancon. Heat one, of the day, dealt the first disappointing card to Anthony Radetic. Anthony was maintaining a solid drive when the carbon seal, in his PWC, gave way which started to bring an uncontrollable amount of water into the hull. Feeling problems with his racecraft, and being ever the reactive athlete, Anthony sprinted to shallow water where, while the PWC did sink, it was able to be retrieved easily. While this was a huge disappointment to Radetic, it was, as well, to the rest of the field who was inspired by his drive and wanted to compete against him*. The rest of the competitors made it to the destination without issue with Jean Bruno Pastorello winning this heat, Vincent Thomas coming in second, and Palome Nocedo, of Peru, in third.
The destination point at Ancon beach is located in former military base, at least so we are told. The base obviously has some active military presence with young cadets pacing the grounds and honoring their fatigues by politely saluting us civilians as we walked by. However, the compound also has the appearances of a beachfront resort (military recruiters, where were you with pictures of this kind of a base when you were soliciting me in high school???). The base is located next to a picturesque grouping of anchored boats all in the bay of what appears to be a traditional working fishing town. Beach loungers and umbrellas line the area that was once used to feed literal armies of young servicepersons and the bungalows where the jet Raid participants are staying are obviously former barracks. However, the gates were still guarded as a military installation on our way in and quite a bit of military symbolism is still here. Whatever this place is, it is quite nice and is a wonderful place to host a round of the Inka Jet Raid.
Lunch was served, to the raid participants and staff, by the base commissary, or resort staff, whichever it is.. The meal consisted of chicken and Peruvian rice (which was a relief to me as I had been getting heat from back home requiring me to report whether authentic Peruvian rice measured up to something sold at a Trader Joe’s). Surprisingly, this was the first time that chicha (aka that blue corn drink) was seen since the group had assembled together, three days ago. After receiving room assignments from event director, Bruno Casa, and some socializing, everyone headed to the beach for heat two of day two.
Heat two seemed simple enough, a single lap of 25 km, about 20 minutes in length, in what was some relatively flat water. The remaining competitors (Anthony was present but, as of this writing, did not have a backup PWC nor does he have one for tomorrow), a count of about 17 braved the single lap. The top three finishers were Vincent Thomas, of Guadelupe, in first, Allen Martin, from France, in second, and Carlos Torres, from Peru, in third. All of the pack returned with the notable exception of Jean Bruno Pastorello. After a considerable amount of time, Pastorello made it through the finish point to the beach where he exited his watercraft and walked, on his own power, but with assistance, up away from the race site. During a hard charge, Pastorello had come off his ski, in the ocean, at near full speed. This is a powerful accident for any person to have. Later, contemplating the nature of the accident, Pastorelo opted to go into a hospital for an evaluation. Soon after, Radetic’s salvaged PWC was brought to the beach for possible resurrection.
Despite the somber concerns for Pastorello, groups celebrated life and accomplishments against the ocean, as the sun went down over the mountain scape that formed the southern end of the bay. SUV rear hatches opened to expose coolers of cold beers and makeshift pisco bars. (Managing Director’s note: most time I attend an event, the locals are insistent that I sample their demon elixirs, it is impolite not to accept- swollen livers and hardened arteries must take second priority to avoiding diplomatic faux paus). Not everyone was able to take some relaxing time on the beach, lighting systems and generators came out for those who mad much preparatory work for the next morning. More than one team was either repairing or attempting to make performance improvements as points would start stacking up soon.
The evening briefing was held at a nearby yacht club. Bruno Casa discussed waypoints for the first heat, which was scheduled as a sprint back to Lima. The yacht club served a very nice dinner complete with ceviche, one of the delicacies of Peru which, again, surprisingly had not yet been seen at a meal since the beginning of the event. This time, there was plenty of chichi, a glass at every seat. No rice was served (sorry to the Trader Joe’s shopper back home, I don’t have any more comparisons yet) but there was an extraordianry amount of pisco (sorry to my liver, I just cannot risk offending our host). News came in that Pastorello likely had some minor internal injuries that would possibly require a surgery. Pastorello now being out for the event would change everything. While not undefeatable, Jean Bruno was clearly the favorite and, if another winner was to be crowned, they would sure want to have the title by beating Jean Bruno.
Strange things happen at events like this. People arrive at yacht clubs in luxury Lexus SUVs and somehow leave, to return to the lodging, in the back of a pickup truck. It is not so usual to put an IJSBA executive or two in an unsecured truck bed but when the fellow truck mates include the mayor of the town, the commander of the military base, and a head honcho of some Greek islands, it is quite a head scratcher- especially as to the question of who had the clout to bump us from the Lexus. Throw in lost drivers who treat the direction laws of the city streets as optional, and a couple of police officers who clearly had second thoughts about making a traffic stop considering the passengers in a pickup bed, you begin to wonder whether it is the pilots or the administrators who are having the real adventure at Jet Raid. By the way, during this ride, the direct information about Esmar. Esmar is a military base that is a resort for Peru’s military special forces. It also serves as a couple say rest and relaxation point for commercial pilots and flight attendants who have been on a long stretch. I know there was pisco involved but, seriously, this paragraph contains true information.
Tomorrow is another day consisting of Ancon to Lima then to Santa Maria and on to Cerro Asul. We will report from there. In the meantime, we hope you will enjoy these pictures from today:
Racers prepare for the start of day two of the 2015 Inka Jet Raid
Arrival at Esmar
Security clearance was required to enter
Happily, everyone on the bus made it through.
The grounds at Esmar were quite beautiful.....
...as was Esmar's beach.
Team Pastorello prepares for Heat Two of Day Two
Kiko Chia's Kawasaki waits to tackle Heat Two of Day Two
Thousands of tiny crab are washed upon the beach at high tide becoming food for scavenger birds
Bruno Casa waves the flag giving way to the LeMans start of Heat Two, Day Two
First and second place come into the finish buoy during Heat Two, Day Two
A team's crewmember prepares pisco cocktails after the end of Heat Two, Day Two
The sun sets over the mountains which form the south side of the bay
Teams stay on the beach after sunset.....
..... others work well into the dark.
Chicha is presented to every person dining at the yacht club.
More tomorrow (or maybe later today since this was posted on day three due to lack of internet).
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