Jet skiing is a fun way to hang out on the beach but for some it is a profession.
There are at least a couple of youngsters in Cayman who could make the grade if they choose to.
That was quite evident at the East End Surf Challenge on Monday, the biggest Jet Ski event in Cayman.
More than 2,000 people turned up to see the riders battle it out and there was loads of fun besides, including local and international DJs on a brilliant sound system entertaining the crowd throughout, the annual Fish Tea Cook Off and a fashion show. Tiny children played safely in the sea, youngsters socialised and everyone enjoyed the food, drink and vibes.
Organised by Team Two Frenzied, a non-profit social club, this was the eighth year running of an event that started small and is now a permanent fixture attracting visitors from abroad as well.
The jet-ski races were in two categories: Modified for inexperienced riders and Super Stock for the more experienced who wanted to ride the waves a little faster.
Modified race at a top speed of around 65mph and Super Stock about 10mph faster. There were three rounds of races in each category.
It is physically demanding and gets extremely cold, yet there were few drop outs; such is the competitive nature of the racing.
Teenager Corey Miller won the Modified with 173 points after coming in second, first and first in his three races. The 17-year-old rides for Naut Working. Darren Ebanks was second (161 points) and Raulin ‘Sweet’ Gonzalez third (151 points).
In the Super Stock, Roshad Goff, the 20-year-old Tony’s Toys rider won with 166 points. Team-mate George ‘Lulu’ Smith was second on 152 points, three points ahead of another Tony’s Toys rider Richard ‘Honey’ Gonzalez. Spectators were well informed by Chuck Taylor who commentated throughout.
Miller, who lives in Savannah, says he just races for fun.
‘After the first two races, I didn’t want to fail so I pushed myself to get into first place and then concentrated on staying in front,’ he said.
Goff is from West Bay and rides a Kawasaki Ultra 250.
He said, ‘I was champion in the Modified last year and came up to Super Stock to challenge the big boys. They didn’t think I would win, everybody underestimated me. Tony’s Toys also won the team; we really made it look good.’
It was nice to have veteran racer Smith back in the frame. He won the Super Stock last year after a long absence and thought he could successfully defend his title this time.
‘I stopped for a while because I’d lost the fun,’ he said. ‘This is the first time we rode these bikes and still won. We’ve got a young team, which I think will do well in the future.’
Shane Edwards is the managing director of Team Two Frenzied.
As chief organiser he was too busy to race this year and despite the stress of coordinating everything, he thoroughly enjoyed it.
‘I felt really good about the fact that Corey Miller walked away with a lot of prizes’ Roshad Goff too,’ Edwards said. ‘Corey went away with the Ironman, the Rookie and winner for the Modified. No one has ever done anything like that so it’s created a new standard.’
The Fish Tea Cook Off was won for the second successive year by Tony’s Jerk. Second was Frecko Ebanks, West Bay’s flag football quarterback, who showed he can cook as well as throw a football. There was a fashion show by Twilight Entertainment models, which went down well.
Edwards has started working on next year’s event already.
‘My goal is to develop the Surf Challenge to become much bigger and better every year and develop something new. There was an international rider there from Miami. He is a top racer in the US. He thought it was great.’