Third an­nual WCWA jet ski races at Rat­tlesnake June 23-24

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Alberta - BY JAMIE RIEGER— [email protected]­

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.

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