My recent discussion of Wave Race 64 (a great game with amazing music) leads me to inquire about the reality of Jet Ski racing. Is there really a professional circuit of Jet Ski competition? It seems so unlikely, but in today’s sports world you really never know. I can’t imagine someone supporting themself financially doing that, so my first assumption was that Jet-Ski races are mostly held and promoted by the jet ski companies themselves, and that the racers would be employees of the company (working in some other capacity, like maintanance or sales, when not competing in races.) Is this the way it works, or are there actual paid professional jet ski riders?
I watched them race at a lake near me a couple years ago. In fact, the American Power Boat Association is the promotor. There are factory teams and the better rider’s make a pretty decent living doing it.
I’m positive there is. I used to work at Yamaha Motor Corporation and I know they had a factory racing team. I’m not sure how far it the circuit extends beyond Southern California, however.
So the guys on the racing team work at the factory?
It’s possible, but I’d doubt it. In racing, a “factory” team has the support of the manufacturer with regards to money and technology. The support may be in the form of simply writing checks, or it may involve providing engineering support and access to experimental technology the manufacturer is working on.
So these “factory team” racers do it as a profession, living solely off their earnings as racers?
If they don’t, how do you get on a factory racing team?
An example of a factory team from motorcycle racing is HRC. Honda Racing Corp. is financially independent from Honda. They get the best parts and people to win races. Winning means sales.
An article I read used an example of pistons. As they go through the factory each one is measured for quality control. The manufacturing tolerance is a few thousandths of an inch bigger or smaller. The “perfect” ones are set aside to be sold to HRC.
How to get a factory ride? Be really really good, start young, work your way up from the amateur ranks and be very lucky to be noticed at the right time and place.
My husband used to race jet skis. He is still friends with people who do the North American circuit and they ALL have day jobs. None of them work for the ski-maker companies but have their sponsership so they get free parts, skis, clothing etc.