Few sports in the Cayman Islands can emulate jet ski racing by boasting two world champions.
Roshad Goff, 25, is the latest international star thanks to his performance at the 2012 International Jet Sport Boating Association World Finals in Lake Havasu, Arizona. The West Bay native states his sport is primed to produce more champs.
“We have been able to do so because we took the sport a lot more serious in the last three years, due to the founding of the Cayman Islands Watercraft Association and their efforts to push the sport forward,” Goff said.
“I think we can produce more world-class athletes, if funding was based on results.”
Goff placed first overall in the Amateur Stock class and fourth in the Pro Stock division. He is the second Caymanian to earn a world title, following Jordan ‘JJ’ McLean’s historic effort in 2011. Interestingly, Goff also competed last year, placing sixth in the Expert Open category.
Goff makes a compelling point in regards to public sector support. According to the 2012-2013 purchase agreements, the government is not providing financial assistance to the watercraft association or any specific riders like Goff.
Interestingly, government is backing other water-based disciplines in angling, sailing and swimming (which is one of Cayman’s focus sports). The purchase agreements show the Cayman Islands Angling Club getting $33,403 for the 2012-2013 fiscal year, down from $36,715 for 2011-2012, to ‘organise, administer and execute the Cayman Islands International Fishing Tournament to promote the sport of fishing.’
The Cayman Islands Sailing Club is receiving $41,706, down from the $46,340 for 2011-2012, for the ‘provision of sports programmes in sailing, promotion of sailing in the schools and youth groups and development of elite sailing.’ The Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association, listed in the purchase agreements as the Cayman Islands swimming association, takes in $71,073; down from the $78,970 granted in the 2011-2012 fiscal year.
In spite of the lack of government funding, Cayman recently sent a contingent of racers to Arizona. Goff, the son of Gwendolee and Richard Goff, was joined by JJ McLean, 23, who competed in the Expert Limited and Pro-Am Limited and placed in the top 10.
Javier Medina rode in the Expert Limited, Pro-Am Limited and Novice Limited categories, placing in the top 10. Gary ‘GJ’ Whittaker, the 2012 Jet Around Cayman winner, placed fourth in the Expert Limited division and Vanjae ‘VJ’ Ramgeet finished fifth in the Novice Stock class and seventh in the Amateur Stock segment.
It should be noted that most of the riders excelled in the Cayman Islands Watercraft Association 2012 National Championship Series. Goff won the expert class ahead of Whittaker, Medina is the national amateur champion and Ramgeet was second in the novice category.
Whether or not jet ski racing gets government support, Goff states his focus is on next year.
“Well, the 2012 race season is over now and I did very well this year. So, I am looking forward to getting in much better physical shape for the 2013 race season so I can defend my local and my international titles and share what I learnt from world finals with my team-mates.”