Jordan ‘JJ’ McLean is an established local jet ski racer who can now boast a rare feat: a world title.
The Bodden Town native claimed the pro class championship at the 2011 International Jet Sports Boating Association World Finals this month. McLean competed in the Expert and Pro Runabout Limited divisions in Lake Havasu, Arizona.
McLean, 22, arrived on Island over the weekend and states his focus now is on preparing for next year’s meets.
“In Cayman I will be on break until February,” McLean said. “I will still be training, I’m not going to slack up. The first competition I will be looking at is the Mark Hahn Memorial 300-mile endurance race in Lake Havasu. I did it in 2009 and won the pro stock title. It’s a fun race.
“From there I’m looking at the endurance race in Karujet, Guadeloupe in March or April.”
The Mark Hahn Memorial is slated for 25 February, 2012 and is regarded as the world’s longest endurance jet ski race. The competition heads into its eighth year and attracts teams from around the globe. The event is named after Hahn, who died while riding his jet ski at age 53 and this year Lake Havasu City mayor Mark Nexsen declared 26 February Mark Hahn Day.
For both the Hahn and Karujet races, McLean will likely be on the seat of the same Yamaha FZR he used in Arizona. Sponsored by Yamaha, Riva Racing and Dean’s Team, McLean has raced the jet ski since last year. He is quick to note that it is far from stock.
“The engine is 1.8 litres and rated at 1812cc. It has a limited package with a supercharger. It goes over 80mph on the water and a lot has been done to it.”
McLean did not make the Lake Havasu trek alone. He was joined by fellow Cayman racers Roshad Goff and Nathan McLean (JJ’s younger brother). In addition there were Cayman fans and officials from the Cayman Islands Watercraft Association. McLean states all added to the experience.
“It was nice to have the support of CIWA and the fans. Roshad and Nathan raced in the Expert Open and Amateur Limited class respectively. Roshad was sixth while Nathan was ninth which is still good because there were 40 nations and 80 plus riders. Cayman is up there with the ranks of other riders.”
Ultimately the nephew of East End politician Arden McLean states he is still getting used to the title of world champion.
“At the world finals I came second in the Expert class and first in the pro. This is the first pro title for Cayman as Jason Smith won the novice title years ago. To be world champion I had to beat a number of countries like France, Australia, Serbia and Finland. There were 18 riders in the Pro class races so it was very competitive.
“Last year was my second race at this level and I did better this time around. It feels very good. I’ve been in jet ski racing eight years and I put in a lot of hard work. I’m still taking it all in and I will keep aiming high in my races.
“This year I also won the Canadian national title and the US National Tour series in the Pro limited class. I’ve had a good run this year. I started in May with a good team (my team-mates were Chris MacClugage and Dustin Charrier) and good races. At this point I thank my parents Mack and Elaine McLean, Minister Mark Scotland, Mr. and Mrs. Dan Scott and everyone in Cayman for their support.”