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World finals to remain in Havasu – August 14, 2006

August 14, 2006
Filed under Features

After a winter and spring of much speculation regarding the historic 25th running of the International Jet Sports Boating Association World Finals, the IJSBA has announced that the event will in fact return to the city that has hosted the race since its inception, Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
Scheduled to take place Sept. 30-Oct 8, the World Finals will once again be based out of the Crazy Horse Campgrounds and Resort, the site which has held almost all of the events in recent memory. Before the switch to Crazy Horse, Havasu’s famed Nautical Inn hosted the sport’s premier event. The IJSBA promises to have full world finals details available on its Web site, www.ijsba.com, in the weeks leading up to the race week. Registration for the finals began the first week of August.
Until the announcement, things seemed up in the air regarding the world finals. Rumors swirled of everything from a venue change in Lake Havasu itself (one early proposal to the Lake Havasu City Council to move the event to Havasu’s Rotary Park was in fact rejected), to the event being moved to the far more media-friendly confines of Southern California. The latter also was tried in 1999, when the finals briefly appeared to be moving to San Diego, before ultimately ending up back in Lake Havasu City. Keeping the 2006 event in Lake Havasu City, while perhaps not the best location for print and television exposure, promises to keep the finals’ long and unique history alive. It was in the desert town developed by chainsaw magnate Robert McCulloch that the first event was held back in 1982.
IJSBA Managing Director Scott Frazier was abundant in his praise for all involved in Lake Havasu for their patience while the organization toyed with the idea of a change. “I, personally, would like to extend special thanks to Dan Cunning at the Lake Havasu City Bureau of Tourism, the Havasu Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management, and Joe Labarbera of Crazy Horse Campgrounds for going beyond the call of duty to make the world finals a possibility in Havasu,” Frazier said.
The event, which will take place entirely within the city, will be co-produced by Desert Steel Motorsports. “DSM CEO, Jim Russell, and myself will be working diligently to ensure that this is the best world finals to date and exceeds the expectations of a 25th Anniversary event,” said Frazier.
Hall Of Fame Established
The 2006 finals marks the event’s 25th anniversary, a milestone in terms of the sport’s history. In honor of that fact, Frazier has already indicated that the 2006 race week will feature a variety of special events, not the least of which is the creation of an IJSBA Hall of Fame.
Plans are to name the Hall of Fame after a historic figure in the sport of personal watercraft racing. Frazier indicated that the individual will be named sometime between now and the finals week.
In the meantime, the IJSBA announced the first 25 inductees into the Hall of Fame, selected for their overall influence in shaping the culture of personal watercraft racing. Inductees were chosen from the entire history of personal watercraft, from inception to modern day. “It was very difficult to narrow down the list,” admitted Frazier. “Chris Lauber (former World Cup race promoter and longtime PWC supporter) was crucial in helping set the frame work and building the candidate list. Some of the final names were selected by asking the candidates themselves who they most respected as one of their peers.”
Inductees include pioneers Doug Silverstein, Brian Bendix and Steve Stricklin, as well as legendary racers Larry Rippenkroeger, David Gordon, Victor Sheldon, Chris Fischetti, Chris MacClugage and Jeff Jacobs. Additional inductees include Scott Watkins, Rick Roy, Marc Sickerling, Eric Malone, Alessander Lenzi, Mike Yellich, Dan Fitzgerald, Tim Judge, Karine Paturel, Tera Laho, Christy Carlson, Dustin Farthing, Dustin Motzouris, Minoru Kanamori and Shawn Alladio.
The IJSBA is planning a ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 5, to celebrate the accomplishments of this historic first group. All world finals spectators and participants are invited to the celebration. psb

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