Bodden Town finally has the ramp it has craved for decades and to mark its launch there is a major Jet Ski racing event this weekend, which if successful will be staged annually.
The White Tip Run is organised by 2Frenzied race team together with Cayman Endurance Racing Group and the Bodden Town community.
Organisers hope the Jet Ski competition will help attract youngsters in the Bodden Town area to the event and, even if they cannot actually race, get involved as volunteers and marshals.
The White Tip Run Jet Ski race commemorates the opening of the long-awaited Coe Wood Beach launch ramp.
Dwayne Seymour, member of the Legislative Assembly for Bodden Town, said: “The significance of the ramp is that successive governments and Bodden Town elected members have been trying to achieve this for around 40 years and were unable to.
“Many local fishermen have pleaded for this ramp for many years and it’s the only ramp in Bodden Town and the only one on the south side of Grand Cayman besides South Sound.
“We expect two Jet Ski events a year if this goes well as Bodden Town is the fastest growing district and now the second-largest electorate in Cayman,” Mr. Seymour added.
“The Bodden Town residents are very receptive and happy that finally Minister Mark Scotland and myself were able to find a way to make this dream become a reality.”
Shane ‘Nobee’ Edwards is the organiser of the annual East End Surf Challenge and managing director of 2Frenzied Jet Ski company.
He said: “This will be the first major Jet Ski race in Bodden Town and Cayman Endurance Racing Group and 2Frenzied are happy to be a part of this historic event.
“The racing will be done like an extended quarter-mile race with a twist. It will be a short course from the launch ramp out of the channel, around buoys and back in the channel. It will be a very interesting and exciting race for riders and spectators.”
The races are at the Coe Wood Public Beach in Bodden Town on Saturday, 16 February. Rider registration is between 10am and noon and racing starts at 1pm. Registration for riders is free and there is an $800 cash prize for the winner. There are no racing classes and there will be local crafts and food for sale with music by Atom Skillz. “We look forward to people coming out to support the event,” Mr. Edwards said. “Any social activity within a community benefits that community.
“What CERG and 2Frenzied are hoping to achieve is to get more Bodden Town youths involved in the event either by racing or coming out to assist with the organisation.
“As a community we need to keep social activities like sports active to motivate our youths,” he added. “Social activity and sports have a positive effect on a community. I’m also grateful to our sponsors the Caymanian Compass, What’s Hot, White Tip Lager/Caybrew, LIME, Red Bull and HOT104.1FM.
“With events like Jet Ski racing, kids can assist with the organising and marshalling, which promotes social interaction and community oriented work.
“While we have 24 people racing Jet Skis it requires the same number or more to organise the event.
“Whether a kid is at the race because he is participating, helping organise or a spectator it’s all good because he is not getting in trouble and is involved in something positive within his community.
“On a personal note, my family is from Bodden Town and I feel committed to doing more in the community and getting more of the youths there involved.
“Previously, 2Frenzied did the preliminary round for the Flowers Bottled Water Fish Tea Cook Off in Bodden Town but we didn’t receive the kind of support we expected.
“I intend to bring this back again next year to Bodden Town and I’m sure we will get more support. I was committed to doing another event in the district and the White Tip Run is a great opportunity to get back at it again – with 2Frenzied our motto is: ‘No Limits, No Boundaries’.”
Mr. Edwards sees the launch ramp’s construction as many pluses for the fishermen.
He said: “It will be a great asset to local fishermen since previously there was no launch ramp in Bodden Town. This will now make the waterways easily accessible to fishermen with boats that previously could not be launched in the area.
“This also would be a benefit for other emergency personnel like marine police that would need it to in the event of an emergency on sea,” he added. “I’m not sure of any other sporting events that can be done there but the ramp is capable of launching small boats to large boats and on Saturday for the White Tip Run event you will see the types of boats that will be launched together with the jet skis. Come out to the event, it’s going to be interesting and fun for riders and spectators.
“The ramp took a long time to be completed due to lack of funding and vision. Minister Mark Scotland (Bodden Town MLA) and Minister Seymour approached the project in a modular fashion and were able to achieve the upgrades that the ramp and Coe Wood Beach needed.
“They realised that with the financial climate the project could not be completed all at one time but instead in stages. Now the ramp is completed and the ministers are happy to see it open and benefit the community as intended.
“The need for the ramp came about due to the constant outpour of requests from the local fisherman who expressed the urgent need.”
For information and registration forms, e-mail [email protected]