Third annual WCWA jet ski races at Rattlesnake June 23-24
Water sport enthusiasts and families just looking for a fun way to while away a day at the park should head out to Rattlesnake Lake this weekend to take in some of the best jet skiers in western Canada compete in a world's final qualifying event.
The third annual jet ski races at Rattlesnake Dam on June 23-24 is the first of the season for Western Canadian Watercross Association (WCWA) competitors and they are ready to hit the water for another season.
Some of the most elite racers will be competing, including event coordinator and five-time world champion, Cory Rarick and Fort McMurray's Mike Klippenstein, who has 23 world titles.
Rarick expects between 75100 racers will be competing in 10 different race categories in amateur and pro classes, including stand-up, runabout, and freestyle competitions. For spectators coming out to watch for the first time, the rules are pretty easy to follow.
"Jet ski racing is like motocross on water. It is the same starting out and we do a certain amount of laps," said Rarick. "In the freestyle event, competitors do as many tricks as they can in two minutes. It's pretty cool to watch."
While racers are coming from places throughout the western provinces, such as Vancouver, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg, there will be plenty of opportunity to cheer on the hometown competitors.
"We have quite a large contingent of local racers," said Rarick, adding that there will be beginner events for those wanting to try jet ski racing for the first time. "This is grassroots racing at its best," he added.
The events at Rattlesnake on June 23-24 be the first two rounds of competition for the WCWA. Rounds 3 and 4 will take place in Alix, Rounds 5 and 6 at Saskatoon, Rounds 7 and 8 at Gregoire Lake, and Rounds 9 and 10 at Trevor Hallwachs Memorial Race at Crane Lake. "We have a five-round tour, so five weekends of racing," said Rarick.
The WCWA races are qualifiers for the International Jets Sports Boating Association (IJSBA) world finals, taking place at Lake Havasu City, Arizona on October 1-8.
Rarick said that despite windy conditions at last year's race, it sparked a lot of local interest in the sport and he encourages first-time racers to come out and get involved with jet ski racers.
The racing starts at noon on Saturday, June 23 at Rattlesnake Lake and continues on Sunday, June 24, starting at 10 a.m. Five dollars per carload will get you into the gate (at Golden Sheaf Park) and there is no additional admission for the races. There will also be grandstands and food trucks on-hand for the spectators.
Spectators can expect plenty talent in the WCWA jet ski races at Rattlesnake Dam this weekend.