While going for individual gold is paramount, the world’s finest personal watercraft racers have also gathered here to challenge the best USA racers for the International Jet Sports Boating Association (JSBA) Nation’s Cup at the 23rd Annual IJSBA Dos Equis World Finals.
Being held through Sunday on Lake Havasu, the Dos Equis Desert XX features the world’s largest and most prestigious PWC race in a sports and lifestyle festival that also includes demos by action sport stars from BMX and Skateboarding on half-pipe, a Freestyle Motocross air show, a Mini-Moto Grand Prix, live concerts, and the colorful Performance Alley. The race site for the sixth consecutive year is at the purpose-built Aqua Stadium on the grounds of the Crazy Horse RV Resort and Campgrounds.
Featuring over 1,200 entries from more than 30 nations, the IJSBA Dos Equis World Finals boasts more than $120,000 in prizes and contingencies in the massive eight-day event. IJSBA World Championship titles will be presented in 34 closed-course racing classes as well as Pro Freestyle and Amateur Freestyle.
A total of 18 IJSBA Pro and Pro-Am World Champions, who have combined for 40 titles, are entered. Besides the USA, other strong teams are entered from England, France, Brazil, Canada, Japan and Thailand.
Featured in the spotlight are the three returning 2003 IJSBA Pro and the eight returning 2003 Pro-Am World Champions. The returning IJSBA Pro World Champions are France’s Steven Dauliach (Pro Ski-Kawasaki), Japan’s Masao Fujisawa (Pro Freestyle-Yamaha) and Dustin Farthing, Port Lucie, Fla. (Pro Runabout 1200-Kawasaki).
Back to defend their Pro-Am titles are: Brazil’s Celio Vinicius (Sport-Sea-Doo), Rob Flores, Las Vegas (Pro-Am Ski Superstock-Kawasaki), Victor Sheldon, Vista, Calif. (Pro-Am Ski Stock-Polaris), Kenneth Ritchie, Fullerton, Calif. (Pro-Am Runabout 1200SS-Sea-Doo), Eric Lagopoulos, Longboat Key, Fla. (Pro-Am Runabout 800SS-Sea-Doo) and Janelle Barr, Renton, Wash. (Pro-Am Women Ski-Kawasaki).
Among the other elite personal watercraft racers who will be competing this weekend in Lake Havasu include superstars Chris MacClugage and Eric Malone of the U.S. along with France’s Nicolas Rius, and Brazil’s Alessander Lenzi. Dauliach and Rius both won the European Championships this summer.
Farthing has five IJSBA Pro and Pro-Am World crowns, while Vinicius and Sheldon have two each and the other returning winners all have one title. Farthing has 57 IJSBA Pro career wins and Sheldon has 49.
MacClugage, 30, originally from Naples, Fla., is the second winningest rider in IJSBA Pro racing history with 119 career wins. He has earned seven IJSBA Pro World Championships and 11 IJSBA Pro National titles. The Kawasaki rider will race in Pro Ski, Pro Runabout 1200 and Pro-Am Runabout 1200 Modified.
Malone, Duncansville, Pa., who rides a Polaris, has won four IJSBA Pro Freestyle World Championships while Lenzi has one in the same event. Rius, who trains in Lake Havasu City, has six IJSBA Pro World titles.
The USA has won every IJSBA Nation’s Cup this decade, although last year required a tie-breaker to defeat England while France was third. In 2002, USA beat Thailand and France while the finishing order in 2001 and 2000 was the same: USA first, Brazil second and Thailand third.
Back to help Thailand this year is Chaowalit Kuajaroon, who won the 2000 Pro-Am Sport World title.
Two U.S. racers, Jayme Cheney, W. Fargo, N.D., and Bill Haig, Apex, N.C., have both entered five classes in this year’s event. Cheney, who won the 2002 IJSBA World title in Pro-Am Runabout 800SS on a Sea-Doo, will race not only in that class but will also race in Expert Runabout 1200SS, Expert 1200Ltd., Expert Runabout 800SS and Expert Runabout 800Ltd. He will race on Sea-Doo watercraft.
Haig has entered Kawasaki watercraft in Pro Ski, Pro-Am Ski Modified, Pro-Am Ski Stock, Masters SkiSS and Masters Ski Stock.
The industry's biggest week will include several distinct championship events. Starting the week was the 2004 IJSBA Novice National Finals and Masters World Finals (through Tuesday), followed by the 2004 IJSBA Expert and Amateur World Finals (Wednesday and Thursday) and concluding with the featured 2004 IJSBA Pro and Pro-Am World Finals (Friday through Sunday).
Freestyle athletes will compete in the IJSBA Amateur Freestyle World Finals on Friday and the IJSBA Pro Freestyle World Finals with qualifying on Saturday and finals on Sunday.
Sanctioned under rules of the IJSBA, of Costa Mesa, Calif. and produced for the first time by IMG Action Sports of Los Angeles, the IJSBA Dos Equis World Finals of personal watercraft racing is one of the world's most unique and spectacular sporting championships. Back on Lake Havasu for the 23rd consecutive year, the massive racing extravaganza is being held in the shadow of the original London Bridge on the offshoot waters of the Colorado River.
General Admission to the first half of the IJSBA World Finals (through Wednesday) is free. Individual daily General Admission tickets for the featured four days of the event (Oct. 7-10) are $10 each for Thursday, $15 Friday, $20 on Saturday and Sunday. Pit passes for those four days are an additional $10 for Thursday, $15 Friday, $20 each on Saturday and Sunday. A four-day General Admission ticket is available for just $40.
Special IJSBA Super Passes, which include both a general admission ticket and a pit pass will also be available at the gate for the final four days (Oct. 7-10). Four day Super Passes will be $65 each, three day (Friday-Sunday) will be $60, Two day (Saturday and Sunday) will be $55 and Sunday only will be $40.
Various discounts, with valid ID and good for up to two discounted tickets, are also available for AWA/IJSBA members, Military personnel, senior citizens (over 60) and residents of Lake Havasu City.
Children under six years old will be admitted free when accompanied by a paid adult.
Advance tickets are available through Tickmaster at www.ticketmaster.com/artist/9237163, or by calling 702.474.4000, 619.220.TIXS OR 714.740.2000.
The 2004 Dos Equis Desert XX, featuring the 23rd IJSBA Dos Equis World Finals, will be televised as three one-hour segments on Fusion TV, airing on Fox Sports Net from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on three consecutive Wednesdays (Oct. 27, Nov. 10 and Nov. 17). The shows will re-air on FUEL TV (dates TBA) and in 90 countries worldwide via international syndication.
Title Sponsor of the Dos Equis Desert XX and JSBA Dos Equis World Finals is Dos Equis.
Co-sponsors of this year’s Dos Equis Desert XX and IJSBA Dos Equis World Finals are Accutron (Bulova), Kawasaki and Sea-Doo. Associate sponsors are: Fly Racing, Skat-Trak, Jet Pilot, Nintendo, Atlas Insurance, Rockstar and Arizona Road Runner.
The official website of the IJSBA Dos Equis World Finals is www.ijsba.com. The site will provide daily results, photos and updates along with LIVE broadcast of the public address dialogue through audio streaming.
IMG Action Sports is handling sales, marketing and producing this year’s massive, internationally televised event with a small army of nearly 300 staff and volunteers.
Based in Los Angeles, IMG Action Sports is a division of IMG, the world’s largest company dedicated to the marketing of sport, leisure and lifestyle. The division produces more than 25 events per year. For information regarding IMG: www.imgworld.com.
The IJSBA, headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., is the worldwide sanctioning body for personal watercraft racing, with affiliated associations, organizations and members in over 50 countries across the globe. For more information, contact the IJSBA at 714.751.8695.