The success of Jordan ‘JJ’ McLean’s world jet ski title is a positive for many in the Cayman Islands, including a major sports figure.
Minister for Sports Mark Scotland states the Bodden Town native’s showing is to be commended.
“Jordan has proven himself to be a world class athlete,” Scotland said. “Not only is he riding for a very prestigious team, but he has proven that he is best in his class.
“Winning the world title puts him right up there with all our other fine young sports stars that are showing the world what is possible. He is a fine role model to follow and I hope that many other young people will find inspiration in his climb to the top.
“Moreover, we have a bunch of young riders that are already showing great potential and I want to congratulate everyone who competed in Arizona for a job well done. We are looking forward to many more world titles.”
This month McLean, 22, claimed the pro class championship at the 2011 International Jet Sports Boating Association World Finals. He competed in the Expert and Pro Runabout Limited divisions in Lake Havasu, Arizona. He competed on a supercharged Yamaha FZR.
He was joined by Roshad Goff and his younger brother Nathan McLean. Goff competed in the Expert Open class and placed sixth while Nathan finished ninth in the Amateur Limited division. The Cayman riders took on hundreds of riders from about 40 nations.
Minister Scotland went on to congratulate the Cayman Islands Watercraft Association for developing jet ski racing in Cayman.
“We clearly have very talented young riders on the Islands and thanks to this progressive sports association, local racers get a shot at winning these big races as they can now qualify by competing locally.”
The association had a presence at the Lake Havasu meet with a number of members present. Among them was association president Vincent Ramgeet, who thanked the government for its support.
“It is simply great to see our racers do so well in such a prominent international race,” Ramgeet said. “I thank the Ministry of Sports and the Department of Tourism for supporting the trip.”
McLean, who turns 23 next February, is currently on Island enjoying a rest period. His next major meet will be the 2012 Mark Hahn Memorial 300-mile endurance race in Lake Havasu. From there he is expected to compete at an endurance race in Karujet, Guadeloupe before returning home for next year’s Jet Around Cayman competition.
The son of Mack and Elaine McLean states he needs the down time after a busy year on and off the water.
“I’m a Real Madrid fan so I will be following football,” McLean said. “I play it at a recreational level some times. I also ride dirt bikes for fun. It was a big year for me as I also finished my finance degree at the University of South Florida.
“I got my Bachelor’s this summer back in August and I had a double major in business management and finance. I want to do my Masters though I also need work experience. Eventually I would like to get into the banking industry here in Cayman.
“I’d like to once again thank everyone in Cayman for supporting me, especially Mr. and Mrs. Emmiel Scott. I also thank my US sponsors Yamaha, Riva Racing and Dean Charrier of Dean’s Team. Thanks too to my holders Blain Karita and Eric Williams. Those guys frequently visit Cayman and I’m thankful for them helping me get some good starts.”
For McLean jet ski racing will always be a big part of his life. His first cousin Daron McLean is another local racer and Daron’s father, East End politician Arden McLean, is a big supporter of the sport. Ultimately JJ states he would like to see more Caymanian kids come through the ranks.
“I’ve been racing eight years and I’m hoping for more Caymanian riders to compete abroad. To the youth in Cayman I’d just like to say keep aspiring and stay positive. You can make your dreams become a reality.”