Jet Around splashes out $15k for the best

Local racers have added incentive to participate in Jet Around Cayman 2012. 

Over US$15,000 will be on offer for the biggest jet ski race in the Cayman Islands. In its 16th year, the event takes place at Public Beach on the Queen’s Birthday holiday on Monday, 18 June, from 1pm. 

Event organiser Kenny Rankin, an executive at Monster Media, states a new class will greatly increase the prize list. 

“Over the last 16 years, Jet Around Cayman has continued to grow in popularity with attendees and riders flying in for this event from all over the world,” Rankin said. “This year, I am proud to announce the addition of the new Iron Man Class. Touting a US$10,000 grand prize, which is the biggest prize in Jet Around Cayman history, we anticipate a record number of racers entering in this race.” 

The Iron Man segment is one of five classes and is designed for experienced riders who have been classified as professional by the International Jet Sports Boating Association or American Power Boat Association. 

From there, the Expert-Open division is for riders classed as “Pro” by both association’s regulations. First prize is US$2,500, second takes home US$1,000 and third earns US$500. 

The Rookie class is for participants who have never competed in a Jet Around Cayman race before. All rookies must ride a stock jet ski craft, which means bolt-on parts only and no engine porting. The first prize is US$1,000. 

The Amateur division is open to new riders who are not considered “Pro” by both association’s regulations. The first prize is US$500. The Veteran division offers a US$400 first place prize for riders who are over 25 years of age at the time of the event. 

Jet Around is an endurance jet ski race around Grand Cayman. A planning committee, spearheaded by jet ski racing veterans Vincent Ramgeet and Don Patrick, is in effect for this year. 

To celebrate the introduction of the new Iron Man class, Jet Around will retire the previous course record. The change might impact the likes of Roshad Goff, the 2011 winner. Rankin states both developments were necessary this year. 

“Together Mr. Ramgeet and Mr. Patrick bring an unprecedented level of knowledge and experience to Jet Around. It is an honour to have them on board for this landmark year. 

“The course record was set in 2006 by Billy Ebanks with a time of one hour, 11 minutes and 11 seconds. With the addition of the new class, it seemed appropriate to retire Mr. Ebanks’ impressive course record.” 

For the first time in race history, each competitor will be equipped with a Global Positioning System tracking device provided by Cayman Armoured Security Service. Data will be available both online and at the Public Beach site so attendees can keep track of the frontrunners. 

As usual, a number of activities will take place around the race. On Friday, 15 June, Margaritaville hosts a live concert from 8pm featuring Trinidadian soca artist Patrice Roberts. On Sunday, 17 June, Elements Ultra Lounge night club stages a pre-race celebration from 12.01am. 

On raceday, spectators can expect sights like concerts, volleyball tournaments and a kiddie area to adorn the beach. 

JAC racers

Look for Public Beach to be swarming with people on Monday. – PHOTOS: MATTHEW YATES