Jet-ski riders tore through the waves Monday in the annual Jet Around Cayman race.
Now in its 10th year, the event was held in-front of the Courtyard Marriott, with the race kicking off promptly at 1pm.
Riders sped around the island, starting off in the direction of West Bay.
A large thunder storm made for what riders described as ‘tough’ conditions while going round the South Sound and almost threatened to put a halt to the day’s proceedings.
The 14 riders were split into two classes; open and rookie, with Jason Smith of team Barely Legal taking the coveted first place spot for the open class with a time of 1:14:20 and first time rider Richard Gonzales of team Concrete Boyz picking up the fastest time for the rookie class with 1:26:00.
According to organisers a record eight riders bowed out of the race due to mechanical problems or injury.
Commenting on the race. Jason Smith said: ”It was a tough race. The waters were really rough and the course was just a lot of work. It was definitely not a walk in the park like the Jet Around races before. The training and preparation I put into it paid off. I would have preferred to finish the race with Team Good 2 Go and Team WesTech [both of whom lost several riders to the conditions] But it was a good race. Everybody rode hard. Now, we’re looking forward to next year.’
Smith first won JAC in 2002 when he was just 15-years-old – the youngest rider to win the JAC title. He has gone on to compete at an international level throughout Florida.
Kenny Rankin, founder of Jet Around Cayman and managing director of Paramount Media said: ‘This race truly was a test of skill and craft. With waves reaching in excess of eight feet in some sections, strength, focus and overall craft stability become so important. Jason did very well.
DJs from Vibe 98.9FM and Spin 94.9FM were on hand, spinning the tunes and keeping the spectators entertained on dry land that had turned out to support riders and their teams. Marquee sponsors Cable and Wireless bMobile added a festive atmosphere with flags, tents and giveaways.
The race was originally scheduled for Monday, 12 June, however was postponed due to inclement weather.
Mr. Rankin said: ‘Overall we had a lot of surprises. A lot of the favourites to win didn’t finish the race; it just goes to show you that anything can happen in Jet Around Cayman.’
For more information on JAC, log onto www.jac.comky.
Jason Smith, team Barely Legal – 1:14:20
George ‘Lulu’ Smith – 1:16:50
Robert Thompson, team Good 2 Go – 1:30:06
Albert Ranking, team 2 Frenzied – 1:30:06
Richard Gonzales 1:26:00 and third finisher overall
Terry Ebanks, team WesTech – 1:34:20
Mac McLean, team Tryin’ A Ting split the race with Mark Hydes – 1:45:20