July 15, 2015

Ryan Ellefson To Take On The 2015 58 Mile LB2CAT Offshore PWC National Championship Race


At PWCOFFSHORE.COM we see and hear many things on the water, I found this story compelling and had to share. Last month I decided to do some moto cross dirt training up in the mountains and I really enjoy riding 
with others that can increase my skill. I met with former competitive motocross and Baja 1000 motorcycle rider Ryan Ellefson who rides the #29 Jet Renu Yamaha VXR to practice on the water. I was following his truck to a secret riding spot somewhere out in the orange groves of California. Legal...Yes!  But secret nonetheless. As I followed him something struck me as strange.   He has a handicapped license plate on his truck. Of note is that Ryan Ellefson is taking on the daddy of all offshore PWC races, the historic 58 mile Long Beach to Catalina and Back Offshore National Championship PWC Race aka “The LB2CAT” and doing so on a naturally aspirated Yamaha VXR.  I asked him about his amazing story, background and race preparation and thought this would make a great article on his life’s struggles and how he has overcome adversity.  

MG. How did you get injured?

Ryan/RE. Back in 2006 I was riding my motorcycle to work and a lady crossed out of the HOV lane and hit me. It caused me to slam into the back of a stopped pickup truck. I broke my pelvis, hip, ribs, and shoulder. Basically all my right side.  My injuries were very extensive.

MG. What was that like?

RE. Not good, I don’t remember too much. God apparently didn’t want me at that time. I remember waking up in so much pain that I kept blacking out. After the internal bleeding had stopped and the surgeries were complete, the doctors said I wouldn’t be able to walk again without the assistance of crutches or a mobile scooter. To go from racing moto x and some desert and Baja, to not riding again HURT!  That really killed me as I sat in the hospital thinking about it. I really tried to talk to my friends and family about it. But most of my friends were from Orange County and couldn’t be bothered to make the 35 minute drive to see me. That left me seeing who my true friends were. I became a little suicidal one day. I was in a wheel chair all drugged up to keep the pain away hallucinating that I was in a Sears Tire Center and began looking for an open window on my floor. I ‘m not going to sugar coat this as it was a really dark time in my life.

MG. What happened after you got out of the hospital?

RE. I came home to find well, let’s just say people I THOUGHT were close to me and had my back had bailed on me, I will leave it at that. This made me dig down deep to push through the pain and do my physical therapy. I had one goal and nobody was going to tell me I couldn’t achieve, to walk unassisted again. No plates, pins, or screws holding me together were going to stop me. I wanted a normal life again and was willing to fight through whatever I had to. I fought through many months of PT and began walking with a cane. This is when I walked into Holly’s store and we met. She began to help me and push me, making trips to Disneyland just to walk around and exercise which kept my spirits up. From that day we have been together.

MG. When did you get back on a motorcycle?

RE. It was around the time I was getting around with a cane. I wasn’t going to let an accident keep me from what I have done since age 5. I started to learn how to ride different, smarter, but still fast. I had to change the way I rode and did things. I couldn’t even kick start my own bike. But that didn’t keep me from jumping on and turning a few mottos.

MG. When did you get into Jet Skis?

RE. It was when Holly and I moved out to Murrieta. We met Brian, a fireman and our neighbor. He and I rode dirt bikes together and (he) rode well enough to push me out of my comfort zone. He was also very good at picking me up when I was doing dirt sampling. He bugged me for a long time about buying some Jet Skis. He had a Seadoo, wave blaster, and a 650 SX I think. I finally realized racing moto x may be a thing of the past. My first ski was a Yamaha wave raider 2 stroke. It taught me a lot. I took it all apart and started playing with it to make it faster and handle better. I kept hearing about these long distance races and was wanting to try that. I sold the 2 stroke and bought some Yamaha vx 110s. What a great ski to learn on. Not fast yes, but I could ride further and longer on a single tank of fuel than anyone else. This ski helped me train by standing up riding in the ocean for hours. As time goes by and I try different rides including the West Coast Watercraft Clubs Ironman ride. I felt like since my accident, I might be getting back into the shape I was in prior to the accident.

MG. How are you feeling now when you ride and practice?

RE. I am pretty much in different levels of pain. It’s something I have just taught myself to try and ignore. I try to stand different ways to make the pain go away throughout the ride to Catalina. I exercise a lot which seems to keep me feeling pretty good most of the time. When it hurts I change my stance. I fight this ongoing mental battle; to me pain is a mental thing. A state of being, not a physical thing. I do have my bad days were you see me limping around.

MG. What’s your strategy for racing LB2CAT.

RE. I am not going to lie. My whole plan is to pin it and make as short of a race as I can. I have been running every other day in the 90 plus degree heat. Mountain bike riding on the opposite days. Trying to build my endurance and strength. I am feeling pretty good about it as of today. Ask me again on the morning of the race, I’ll be the guy throwing up in the trash can. After the flag drops its all business and riding around the discomfort.

Please join us in congratulating Ryan on his recovery from the motorcycle accident, his character and will to achieve and push through the pain and fortitude to take on the channel and the LB2CAT.  "NEVER SURRENDER.....STAY IN THE FIGHT"  We wish Ryan the greatest success possible at this weekend’s LB2CAT Offshore National Championship race!
 The 2014 LB2CAT, Warner Wins!

The 2014 58 mile Long Beach to Catalina and Back Offshore National Championship PWC Race aka “The LB2CAT” has challenged man and machine for twenty years.  This historic PWC race is the longest running and most prestigious offshore PWC race in the United States attracting the best offshore racers in the world to travel to California and compete for the National Title.  
This year Australian Champion Christian D’Agostin would make the long trek across the pond from Australia to compete and pursue the title on a Kawasaki ULTRA 310 rumored to be a 77 mph craft.  Klippenstein aka “The Klipper” would travel in from Canada to test his steel against the best.  The Klipper was coming off a win on his R&D turbo powered Yamaha SVHO at the Lake Perris flat water race where he and his turbo literally destroyed the competition.  Many were keeping a close eye on Klipper at this race, especially if the seas would be calm on that day and Klipper could put all that power to the water.

Attracting the most attention was incumbent LB2CAT Offshore National Champion and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Craig Warner who would be pursuing his fifth offshore national championship on this day.  Craig would be attempting to make history beating legendary Polaris factory racer and PWCOFFSHORE.COM Hall of Famer Billy Womack’s record of four LB2CAT titles.

PWCOFFSHORE.COM Founder Mark Gerner who had finished 2nd every year behind Craig Warner since 2009 or, after Craig Warner’s craft broke - Gerner would then be in contention for the overall win and then he broke, took the gloves off this year and built a Turbo powered Kawasaki ULTRA estimated to be pushing well over 360 horsepower in his attempt to pursue the overall win against Warner’s Monster Energy Sponsored & Kanamori Factory built Kawasaki.

Tenacious racer and former World Champion Manuru Kanamori would also be competing on the stock Kawasaki ULTRA 310R.  KC Heidler of PWCOFFSHORE.COM Core Racing would opt to race his trusted Kawasaki ULTRA 300X vs. his 310R, both were prepped by one of the best Crew Chiefs in the United States, Peewee Price.  The stage was set for an unprecedented race with huge horsepower and a great deal of talent on the starting line.

Also making history was Army Blackhawk pilot Anthony Radetic who is a spinal cord injured veteran.  Anthony Radetic would be the first man in history to step out of his wheelchair and mount a PWC to compete at the LB2CAT.  K38 Safety Founder, safety instructor and PWCOFFSHORE.COM Sponsored Legacy Racer Ms. Shawn Alladio would play a major role in his preparation.  

For the first time in many years, there would be multiple women including Tera Laho on the course competing for the PWCOFFSHORE.COM sponsored 1st place trophy awarded to the first woman to cross the finish line.  Ms. Shawn Alladio was on the course to run safety in support of the racers that struggled throughout the course.  

Clear skies, unlimited visibility and sea state predicted to be ocean flat with big rollers for 2/3rds of the 28 mile trek across the channel to a turn boat at Catalina Island with the final third of the first leg across the channel presenting larger and more challenging rough water for racers to negotiate.  The return leg to Long Beach would present the same sea state.  

As the DVD and photo helicopters hovered above the start line for twenty minutes and crowds gathered along the shoreline to watch 1000’s of horsepower roar to life, Ross Wallach of RPM Racing Enterprises would wave the green flag a little after 9 am initiating a start that involved no injuries and a clean break from the harbor through Queen’s Gate and into the channel between Long Beach and Catalina Island.  

A number of big names would experience mechanical difficulties at the start; first to have a mechanical was Australian Christian D’Agostin with a blown cooling line.  Heartbreak for Christian and his crew due to the amount of effort it took to get his crew across the pond and prepare his very fast Kawasaki ULTRA 310 with only one week to prepare for the race.  
After Mark Gerner’s craft roared to the gate however he would quickly feel an anomaly in his craft that would result in him having to turn back.  Klipper’s 90- something mph turbo powered Yamaha would also experience some kind of anomaly but Klipper would still pull off a finish outside the top ten.  With the other big horsepower boats out of the race, Warner would take the championship by a significant margin and relative ease, completing the 58 mile course from Long Beach to Catalina and back in less than one hour.  Minoru Kanamori was in second place overall for some time but ultimately finished third overall on a manufacture stock Kawasaki ULTRA 310R behind KC Heidler’s Pro Open craft, impressive considering Kanamori was on a bone stock Kawasaki ULTRA 310R.  Minoru would experience fuel issues throughout the course and literally sputtered and coughed across the finish line with low fuel.  Minoru put in an impressive performance on the course that day.  The result of the 2014 LB2CAT is that Kawasaki continues to dominate offshore by owning every spot of the top ten.  

Craig Warner took the overall and the Pro/Am Open class.  Anthony Redetic would finish in 17th place overall.  Dave Tew would not only win the Vet Master Class on his Kawasaki ULTRA 300, he would also be awarded the PWCOFFSHORE.COM Award for Excellence for his contribution to the PWC community over many years.  Derek Newton would win the 4-stroke stock class on the Kawasaki ULTRA 300X, Minoru Kanamori would win the Manufacture Stock Class on the Kawasaki ULTRA 310R and

 Ms. Brittany Marker would win the 1st place Woman’s award on her Yamaha.
  Ms. Marker would take home the win in the women’s division after sustaining an injury toward the end of the race.  The Watercraft Journal’s own Kevin Shaw would finish 20th overall on the Kawasaki ULTRA 310R.  
Once again Jeff Lane of PJ Printers would put in an impressive top five finish with fifth place overall on his Kawasaki ULTRA 300X and Michael Perry would take home an impressive 4th overall on his stock Kawasaki 310R.   
The 2014 LB2CAT has started a new day in history.  Craig Warner now has five titles and has displaced Hall of Famer Billy Womack as the all-time LB2CAT title holder.  Five titles will take a great deal of time and effort to beat and could possibly remain THE all-time record.  The greatest of all time, Craig Warner is now part of Offshore Racing Royalty.  
Stay tuned for the 2014 LB2CAT DVD that is now in production and will be available CLICK HERE  

Below, Jeff lane takes 5th place overall 

Micheal Perry, 4th overall: 
Minoru Kanamori - below, 3rd Overall Podium Finish   
LB2CAT DVD and photo Helo:

Dave Tew - PWCOFFSHORE.COM Racing Award For Excellence 

The 2014 SVHO, a review by PWCOFFSHORE.COM

As noted in the PWCOFFSHORE.COM Buyers guide
(suggest you Click HERE and read it prior to this review), the comparison and selection for “PWCOFFSHORE.COM’s #1 craft to purchase for offshore for 2014” was closer this year due to improvements in Yamaha’s 2014 SVHO.  Yamaha has picked up ground in closing the gap with the ULTRA due to the SVHO’s powerful and well-made 1800 cc engine’s upgrades, larger 160 mm 8 vein pump and aggressive scoop grate.

The intent of this review is to provide you with an unbiased review of my take-aways regarding the performance of this craft in an offshore application.  Nothing was done scientifically and these are strictly my opinions so take it for what it’s worth. I’ve owned this craft for a few months now and have a little over fifteen hours on the 2014 Yamaha SVHO.  I am impressed with the fit, finish and performance of this very elegant craft. Almost all of my riding hours were offshore in the Pacific Ocean with only 45 minutes of this ride-time taking place on Lake Havasu’s flat waters.  I have made four trips to Catalina Island and back on this craft, all were in rough water.

My first impression of the SVHO was “wow, this thing is quiet.”  A number of times I’d be idling and felt the need to check the throttle to make sure it was actually running due to my inability to hear it run.  Granted I always wear a helmet and usually ride with an after-market water box so that could have had an impact on just how quiet if felt.  Upon further inspection I understood why; there was more baffling, air boxes and even skirts around the pump than I have seen in some years.  Clearly Yamaha puts a great deal of emphasis on ensuring this craft does not upset the neighbors with loud noises when you’re flushing her out after the ride.  Bottom line is that this craft is incredibly quiet, Lexus quiet.  I can only imagine that that large air box and baffling might be restrictive, first order of business with racers and performance riders will be to remove it and replace with the R&D filter system.  

Positive:  Fit and finish on this product is excellent;  Yamaha makes quality product and the rider can feel the engineering in this craft.  Fit and finish is equal to the Kawasaki.  If I had to grant a winner for fit and finish it would go to the Yamaha but only by a very small margin.  

Positive:  Aesthetics on this craft is beautiful.  This is an elegant, rather sophisticated looking craft while the Kawasaki ULTRA platform is a rather angry, muscle looking craft.  I must acknowledge that I like the angry, muscle look on a craft.  Interesting that literally all of my neighbors commented that they liked the look of the Yamaha better than the Kawasaki.  Interesting.  

Negative:  Why reverse on the right Yamaha?  The rider has to remove their hand and finger from the throttle to grab the reverse lever or reach around with their left hand to grab the reverse lever while managing throttle.  For me I just removed the reverse bucket but for the recreational rider I see this as presenting an inconvenience.  My reverse bucket was also rather difficult to pull and manage and I found myself checking to make sure I wasn’t creating a neutral situation.  

Positive:  The stock steering adjusts up higher than any other manufacture’s craft that I’ve ridden in a number of years.  I am 6’2in and a modified standing rider so this is a very good setup for me.  I wish the other manufacturers would follow suit and allow for adjustments of their handlebars higher to allow for taller riders to have more comfort and ergonomics when standing.

Negative:  The molded hand-grips did not allow for comfortable gripping of the bars.  I suggest Yamaha change to standard round hand-grips on the  SVHO, the performance crowd that purchases this craft will be pleased.  The molded grips appear to be designed for a sitting rider and are not comfortable for the performance rider. 

Positive:  Power.  This 1800 cc engine is clearly underutilized.  The SVHO feels like it’s barely working at wide open throttle.  This is the beauty of this machine, there is a huge upside potential for power and speed, more than any other three -seater out there in my opinion.  Average speed in rough water is another topic and is yet to be determined with this craft.  Reliable word on the street is that with an ECU and a few cooling and breathing mods and you’re at the upper 70’s mph on this craft.  This is a beautiful thing and requires substantially less investment than what it would take to get a Kawasaki to the upper 70's.  There is no replacement for displacement and Yamaha wins with upside potential with the engine.  Note my top stock speed was 67.4 mph and I did not notice a difference in performance at 10 hours (some have said that the ECU unlocks after a 10 hour break-in period.  This could be but I did not notice any performance difference). 

Performance and nose hunt while offshore:  The question everyone has been asking me since I bought the craft is how it performs offshore compared to the Kawasaki?  The rider will find themselves needing to ride this craft a little more forward in the tray than one rides the ULTRA.  Although the SVHO rider will have to work a little harder than the ULTRA rider, the SVHO actually performed better in the rough than I thought it would as it slices through the water. Nose hunt on this craft is probably 3 degrees which is minimal.  The nose of the SVHO wants to hunt a little more than the ULTRA but is very manageable.  For example, if I compare the nose hunt of the SVHO to the 2007 RXT hull I owned, there is no comparison, the 07 RXT nose hunted substantially more than the SVHO hull.  The nose of the SVHO is manageable, the rider has to allow the craft to cut through the water vs. plow through the water like the Kawasaki ULTRA does.  The SVHO hull rights itself rather quickly so it’s critical that the rider allow the craft to manage itself and not fight the craft as it manages the water. The SVHO does right itself quickly but it is more noticeable than the Kawasaki.  There is very little Yaw on the SVHO, this is also a positive. Net-net, the Kawasaki wins with having less nose hunt than the SVHO.  

Performance / tabletop tilt offshore:  So what is table top tilt?  It’s the craft leaning left and right while underway.  This is one of the beauties of the Kawasaki hull; there is very little tabletop tilt with the Kawasaki ULTRA while the Yamaha tilts more noticeably in the rough.  The Kawasaki ULTRA wins with having less table top tilt.  

Performance / Recovery Time:  Recovery time is the craft’s ability to regain its hookup and speed after getting airborne and reengaging in the water and results in average speed that is critical to success in offshore racing.  This “recovery” happens 1000’s of times during an offshore race.  I was impressed with the SVHO’s performance in this area, there has been huge improvement here driven primarily by the 160 mm pump and the SVHO’s aggressive top loader intake grate.  The SVHO performed significantly better than I anticipated in this area.  Granted, this is a significant strength of the Kawasaki ULTRA platform for offshore and the lighter Yamaha  falls a little short in this are compared to the Kawasaki.  Winner for recovery time is the Kawasaki.  

Sponsons:  Sponsons are the biggest weak link I found with the SVHO.  I noticed a huge increase in stability when I replaced the stock sponsons with the R&D prototype sponsons.  I’m not being a sales guy here people, the R&D sponsons changed the stability of this craft in rough water dramatically and I encourage you to make this your first modification, you will not be unhappy.   

Positive:  Thank you Yamaha for making the oil filter easily accessible for oil and oil filter changes.  Oil changes on the SVHO will be much easier than oil and filter change on the ULTRA.  

Head to head with the Kawasaki ULTRA offshore:  At two and a half foot chop and less, the two craft performed fairly consistently with the ULTRA wanting to edge out the SVHO.  This involved the SVHO’s rider working a little harder than the ULTRA rider.  With seas larger than two and half feet, the ULTRA 300 and 310 pulled my SVHO.  I suspect average speed of the ULTRA is better than the SVHO in two and half feet seas.  When the seas hit around three feet or above you will be better suited on the ULTRA.  You will notice a positive change in average speed when you install the R&D sponsons.  
Concerns with the SVHO?  No product is perfect.  Because I ride aggressively offshore, many are warning me about the clutch.  I am told that there have been upgrades to the clutch on the 2014 model.  I rode this craft primarily in big seas,  I have had no issues but we shall see and time will tell.  If one modified this craft for high speed runs, I am told that the pump tunnel should be reinforced.  Like all watercraft purchases, I encourage you to buy the manufacturer’s extended warranty.  For endurance and offshore riding I’d like to see a larger fuel tank in the SVHO, we installed an additional five gallon fuel tank in the front storage compartment of the SVHO.  

So for those asking me what craft to buy, I will throw it back to you and ask you about what kind of water you ride in.  If you are primarily a flat water lake rider, you should consider the Yamaha or the Kawasaki; both will serve you well and it is your personal preference that should dictate.  You want to modify and go fast on flat water, there is no question here that you buy the Yamaha SVHO over the ULTRA.  I would just suggest that you go TURBO vs. any modification that keeps the clutch as part of your race setup.  If you ride exclusively ocean then you buy the Kawasaki ULTRA.  You ride lakes that can get chopped around over three feet and your priority is comfort and stability then you purchase the Kawasaki.  You won’t go wrong with either of these craft, they are both quality product.  
So if I had a wish list and some blue sky?  
1) Great engine, upgrade the hull to something deeper and wider and heavier.
2) Increase the size of the fuel tank
3) Create a “R” for “Race” version of the SVHO with no clutch and replaced with a stock turbo model of the Yamaha
So go out and buy one of these two craft and we'll see you offshore!  
Scroll down for KC Heidler's perspective on the SVHO! 

A perspective on the SVHO from PWCOFFSHORE.COM CORE TEam Racer KC Heidler:   

The SVHO handles like a traditional waverunner

Riding and racing Jetskis, WaveRunner and Sea-Doo for most of my life there is definitely some distinct hull characteristics between these machines. 

My teammate Mark Gerner gave me the opportunity to test the SVHO on a return run from Catalina back to Long Beach and fairly rough/confused sea conditions.

You must ride the Yamaha with the nose down/trim down (one notch below neutral trim).  The Yamaha reads the water better than any PWC that I’ve been on.  To accomplish this, a racer needs to ride more forward on the SVHO, which requires more strength than the typical offshore riding position of the Ultra, which unfortunately can lead to fatigue in a short period of time.

The hull is designed to cut through most water conditions, while keeping the intake connected and the machine does self correct in high speeds.  This is definitely not true with Sea-Doo which can follow waves and make unexpected sharp turns.  The Ultra does a decent job of cutting through the water, but tends to rock more on a bow to stern tilt motion.  This creates a lot of airborne activity.

The SVHO has a heavy table tilt (rocky motion from side to side) when it does get airborne.  It’s self correcting like the Ultra.

The engine governor/ECU doesn’t seem to have the extreme RPM variances like the Ultra, which is better for a consistent rough water ride.  Although the wear and tear on the engine components would be greater, but it’s definitely a great characteristic when the intake reconnects with the water.

I believe with the right modifications this is a boat that can be extremely competitive in the endurance/offshore racing circuits.

I would make reliable engine modifications to increase the overall speed.  I would make handlebar and throttle changes, keeping them lower than the traditional offshore set up.  I would also raise the height of the seat slightly and have foot lifters from front to back in the foot tray.

I’m excited to see where this PWC goes in the next few years and I know that it will be a competitive endurance/offshore racing machine.

KC Heidler, PWCOffshore Core Racing Team

February 1, 2014 


PWCOFFSHORE.COM Announces The 2014 PWCOFFSHORE.COM CORE Offshore Race Team   

PWCOFFSHORE.COM CORE Racers are extremely accomplished offshore racing athletes that have committed to specific offshore and endurance races to be completed in 2014.  These are the most accomplished, committed and offshore race focused team members that PWCOFFSHORE.COM has to offer.  The PWCOFFSHORE.COM CORE Race Team remains small, elite and unchanged for 2014; Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Craig Warner, KC Heidler and Mark Gerner have been selected for inclusion in the CORE race team.  The CORE team has selected the Kawasaki ULTRA 310X as their primary race craft for 2014.      

Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Craig Warner of Atlanta, Georgia, USA.  Craig Warner is arguably the best offshore PWC / Jet Ski racer in the world.  With countless successes in individual races throughout the years, Craig has accumulated four IJSBA World Championship Titles, four LB2CAT Offshore National Championship Titles tying legendary racer Billy Womack for the most LB2CAT titles, Western States Series Champion, California and Arizona State Champion, National Tour Highpoints Champion; Craig Warner is now “the man to attempt to beat” in any offshore race he enters.  Craig Warner is an overall winner of the Mark Hahn Memorial 300 Mile race (with race partner Victor Sheldon), a two time Iron Man winner at the Mark Hahn 300 mile race, 2012 Triple Crown of Offshore Champion, 2012 PWCOFFSHORE.COM Racing Warrior Award winner and a Monster Energy Kawasaki Sponsored Racer.  Craig is also an accomplished Motocross and Snowmobile racer.  Craig Warner is a Monster Energy Kawasaki Sponsored Racer.  Craig Warner said “I’m pleased to go into my forth offshore race season with PWCOFFSHORE.COM CORE Race Team, these are the best of the best in big water and I look forward to bringing home many more championships for Monster Energy Kawasaki.”     

Mark Gerner of Southern California, USA.  A former Marine Corps Infantry Officer and endurance athlete with a number of marathons completed in his career.  In addition to individual race successes, Mark is a former Triple Crown of Offshore overall Champion, a podium finisher at the Triple Crown of Offshore, Mark Hahn 300 mile race overall Champion (with race partner Robert Carreon), Mark Hahn 300 Iron Man winner, voted offshore Racer of the Year in 2009, and a three time podium (2nd place) finisher of the APBA Long Beach to Catalina and Back Race Offshore National Championship Race behind Craig Warner.  An offshore racing purest and aggressive rough water racer, Gerner has completed in excess of 200 cross channel transits from Long Beach to Catalina and back. Mark is president of the AWA PWCOFFSHORE.COM Racing Club, founder of PWCOFFSHORE.COM and PWCOFFSHORE.COM team leader.

Mark Gerner said “I’m honored to be part of such an accomplished group of racers and surrounded by such tremendous talent; I look forward to competing and winning offshore in 2014 and beyond.”  

KC Heidler of Southern California, USA.  An accomplished Iron Man Triathlete and hockey player.  In addition to many individual race successes throughout the years, KC Heidler is a three time IJSBA Veteran Master World Champion, Pro Western States Cup Arena Cross Tour Champion, a two-time podium finisher at the Long Beach to Catalina and Back Offshore National Championship Race, and a two-time 2nd place podium Triple Crown of Offshore finisher.  KC Heidler was awarded the 2013 PWCOFFSHORE.COM Warrior Award for his accomplishments on the race course and as an ambassador for offshore racing.  An accomplished business owner and entrepreneur, KC Heidler brings tremendous class, racing prowess and energy to PWCOFFSHORE.COM Racing.  KC Heidler said “I’m honored to be selected to the CORE Team for 2014, the talent and commitment to excellence here is phenomenal and I look forward to continuing to compete offshore and giving back to offshore racing.”      

For more information about offshore racing, please visit for information regarding how to get involved
Article from Pro Rider Magazine:  HERE
Mike Follmer Specialties and the Garage. PWCOFFSHORE.COM recently had the opportunity to meet with Mike Follmer and tour Mike Follmer Specialties and his garage. So what would your dream garage look like? Priceless vintage Porsche race car, less than 30 made? Check. A few race PWC/watercraft? Check. How about a vintage race car? Check. Custom trailer? Check. So clean you can eat off the floor? Check. Just about every tool ever made, supremely organized? Check. How about a mini museum with vintage race posters and race pictures? Check. All your awards earned over multiple decades from both race cars and PWC Racing all in one large room? Check. How about a motorcycle? Yup, check that also. Click here and take a tour of Mike Follmer’s garage. Mike Follmer is a member of the PWCOFFSHORE.COM Racing Hall of Fame.
1/2014:  Seven Deadly Questions with Mark Gerner Article from Watercraft Journal, Click HERE
Kawasaki Introduces Their Newest Flagship JetSki, the 2014 Kawasaki ULTRA 310X
By PWCOFFSHORE on September 28, 2013
Mark Gerner, September of 2013:  I had the opportunity to spend a half hour with legendary JetSki racer, Kawasaki’s R&D, technician and all-knowing JetSki guru Minoru Kanamori to review the new 2014, 310 horsepower Kawasaki ULTRA 310X at Kawasaki’s US Headquarters in Southern California, USA. Clearly Kawasaki has polished off any rough edges from previous ULTRA models for what should be an even quicker, faster and more reliable Kawasaki ULTRA platform. The new 310R sports a new Kawasaki legacy black and green color scheme making it the most visually appealing JetSki Kawasaki has ever produced; it’s a head turner to say the least. The 310R sports different, more fortified handlebars, different HYDRO-TURF mats and a leaner, lighter and thinner seat with motocross heritage seat covers designed for the more performance oriented rider and racer. The LX version sports the first ever “JetSound” audio system, complete with integrated speakers and a control system mounted on the handlebars.

Complete article, pictures and a first ride review from racer Mark Gerner available here:

Dave Tew Selected as PWCOFFSHORE.COM Executive Sponsor
By PWCOFFSHORE on June 28, 2013
PWCOFFSHORE.COM Racing is pleased to announce the selection of David Tew as EXECUTIVE SPONSOR at PWCOFFSHORE.COM Racing.

As an Executive Sponsor, Dave will engage in watercraft related community outreach, collaborate with PWC / watercraft dealers across the country and continue to act as a liaison with recreational riders who have expressed an interest in getting involved in offshore and/or endurance racing and act as an advocate for offshore riding and racing.

"PWCOFFSHORE had maintained a relationship with Dave for many years, the criteria for selection for the Executive Sponsor role fits Dave’s strengths perfectly” said PWCOFFSHORE Founder Mark Gerner. “We are pleased to take our relationship with Dave to the next level, he’s a great person that is always there for people and we are honored to be affiliated with him.”

Read On Here:
Lifeline Helmet Restraint System for a PWC / JetSki Offshore Racing Application
By PWCOFFSHORE on June 18, 2013 
PWCOFFSHORE.COM is testing the LIFELINE Helmet Restraint system for an offshore PWC (JetSki) application, stay tuned - here:

PWCOFFSHORE.COM CORE Racing Gears Up For the 2013, Fifty-Eight Mile Long Beach, Ca. to Catalina Island and Back U.S. Offshore National Championship PWC/Jet Ski Race on July 21, 2013.
By PWCOFFSHORE on June 5, 2013   
June 3, 2013
PWCOFFSHORE.COM CORE Racing Gears Up For the 2013, Fifty-Eight Mile Long Beach, Ca. to Catalina Island and Back U.S. Offshore  National Championship PWC/Jet Ski Race on July 21, 2013.
 PWCOFFSHORE.COM CORE Racing is gearing up for the 2013 Long Beach to Catalina and Back Offshore National Championship race, aka ‘The LB2CAT.” The historic LB2CAT Offshore Race has challenged offshore PWC racers since 1994, bringing man and machine together to take on all the channel can throw at these athletes as they navigate to a turn-boat off the coast of Catalina Island, then travel back across the channel to the finish line located at the aft end of the majestic Queen Mary.
Incumbent LB2CAT Champion Craig Warner of Monster Energy Kawasaki will be pursuing his 2nd consecutive overall win and 4th overall LB2CAT National Title which would tie legendary offshore racer and PWCOFFSHORE.COM Hall of Famer Billy Womack’s record of four titles. Craig Warner said “I look forward to a great race on the best offshore race craft ever built, the Kawasaki ULTRA 300X. It will be quite an honor if I am able to tie Billy’s record and hope to actually beat it someday, that would be quite an accomplishment. We’re looking forward to a great race!”
PWCOFFSHORE CORE Racer Mark Gerner said “This should be a great race; I’ll be racing the Kawasaki ULTRA 300X with an override again this year and is very close to stock form so lets hope for rough water! The “Three-B’s” will be ready. My primary race technician Steve Friebe continues to prep the craft and is supported by Aaron Cress of Dana Point Jet Ski. We’re looking forward to a great race!” Thank you FLY Racing, R&D Performance and HYDRO-TURF.
KC Heidler of PWCOFFSHORE CORE Racing said “Race Technician Peewee Price is dialing the Kawasaki ULTRA 300X in for a great race on July 21; we’re really looking forward to competing in pursuit of another championship for PWCOFFSHORE.COM CORE Racing.”
Racer Highlights:
Craig Warner of Southern California USA has had countless successes in individual races throughout the years. Craig has accumulated four IJSBA World Championship Titles, three APBA Offshore National Championship Titles, Western States Series Champion, California and Arizona State Champion, National Tour Highpoints Champion. Warner is an overall winner of the Mark Hahn Memorial 300 Mile race (with Victor Sheldon), a two-time Iron Man winner at the Mark Hahn 300 mile race, 2012 Triple Crown of Offshore Champion and a Monster Energy Kawasaki Sponsored Racer.
Mark Gerner of Southern California USA is a former Triple Crown of Offshore Overall Champion, former Offshore Racer of the year, multiple podium finishes at TCO Races, Mark Hahn 300 Mile Race Overall National Champion (with race partner Carreon), a PWC Iron Man overall Winner at the Mark Hahn 300 Mile Race, Two-time 2nd place podium finisher at the LB2CAT Offshore National Championship Race behind Craig Warner. Steve Friebe continues to be the Primary Race Technician supported by Aaron Cress
KC Heilder of Southern California USA is an accomplished Iron-Man Triathlete, Two time Triple Crown of Offshore Podium finisher, Podium finisher at the Mark Hahn 300 Mile Race (with partner Tom Cruz), Podium finisher at the LB2CAT Offshore National Championship Race. Heidler is a three time IJSBA Veteran Master World Champion and a Pro Western States Cup Arena Cross Tour Champion. Peewee Price continues to be the primary Race Technician.
For more information about offshore racing, visit
LB2CAT Entry forms and information available here:
2013 LB2CAT - The Long Beach, California (USA) to Catalina and Back Offshore National Championship Race - July 21, 2013
By PWCOFFSHORE on March 31, 2013
PWC Offshore Racers,

Hope to see you in Long Beach, California (USA) on July 21, 2013 for the opportunity to compete and win the 2013 "LB2CAT" Offshore National Championship! Come out and test your skills against the best offshore has to offer in the United States. There are classes for all skill levels, anyone can win on any given day - don’t miss this epic offshore race!

Direct questions to Ross Wallach: LB2CAT Race Director Ross Wallach of RPM RACING ENTERPRISES, 1803 Morgan Lane, Redondo Beach, CA 90278 Phone: (310) 318-4012 Fax: (310) 372-7427 - Email:

Updated information about the race will be posted here (Entry Form Here):

And here:

Closest airport is 1) Los Angeles, Ca USA International Airport (aka LAX) or 2) Long Beach, Ca USA Airport

Race start time: 9 am on July 21, 2013

Check out the race coverage DVD's of the LB2CAT here:

By PWCOFFSHORE on March 31, 2013 . . .
Actual track from the SPOT Satellite tracking device
Video at the end of the run:

Santa Barbara to San Diego / Mission Bay ride accomplished! Gerner and Belton of PWCOFFSHORE Racing would encounter wind waves and chop the entire ride with very heavy seas for the last 48 miles of the run. The Kawasaki ULTRA LX watercraft selected for the run for their reliability were bullet proof in the rough seas, even with the front hood cowling being ripped off by the sea state, they performed exceptionally well in the big waters.

The voyage started just before 7am on Sunday December 18

Please remember, as exciting as it was to track this quest, it’s all about the charities. Please support (directly to the charities) one or all of these three causes that are giving so much to our nations veterans and families.

DONATE to The Phoenix Patriot Foundation:

DONATE to The Wounded Warrior Project:

DONATE to The Travis Manion Foundation:

Thank you Kawasaki for the two watercraft, Shawn Alladio for playing a role in prepping the craft and setting the example for charity rides of this nature, Aaron Cress, Kim Bushong for running logistics support on land and being the backup rider for the run, Dan Ketchpel for assisting with navigation and logistics, and most importantly thank you for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and/or been severely wounded for our country - thank you
Warrior Ride Article 
Final Fueling In Santa Barbara on Saturday  
Gerner Sunday at 5 am
Sunday November 18, 2012 at 3 am:  Up and time to rock and roll.  What lies ahead for John Belton and Mark Gerner is a route from Santa Barbara to San Diego on JetSkis that has never been done before on a Jet Ski. This very “big blue” run in the open ocean would take these two accomplished riders up to 40 miles offshore for 200 miles.  The ride would start  from Santa Barbara and proceed to Ventura Harbor, then 82 miles due south to Catalina Island (Avalon) for refueling followed by another open ocean run from Avalon directly to the entrance of Mission Bay in San Diego, all in pursuit of bringing exposure to three key charities that support our country’s wounded or deceased veterans.  This was not a hug the coast ride; this run would take the team deep into the open Pacific Ocean with no chase boat or safety umbrella minus the safety equipment the team could carry aboard their Kawasaki ULTRA LX Jet Skis the team selected for the ride.  The reliability of these two ULTRA LX JetSkis provided by Kawasaki would end up serving the riders well with what lie ahead.  
Gerner & 30 year PWC Veteran Belton Final Prep At The Ramp
Anyone who knows Mark Gerner knows that he seeks out rough water for races and riding.  For racing “flat water is about a check book, a fast boat and less about the ability of the rider, the rough stuff exposes the talent and true mental toughness of the rider, it separates the men from the boys” Gerner has said.  Given the magnitude and desired timeline of the ride, it was all about selecting the right weekend to allow for manageable, hopefully calm sea state for this epic ride across the open ocean.  Although the team had night riding gear on the craft as part of their contingency plan, a major component of the plan was to complete the ride with sunlight and avoid riding at night.  Relatively calm seas would allow for the appropriate fuel consumption, craft reliability and daylight to complete the ride.  PWCOFFSHORE Hall of Famer John Belton aka “The Master” of the Long Beach to Catalina Channel was tasked with selecting the appropriate day for the run.  Belton’s thirty years of offshore experience determined that November usually offers the calmest conditions and was selected during the planning process as the best month to proceed.  Although the weather reports would all read positive for November 18, 2012, Mother Nature would not be so accommodating; she is so unpredictable and there would be no freebies.  The two riders would have to earn this epic ride for their three charities.   
With former Offshore National Champion and Iron Man Triathlete Kim Bushong following in trace on land as logistics support and as the backup rider, the team launched the Kawasaki ULTRA LX JetSkis at 6:45 am for the first leg from Santa Barbara due South to Ventura for final refueling prior to the first big ocean run across the Pacific to Avalon on Catalina Island.  Mild seas would greet the riders for the first half of the first leg to Ventura, however the seas would slowly pick up as the wind continued to gain momentum.   
Santa Barbara
Refueling at Ventura. “Where you guys going” said the gas station attendant.  Avalon on Catalina Island. Avalon?  Yes we’re going to Avalon.  “You have radios on those things?”  After briefing him on the charities the ride was all about, the team said “Yes, radio and about every other piece of safety equipment money can buy minus a satellite phone.  “OK, well that’s a long run, be careful out there and I’ll check out those charities” said the attendant.    
  Off and running only to be greeted by
Harbor Patrol at the Channel Islands Harbor.  After questioning us regarding our intentions, we were off once again. It was clear that JetSkis don’t frequent the big waters around the bend.  We also suspect that the large fuel carrying device on the back of Gerner’s craft was an anomaly and got people’s attention.  Drug runners have been using watercraft to smuggle drugs across the border from Mexico into the United States so we tend to be scrutinized ever so aggressively lately.  Around the bend past the point off Oxnard and into the open Pacific waters and the seas turn big, this is tanker water.  Only ten minutes into the run the team is intercepted by a US Naval Vessel that questioned the team regarding their intentions.  After studying Gerner’s craft and the unique fuel carrying device on the back of his Kawasaki ULTRA LX JetSki, the Navy said “Just stay away from Point Wyneme, we have operations going on.”   “Roger that” Gerner said.  Onward it was and the ride continued on into big water. As the ride progressed into the open ocean, the land got further and further away and the seas became bigger and bigger resulting in the jet-pumps wanting to come undone more than what they had wanted, mother nature is so unpredictable.  That calm sea state the team wanted was not going to happen today and it was game on.  Quite an interesting feeling when you’re out there twenty miles offshore in the open ocean beyond a desired quick response time should something go very wrong.  Trust your machine?  Have the appropriate safety and communications equipment?  Suddenly all of the preparation and money spent on safety equipment and communications gear including the new ACR Epirb devices and other safety gear all seems well worth the big dollar investment.  By the way, how much is your life worth? Think about it next time you’re considering what safety equipment to purchase.   
As the team progressed the wind would continue to pick up and generate more aggressive sea state.  This is going to be a long run.  Gut check baby.  "Heck, for those that are giving their lives and limbs for our country and in the theme of what this ride is all about, this ride is nothing, the least we can do and a piece of cake” the team thinks.  Such an honor to bring exposure to these three great causes that support these great men and women who have served our country so valiantly.       
 Three and a half hours later the team arrived at Avalon for refueling.  “Is there a new small craft advisory out there today” Gerner asks the attendant? “No, but it’s really choppy south channel and it’s picking up” says the attendant.  A big fuel bill at the Avalon gas station and the team is ready to make the final run from Avalon on Catalina down to San Diego.  There is no island to protect the riders for those final 79 miles.  For those who have made a run South between Catalina and the San Clement Island, you know that the wind blows hard between the two islands creating a combination of wind waves, swells and washing machine like water, totally different from the water encountered in the channel between Long Beach and Catalina.  This is nasty water for watercraft and the riders would take a beating during this stretch. 
 "Let’s do this Mark" said Belton.  Thirty miles into the final open ocean run the seas would turn to what offshore racers call “punishment water,” large steep following wind waves at short intervals.  This sea state results in the craft going up over a large wave followed by the nose dropping directly into the back of the next wave resulting in hard nose plows and water over the bow.  With 40 miles offshore and 42 miles to go, both the riders and the two Kawasaki JetSkis would take a severe beating, the sea state ripping the front hood cover off of Gerner’s craft and bending the front plastic nose cover on his Kawasaki.  The front hood cover also carried Gerner’s GPS navigation devices requiring him to adjust his navigation approach and dead reckon for the final 42 miles with periodic GPS checks.  There would be 42 miles of water over the bow saturating the team’s goggles making them useless and having to be removed.  This meant salt water directly in the eyes every 10 seconds.    The wind waves would become so large that the team members would temporarily lose each other twice in the large swells of the rolling seas and white caps.  At one point a military helicopter would come close to the riders to observe what the two were doing so far offshore in big seas.  Both Gerner and Belton would wonder if they had inadvertently activated their EPIRB PLB causing the helicopter to come it.  They did not; it was just a curious pilot.  Even with all the beating these Kawasaki ULTRA LX JetSkis would sustain, they would not miss a mechanical beat, they were bulletproof.

Refueling in the rough seas while underway would have presented issues.  “Given how big it was during the last leg, if we would have had to fuel the craft underway during that last stretch, we probably would have ingested water or capsized” said Gerner.  Since Kawasaki was so generous to sponsor the ride with the two ULTRA LX JetSkis and were not owned by the team, the team did not install an extra custom integrated fuel tank in the nose of the craft.  Should the craft have needed fuel; the team had two full five gallon fuel containers on the back of Gerner's craft requiring the team to manually refuel with the jugs.  Thankfully, the Kawasaki ULTRA LX JetSkis had great fuel consumption and range and there would be no need to refuel while underway.  
With the sun starting to set in the West, the team would arrive at the mouth of Mission Bay at 4 pm, both glad to be in safe harbor and welcoming the flat, serene waters off Mission Bay.  From one extreme to the other, getting hammered with six foot wind waves to riding half foot wind chop felt like going from riding an angry bull to riding a soft, comfortable couch.  Kim Bushong would be there to greet the team with a large smile on his face; “You guys made it just in the nick of time with the sun going down, and all for a good cause” said Kim Bushong.  
All for a good cause.  We thank all that have been wounded and made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  Please review these websites and consider making a donation directly to one or all of these charities:   
DONATE to The Phoenix Patriot Foundation:

DONATE to The Wounded Warrior Project:

DONATE to The Travis Manion Foundation:
Thank you Kawasaki, Dan Ketchpel of the SoCal Watercraft Club, Dave “Pirate” Tew, Kim Bushong, Aaron Cress and Shawn Alladio for their support of this epic ride.
PWCOFFSHORE.COM Makes History - Big Blue Offshore Run From DANA POINT, CA Directly To The South Point of SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND's Pyramid Cove, 122 Miles Round Trip On Kawasaki ULTRA 300X Jet Skis
By PWCOFFSHORE on March 31, 2013 

PWCOFFSHORE.COM Big Blue Offshore Run From DANA POINT, CA Directly To The South Point of SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND's Pyramid Cove, 122 Miles Round Trip On Kawasaki ULTRA 300X Jet Skis

September 2, 2012 5:45 am, Dana Point Harbor, CA: “Where you going today” says a stranger to Mark Gerner. San Clemente Island. “San Clemente island? On a Jet Ski?” Yes. “San Clemente? That’s like, over 60 miles offshore” Yes. “You have a chase boat, right?” No. “Are you going to Avalon, Catalina first?” No. “On a Jet Ski?” Yes. “Why not go to Avalon first, that’s like half way there right? “ Because we’re not aware of anyone that’s done this direct shot before from Dana Point to Pyramid Cove, San Clemente Island unassisted there and back. “Do you know there are probably 6-8 foot seas out there because of the hurricane?” Yes. “Do you have enough fuel?” Yes, we’ll be fine. Long pause from the stranger…….. With a little nervous laughter “You guys are nuts, be safe.” This will be good training - plus, we’re prepared, said Gerner.

That preparation was due in large part to three time Vet Master World Champion KC Heidler and technician Peewee Price.

9/2/2012: Three select racers from PWCOFFSHORE.COM plot a course from Dana Point tracking directly 61 miles across the open seas to the South Point of San Clemente Island, a military base approximately 30 miles beyond Catalina Island and 61 miles from Dana Point. The brainchild of three-time world champion KC Heidler of PWCOFFSHORE, Heidler’s original intent was to take the adventure all the way to Cortez Bank 100 miles offshore on Saturday, September 1. Unfortunately the hurricane, small craft advisory at San Clemente Island, 7 foot seas, white caps combined with the challenged manageability of the craft due to the weight of 46 gallons of fuel on the Jet Ski in that sea state resulted in the team opting to push the Cortez ride out and do a San Clemente Island ride direct from Dana Point.

Mark Gerner, KC Heidler and Tom Cruz launched from Dana Point to tackle the 122 mile pure “big blue” open ocean run direct from Dana Point California to San Clemente and back. Supported by Race Technician Peewee Price, the day started with a navigation and weather brief from KC Heidler at 5:15 am followed by launch. “It’s going to be a bumpy run out there guys” said Heidler. The team was underway by 6:30 am. The group would encounter 5-8 foot seas and white caps the entire way to San Clemente Island. It became especially intense at the half way mark approximately 20 miles due south of the South tip of Catalina Island with the southerly winds between the islands stirring up quite a mess of 8 foot steep waves. After over two hours of being hammered by white caps, 15 knot winds and 8 footers off the East side of San Clemente Island due to the residuals of the hurricane, the team arrived safely to rendezvous with their refueling craft “The Tranquilidad” – 60 ft. The Beneteau was anchored on the outer rim of Pyramid Cove on the South side of San Clemente Island and skippered by Jeremy Anwyl. The craft was equipped with aircraft grade fuel bladders and zuck up bibs for the team to refuel from. The sea state would involve less white caps on the return run with large swells, by no means flat but only a few white caps and following seas resulting in a significantly less eventful ride back compared to the exceptionally large & intense conditions on the way out.

The team had two Epirbs each, SPOT Tracking Devices, Satellite phone, two radios each, a total of nine GPS devices, floats plans etc. Safety was paramount.

Thank you Jeremy Anwyl for the great skipper support, thank you Salty! Captain Macc of SeaTow for watching out for us and the constant communication, Peewee and Brandy Price for the phenomenal preparation work and support.

Note to reader: San Clemente Island is a military training ground. There are parts of San Clemente that don’t allow boats within miles of the Island. There are times that San Clemente Island is completely closed within a few miles. Land access is not authorized (Stay off the island). Coordinate with their website prior to considering approaching the island on a boat of any size. WE RECOMMEND YOU DO NOT MAKE THIS RUN on a Jet Ski without a minimum of a decade of offshore experience on a Jet Ski, multiple ride partners, significant planning and redundant safety equipment.
2011 Kawasaki ULTRA 300X Review and Feedback
By PWCOFFSHORE on March 30, 2013
The intent of this page is to offer the reader an objective view of the 2011 Kawasaki ULTRA 300X. We did not address the specific detailed technical information offered on the Kawasaki website; this will be about riding characteristics, performance, issues and observations. We encourage you to go to the Kawasaki site for the specific technical information about the craft, you need to know this. I was one of the first owners of the 2007 Kawasaki ULTRA 250X and have spent in excess of 300 hours on the ULTRA platform (I’ve owned two ULTRA 250's) and understand the craft exceptionally well. My feedback will be based on my observations and opinions expressed subsequent to riding this craft aggressively offshore. Nothing will be done “scientifically” and you may take and act on our opinions and observations at your own
Click here for the review:

Below, Video of 2011 Long Beach to Catalina and Back Race 

John Belton Inducted Into the PWCOFFSHORE Hall of Fame! Member #3
By PWCOFFSHORE on March 27, 2013
John Belton Inducted Into the PWCOFFSHORE Hall of Fame! Member #3

John Belton being congratulated by Steve Friebe and legendary offshore racer Billy Womack (Center)
July 22, 2012

The racers selected to the PWCOFFSHORE Racing Hall of Fame have been selected for their years of accomplishments and contribution to the offshore Jet Ski / PWC sport, overall impact they have had on the offshore racing community and sport as a whole. These racers are truly the elite of the elite. 

The 3rd member to be inducted into the Hall of Fame is John Belton. John Belton was the most experienced rider selected to be a PWCOFFSHORE Racing Sponsored Racer in 2008. 

John has been riding personal watercraft for 25 years and has spent the vast majority of his life on the water through sailing and other offshore sports. Mild mannered, but don’t be fooled! This is a marathon runner, motocross rider, Mark Hahn 300 Mile Race Champion with many wins under his belt from decades on the water. 

The consummate professional nick-named "The Master" by his peers, John has earned the respect of veteran racers from well over 1200 (yes, that is 1200) 58 mile Long Beach to Catalina and back rides on a PWC and countless hours spent on the ocean sailing his sailboat. Simply put, John is one of the most knowledgeable, experienced PWC offshore riders in the world. A tremendous wealth of information for offshore riding and racing related topics, there is nobody on the water today that knows the Long Beach to Catalina channel as well as John. A master at reading the water, predicting sea state, astute at navigation, a mentor and great friend to many and a class act to boot. 

Welcome John Belton to the PWCOFFSHORE Hall of Fame!

For more information regarding offshore racing, go to
PWCOFFSHORE Inducts Steve Friebe into the PWCOFFSHORE Hall of Fame! 
July 22, 2012

The racers selected to the PWCOFFSHORE Racing Hall of Fame have been selected for their contribution to our sport and overall impact they have had on the offshore racing community and sport as a whole. These racers are truly the elite of the elite. Up until this point, there has been only one worthy of the honor and that was Mr. Billy Womack way back in 2008. We are pleased to announce that there is another member inducted into the Hall of Fame!

The latest member to be bestowed the honor, and the newest member of the PWCOFFSHORE Hall of Fame is the man called “THE FAMOUS ONE,” Mr. Steve Friebe!  Steve is pictured above being congratulated by legendary offshore racer Billy Womack, the first racer ever inducted into the PWCOFFSHORE Hall of Fame.

Recently retired (for the second time) Steve Friebe has been racing watercraft professionally for 14 years with multiple National Championships including the 2011 Triple Crown of Offshore Champion, 2011 DJSA Champion, a Mark Hahn 300 Mile National Champion and the list goes on and on. Steve is also a committed PWC race technician by trade and is arguably one of the best technicians in the country. Those who know Steve know him as a tenacious racer, class act and a man of integrity whose actions speak louder than his words. You won’t find a person more willing to jump in and assist another racer. Steve, you are one of the best, congratulations, you deserve it!
For more information regarding offshore PWC Racing, go to
Craig Warner Wins 2012 Triple Crown of Offshore on the Kawasaki ULTRA 300X
By PWCOFFSHORE on March 27, 2013

Craig Warner Wins 2012 Triple Crown of Offshore on the Kawasaki ULTRA 300X 
Craig Warner Wins 2012 Triple Crown of Offshore
Monster Energy Kawasaki Sponsored Racer Craig Warner of Southern California wins each of the three races of the TCO and sweeps the 2012 Triple Crown of Offshore Racing series. Never before has a racer won every round of the TCO and swept the entire series. Warner raced the Monster Energy Kawasaki backed Kawasaki ULTRA 300X and took the win of the final race of the series; The 56 mile Dana Point, Ca USA to Oceanside and Back offshore race and did so by a significant margin.

Warner’s win solidifies Kawasaki’s dominance of offshore Jet Ski racing by sweeping the podium of every race of the TCO series and taking the top three overall points placements for the 2012 Triple Crown of Offshore. Monster Energy Kawasaki's Craig Warner (Kawasaki ULTRA 300X) had a perfect score and the highest points of the series, KC Heidler (Kawasaki ULTRA 300X) with the 2nd highest points and Mark Gerner (Kawasaki ULTRA 300X) with the 3rd highest points of the three race series.

For more information regarding offshore racing, go to
The IJSBA 2012 Hot Products Mark Hahn Memorial Havasu 300 Mile Race By DSM
By PWCOFFSHORE on March 27, 2013
The IJSBA 2012 Hot Products Mark Hahn Memorial Havasu 300 Mile Race By DSM
The best PWC / Jet Ski endurance racers in the world gathered in Lake Havasu City, Arizona USA on February 25, 2012 for the Hot Products Mark Hahn Memorial Havasu 300 Mile Race by DSM Events. This international PWC Race is in memory of a fallen racer Mark Hahn who perished while engaged in his passion of racing watercraft. Racers traveled to the United States to participate in the race from Singapore, Russia, Australia, Belgium, France and other countries to put their skills to the ultimate test of 300 miles against the best endurance racers racing has to offer. Executive Producer Mike Follmer said “It is great to see so many international racers competing this year and it shows how important this race has become to the rest of the world. We are truly an international event now. I am always trying to make this special event bigger and better each year. I thank all the racers for their support.” Race Director Ross Wallach said "The race couldn't have gone better!  This year’s event was truly an international spectacle with so many nations represented!  The racing on the water was fantastic as the calm conditions provided a very fast course.   I know working with both Jim Russell of DSM Motorsports and Mike Follmer is why this event continues to grow and become one of the best, if not the best endurance race in the world!  I know I am personally looking forward to 2013!" 
Racers would wake up to no wind and flat conditions resulting in a throttle run for 300 miles of racing. The checker flag would go to Team Bruno Pastorello (France) and Ente Sylvain (Belgium) for their first place overall placing completing 300 miles in a time of 4:17:35 racing the Kawasaki ULTRA 300X platform. This is the second year in a row that a Pastorello team has taken the overall at the Mark Hahn 300 mile race and the fourth consecutive win for the Kawasaki ULTRA 300X at the Mark Hahn Race. Even on flat water, Kawasaki owned the top three podium positions and an impressive nine of the top ten. With multiple consecutive wins at both the Mark Hahn 300 Mile endurance race and the Long Beach to Catalina and Back Offshore National Championship Race, Kawasaki’s dominance in endurance and offshore racing is a foregone conclusion. 
Russell Marmon would win the Iron Man and take an impressive 2nd place overall on his Kawasaki ULTRA 300X. The vast majority of the racers race the 300 miles of the Mark Hahn with a partner i.e. each racer races 150 miles. Iron Man racers roll the dice and race all 300 miles by themselves requiring a higher degree of stamina and physical fitness. The 2nd place overall placing by Marmon is one of the more impressive performances of the day. 3rd place overall would go to the PWCOFFSHORE.COM Racing Team via three time Vet Master IJSBA World Champion KC Heidler and Tom Cruz racing their Kawasaki ULTRA 300X. KC Heidler said he “appreciated all of the hard work and dedication of his technician John Peewee Price” and that he “looked forward to seeing all of the racers at the Triple Crown of Offshore Races in 2012.”
Former 2010 Mark Hahn winner Craig Warner (with race partner Victor Sheldon), a Monster Energy Kawasaki and PWCOFFSHORE.COM CORE Racer would walk away from the field for the majority of the race Iron Manning it on one of the fastest Kawasaki ULTRA 300X platforms racers have ever seen. With the overall win in his sights, Warner would end up having a mechanical that would take him out of contention for the overall but Warner was still able to limp his craft in for an impressive 4th place overall finish. At one point during the race, Warner would ride with one foot in the tray and one foot propping the front hood of his craft up to allow the craft to make it to the Hot Pits for hasty repair. Warner’s tenaciousness was evident on this day. 

2012 Mark Hahn Top 10 Overall:
Ski # Name, Class, Laps difference Overall time
1 815 Bruno/Sylvain PRO-AM 4-stroke 30 4:17:35.270
2 666 Russell/Marmon Veteran Masters Open 30 2:50.186 4:20:25.456: IRON MAN WIN
3 2 Heidler/Cruz PRO-AM 4-stroke 30 7:07.000 4:24:42.270
4 7 Craig Warner PRO-AM 4-stroke 29 1 lap 4:27:31.793 IRON MAN
5 23 Iakovlev/Chernukha 4-stroke stock 28 2 laps 4:17:14.536
6 525 Team/Conroy Veteran Masters Open 28 2 laps 4:18:16.977
7 58 Mark Gerner PRO-AM 4-stroke 28 2 laps 4:19:50.409 IRON MAN
8 985 Legendre/SF San Martin 4-stroke stock 28 2 laps 4:22:42.729
9 909 Mendez/Brown PRO-AM 4-stroke 27 3 laps 4:18:31.444
10 60 Bunch/Monday PRO-AM 4-stroke 27 3 laps 4:23:59.202

The Russian team of Iakovlev and Chernukha would travel thousands of miles to participate in this epic event.  Their logistics and preparation would pay dividends with a great showing in 5th place overall.
PWCOFFSHORE.COM Founder #58 Mark Gerner who won this race in 2009 (with race partner Robert Carreon) and a former Iron Man winner would Iron Man the race once again this year on the Kawasaki ULTRA 300X but would manage equipment issues with both the craft and pit gear throughout the day. Gerner would still pull off a 7th place overall finish. Gerner said “I have the best Pit Crew on the planet and I thank them for making the best of the day.” GL Legendre would travel in from Louisiana with race partner Juan Francisco (San Martin) to complete the race in 8th place overall, an impressive performance for first time Mark Hahn racers racing their #985 Kawasaki ULTRA 300X.GL Legendre said he was “thankful to all involved in putting on such a wonderful event, I appreciate the effort of the team I put together combined with the PWCOFFSHORE.COM crew that offered their assistance throughout the race.”
Mike Mendez and Dean Brown of Northern California would also put in an impressive performance with an exceptionally fast Kawasaki ULTRA 300X taking 9th overall.  Over the past few years, Dean Brown has taken it to the next level racing the DJSA Races in Northern California with promoter Jim Lambert.  Dean Brown said "Fantastic to race against the best of the best. Never met Mr. Mark Hahn but I'm sure he was watching with a huge smile."  Nicolas Rius raced a blazing fast Turbo Kawasaki ULTRA 260X that was putting in a great performance. Unfortunately Rius would also encounter a mechanical issue ultimately taking him out of contention and out of the race.
The KMG Racing Team of Dave Hardenburger/Fekete/ Day standup team of the United States would take home the overall standup win with an exceptionally fast standup completing 21 laps in a time of 4:25:54. Dave Hardenburger said “Everything lined up for us just right. Our team was strong, our pit crew was on fire, and the conditions were perfect! It was a perfect day for David Fekete, Luke Day and I. Thanks to the KMG Racing Pit Crew for keeping us on pace and on the podium!
Once again, Peter Yauri would win the coveted standup Iron Man. This is the ultimate test of man of machine and Peter Yauri aka "Three-Pete Yauri" for his third consecutive Iron Man win has differentiated himself in this niche. Peter would thank his physical trainer and stated that he looked forward to racing the Mark Hahn again in 2013.
KMG Racing was awarded the Sea Doo Best Pit Crew Award while the PWCOFFSHORE.COM Racing Pit Crew was awarded the Best Appearing Pit Crew. The PWCOFFSHORE.COM Pit Crew was comprised of Chaz, Dave Tew, Akira Tanaka, Aaron Cress, Russell Libby, Kody Mullinax, Steve Rasmussen and Rod Mullinax. Racers competing for the overall win at the Mark Hahn 300 understand that this race can’t be won without the best people in an efficient pit crew.
The Mark Hahn 300 Mile Race is the start of the endurance and offshore racing season with the Triple Crown of Offshore starting the offshore season on April 8 in Dana Point, California USA. Be there!
Long Beach To Catalina and Back DVD Coverage (Aka the LB2CAT)
By PWCOFFSHORE on March 27, 2013
*DVD* PWCOFFSHORE.COM Announces The Release of The 2011 APBA Long Beach to Catalina and Back Offshore US National Championship Race coverage DVD. 

Available here:

The best of offshore PWC racing gathered on July 17, 2011 to test their skills against the best offshore racers in the world. The historic Long Beach to Catalina and Back race starts at the Queen Mary for a 28 mile run across the open Pacific Ocean to a turn boat off the coast of Avalon (Catalina Island), then back another 28 miles through Queen’s Gate to a finish boat by the Queen Mary in Long Beach. Get your copy of the DVD via PWCOFFSHORE.COM for complete race coverage from the helicopter!

Who gets the best start? Who's in the lead at the break wall? Who passes who en route to Avalon? Turn boat order? Thinking about racing and want to see for yourself what it’s all about? Study the riding forms of some of the best offshore racers in the world! How do the Yamaha's do in this race? How do the SeaDoos's do in this race? How does the new Kawasaki ULTRA 300X perform during the 2011 LB2CAT? Get your copy of the DVD via LB2CAT DVD Page and see what it’s all about!

PWCOFFSHORE.COM and the offshore racing community wishes to thank the 2011 LB2CAT DVD Sponsors. They are The APBA, TAD Racing Doug White, Performance Forums, for PWC performance parts, KC Heidler & PWCRACINGTEAM.COM, Steve Friebe Fast Reliable Race Craft, Offshore Robot Racing, Santiago Kuan Racing, RPM Racing Enterprises, and of course PWCOFFSHORE.COM. Support those who support offshore racing!

Highlight is of PWCOFFSHORE.COM Sponsored PROAM Racer on the KAWASAKI ULTRA 300X (A stock 300 hp boat) closing in on Queen’s Gate toward the end of the race.

Tom Phan Wins The 2011 APBA Long Beach to Catalina and Back Offshore National Championship. Steve Friebe of PWCOFFSHORE.COM Racing wins the 2011 Triple Crown!
By PWCOFFSHORE on March 27, 2013
Tom Phan Wins The 2011 APBA Long Beach to Catalina and Back Offshore National Championship. Steve Friebe of PWCOFFSHORE.COM Racing wins the 2011 Triple Crown!
Tom Phan Wins The 2011 APBA Long Beach to Catalina and Back Offshore National Championship.  Steve Friebe of PWCOFFSHORE.COM Racing wins the 2011 Triple Crown! 
Once again RPM Racing Enterprises produced the 2011 Long Beach to Catalina & Back APBA PWC Offshore National Championships aka The LB2CAT with Tom Phan of Southern California, USA taking the overall win on his Kawasaki ULTRA 300X!  This prestigious National Championship event is part of the Long Beach Offshore Powerfest weekend that took place on July 16th and 17th. Three separate racing events including the 63rd Annual Catalina Ski Race on Saturday July 16th, the American Powerboat Racing Association’s (APBA) Pacific Offshore Powerboat Racing Association (POPRA) Offshore “Rum Run” race and culminated on Sunday July 17th with the APBA Professional Watercraft Racers (PWC) National Offshore Championship Long Beach to Catalina and Back race (LB2CAT) presented by Sea-Doo and Sea-Tow.   The race is a test of a PWC racer’s physical endurance, navigation ability and a fast reliable craft’s ability to successfully make it across the treacherous channel to Avalon and back 58 miles without stopping or refueling.   
Craig Warner
After two epic rough water Triple Crown (TCO) races in 2011, the third and final race would  be a letdown for the rough water “hard core“ offshore zealots  with racers waking up to flat water on July 17.  “I am not a fan of flat water” said former US Marine Russell Libby, “rough water levels the playing field and makes it more about the rider than the boat.”  One 300X rider actually withdrew his entry just prior to the event, “it’s just too flat” he said.  In the 2010 LB2CAT race, racers would wake up to fog, five footers and cross chop that would end up breaking 85% of the Pro Open watercraft and turn back the PWCOFFSHORE helicopter due to the fog.  This year presented the exact opposite course conditions that racers encountered during the 2010 LB2CAT.      
Going into the 2011 LB2CAT Race, the point’s leader for the 2011 TCO was back to back 2008 and 2009 overall LB2CAT winner Craig Warner of Corona, CA #1 sponsored by Monster Energy and Kawasaki.  Warner was in the lead for the TCO title and back again in pursuit of his third APBA Offshore National title on a Kawasaki Ultra 300X. Among the early entry favorites were former 2009  Triple Crown Champion, PWCOFFSHORE.COM Founder Mark Gerner #58 on a Kawasaki Ultra 300X who had come in second behind Craig Warner in both of the first two 2011 Triple Crown rough water races.  Tyler White #3 out of Alice Texas of TAD Racing was also an early favorite racing his Kawasaki Ultra 300X.  Unfortunately for both Craig Warner and Mark Gerner who were going into this race 1st and 2nd respectively for the TCO, both would go down with mechanical issues while both were in contention for an overall win.  Warner went down while en route to Avalon and Gerner on the way back just outside the break wall entrance back into the Long Beach Harbor.   Tom Phan would continue on with a very impressive performance and overall victory racing his Kawasaki ULTRA 300X.
Tom Phan would be first to the turn boat on a smoking fast ULTRA 300X followed by Tyler White and Mark Gerner and then KC Heidler all racing the Kawasaki ULTRA 300X.  Once again, navigation would play a key role on the return trip with two separate lead packs heading different directions back across the channel.  Podium finishers would be Tom Phan (1st), Tyler White (2nd) of TAD Racing in Texas and three time Vet Master IJSBA World Champion and Iron Man Triathlete KC Heidler of PWCOFFSHORE.COM Racing taking 3rd place.  All three of the podium racers were racing the Kawasaki ULTRA 300X.  This is the 4th consecutive LB2CAT win for the Kawasaki ULTRA Platform; this win continues to demonstrate Kawasaki’s dominance of offshore racing.  “It looks like a Kawasaki 300X convention around here” one racer was heard saying at the launch ramp.   It should be noted that every class in the 2011 LB2CAT was won by the Kawasaki ULTRA platform.  
Always humble and outwardly gregarious, Tom Phan was gracious with his win thanking his riding friends and fellow offshore racers Jack Chang and Santiago Kuan for their participation in training runs in preparation for the race.  A talented offshore racer, those who know Tom Phan know him as an exceptionally nice person who would give the shirt off of his back for other racers.  Mark Gerner said “ I remember Tom Phan offering to drive 140 miles to pick up a part for another racer who was in need, and the time he insisted that I ride his craft when mine was down and then refusing to take any gas money.”  Tom Phan is “one of the good guys” in our sport Gerner said.  A gentleman racer who is a capable, competent and a hard- hitting offshore racer, this is Tom Phan and our new 2011 Offshore National Champion!

Veteran professional racer Steve Friebe of PWCOFFSHORE.COM Racing won the overall points for the 2011 Triple Crown racing his SeaDoo RXTX 255 joining the ranks of previous TCO winners Lee Phan and Mark Gerner.  Friebe put in an impressive performance in the first two TCO races and his 5th place overall finish at the 2011 LB2CAT pushed him into the #1 TCO spot for the 2011 TCO.  KC Heidler of PWCOFFSHORE.COM Racing would take 2nd in the TCO and John Feeney of Offshore Robot Racing out of Southern California would take 3rd overall for the 2011 TCO racing his Kawasaki ULTRA 300X.   Steve Friebe would also win the prestigious 2011 PWCOFFSHORE Warrior Award for his actions during the 2011 offshore racing season.  Friebe joins the ranks of previous PWCOFFSHORE Warrior Award winners Ms. Shawn Alladio and John “The Master”  Belton.  Last year’s LB2CAT champion Kim Bushong would suffer a mechanical early in the race taking him out of contention.     
Russell Libby
Former US Marine Russell Libby would give up his race for another racer who was struggling with a mechanical issue.  Libby would slow his pace and hover next to another Kawasaki that was struggling with only three of four operational cylinders.  Once again, Russell Libby demonstrated that you can take the Marine out of the Marine Corps but you can’t take Corps out of the Marine.  Russell “would not leave his friend behind” during the race.         
 Warren Leighton
This year’s LB2CAT featured some international competition with an Australian team that came to compete in this historic 58 mile offshore race.  David Baker and Warren Leighton crossed the pond from Australia to compete and would both put in impressive performances on Kawasaki’s with Warren Leighton winning the sportsman class.  300X Racer Tommy Kolleck of Southern California would lend one of his craft to the team as would Robert Carreon to allow the Australian Team to participate.  Never a dull moment in racing, the Kawasaki ULTRA 250X craft to be used by Leighton would go down only six days prior to the race requiring the team to do a hasty rebuild of the entire engine in only a few days.  Not only did the Australian Team demonstrate their offshore racing prowess, they also demonstrated phenomenal technical skills doing a complete engine rebuild on the craft in only a few days that resulted in the craft running flawlessly throughout the entire race.  
John Feeney
Five classes of personal water craft including the “Sportsman” for the “first time LB2CAT offshore racer” class, “Manufacturer’s Stock” classes to entice the PWC enthusiast to participate on a 100% stock craft and “Super Stock Limited” class (open to all racers that have done minor modifications to their boats except the powertrain) Vet Master and of course the Professional Class.    
The 2011 LB2CAT Class winners were:  PRO Tyler White TAD Racing Kawasaki ULTRA 300X, Vet Master Andy Wise TAD Racing Kawasaki ULTRA 260X, Amateur Open Tom Phan Kawasaki ULTRA 300X, Super Stock Limited Santiago Kuan racing the Kawasaki ULTRA 300X, Sportsman Warren Leighton on the Kawasaki ULTRA 250X.
Warren Leighton and David Baker
Andy Wise TAD Racing
PWCOFFSHORE.COM and FLY Racing sponsored a “Longest Distance Travelled Award” for the racers that demonstrated the greatest commitment in distance traveled to participate in the race.  Warren Leighton and David Baker from Australia were awarded the FLY Racing Carbon Kevlar Helmet for their long distance travels from Australia to participate.  This is the same helmet used by the PWCOFFSHORE.COM Race Team, the helmet awarded to the team included the custom PWCOFFSHORE race team decal kit from PWCOFFSHORE.   
Derek Newton
The youngest athlete on the course was 17 year old Derek Newton out of Southern California who competed on his Kawasaki 15F.  Newton spent some time prepping for the race with the PWCOFFSHORE.COM Race Team prior to the event.  Newton’s navigation was spot on during the race resulting in an impressive performance from Newton.    
PWCOFFSHORE.COM will be producing a DVD again this year covering the race with helicopter footage and racer interviews!  Stay tuned!
Pos         Boat #   Name    Class      Time
1              35           Tom Phan            Amateur Open  0:54:55
2              3              Tyler White        Pro/Am                0:55:10
3              7              K.C. Heidler        Pro/Am                0:55:35
4              10           John Feeney      Amateur Open  0:57:23
5              50           Steve Friebe      Pro/Am                0:57:55
6              77X         Tom Cruz             Amateur Open  0:58:00
7              8              Lee Phan             Pro/Am                0:58:50
8              33           Andy Wise          Vet/Master        0:58:56
9              777         Tommy Kolleck Amateur Open  1:01:47
10           470         Akira Tanaka      Amateur Open  1:01:55
Congratulations to Tom Phan #35, Moreno Valley, CA on capturing the 2011 Long Beach to Catalina & Back presented by Sea-Doo, Sea-Tow, Tom's Truck Center and Dana Point Jet Ski. With almost perfect weather and on a borrowed boat, Tom Phan marched to victory after the two favorites, Craig Warner #71 RSM, CA Monster Energy/Kawasaki and #58 Mark Gerner, Aliso Viejo, CA riders both retired with motor woes. Warner was the early favorite, winning both Round #1 of the Triple Crown of Offshore Racing - Dana Point to Avalon & Back and Round # 2- Dana Point to Oceanside & Back. Gerner was 2nd to Warner in both rounds of the Triple Crown but it was Phan's day as he passed Gerner approximately 1.5 miles from the breakwater on the return to Long Beach and set his sights on his 1st LB2Cat win finishing just shy of the record with a time of 54 minutes 55 seconds. TAD Racing entry Tyler White was hot on Phan's heels but would end up in the 2nd spot overall and 1st in the Pro/Am Class with a time of 55 minutes 10 seconds. Third Place went veteran racer, K.C. Heidler, #7 Irvine, CA Tom's Truck Center entrant who finished a mere 25 seconds behind White. It is of note to all that this year’s LB2Cat was an international event with two entries from Australia- David Baker, #169 and Warren Leighton #4 who traveled across the pond to compete and say they'll be back next year!!!
Congratulations to Steve Friebe #58, Clovis, CA Clawson's Motorsports sponsored rider on winning the overall title for the 2011 Triple Crown of Offshore Racing! Friebe returned to the racing scene in 2011 after a year off and was a dominant force in offshore endurance racing during all three rounds of the Triple Crown of Offshore Racing. Ten points behind Friebe was K.C. Heidler #7 Irvine, CA Tom's Truck Center who took 2nd Place in the 2011 TCO overall standings. K.C. had a tremendous year and looks to be a potential threat for the 2012 TCO. 3rd Place overall in the 2011 TCO went to John Feeney, #10 Corona Del Mar, CA.
On behalf of RPM Racing Enterprises, we want to thank all staff, volunteers and race teams that participated in the LB2Cat and all three rounds of the Triple Crown of Offshore Racing!

On board video of start of race:
2011 LB2CAT Pictures by PWCOFFSHORE.COM Flickr Account:
The 2011 RPM Racing Enterprises Dana Point to Oceanside and Back 55 Mile PWC / Jet Ski Race Sponsored by SeaDoo
By PWCOFFSHORE on May 28, 2011

Craig Warner of Monster Energy Kawasaki wins round two of the Triple Crown of Offshore (The TCO) Piloting the Kawasaki ULTRA 300X.  Kawasaki continues to dominate offshore racing.
The best of offshore racing gathered in Dana Point, Ca USA for the Triple Crown’s second round, The Dana Point to Oceanside and Back Race.  This race challenges man and machine for 55 miles of grueling offshore conditions with racers pushing the envelope on the industry's latest high performance watercraft.  The 2011 “DptoOside” Race did not disappoint with 3-5 foot rough seas and wind driven wall-water that challenged even the most experienced offshore racers.  A reliable fast craft, physical fitness and navigation ability all play a role in the success of the racer.  Once again, the Kawasaki ULTRA platform takes another offshore race piloted by arguably the best offshore racer in the world, Craig Warner.  This is Warner’s second consecutive win in the Triple Crown racing the Kawasaki ULTRA platform.  Warner was quick to point out that all three of the winning craft on the podium were the Kawasaki ULTRA 300X.  For the second consecutive time in the 2011 TCO, second place overall went to PWCOFFSHORE.COM Sponsored PROAM Racer and former TCO Champion Mark Gerner.  Gerner said ”great sea state, that was intense water and a good test of riding ability and  machine, the 300 horsepower Kawasaki ULTRA 300X I am racing remains a stock engine, it is performing beautifully.”  Gerner (pictured below) also made sure to thank his technicians Steve Friebe and Aaron Cress. Video from the back of Gerner's 300X at start of race:
Third place went to PWCOFFSHORE.COM Sponsored PROAM Racer and three time IJSBA Vet Master World Champion KC Heidler, also racing the Kawasaki 300X platform (pictured below). 
The APBA Long Beach to Catalina and Back Race (aka the LB2CAT) is scheduled for July 17, 2011 with Warner leading the Triple Crown with Gerner in second place.  The biggest names of offshore racing will be at the “LB2CAT” Race and the best will win the coveted title of APBA Offshore National Champion. 
Below, American Craig Warner enjoys victory lap with Old Glory. Photo by PWCOFFSHORE.COM  
Conditions for the Dana Point to Oceanside Race were rougher than usual with confused chop and what racers refer to as “wall water” on a segment of the course.  Wall water consists of steep swells that experienced racers attempt to throttle over and skip from one to the next to avoid getting caught in the gaps between the steep swells.  This was a technical race that demanded the most out of the competitors.    
Other standout racers were Derek Newton, this was only Newton's second offshore race on a Kawasaki 15F hull in the rough water.  Quite an accomplishment given that sea state.  Newton “sucked it up” and did not surrender to the elements resulting in accolades for Newton at the awards ceremony.   Class winners were Craig Warner winning the Professional Am Class on the 300X, Scott Myers winning the Veteran Master Class on a SeaDoo, John Feeney of Offshore Robot Racing winning the Amateur Open on the Kawasaki ULTRA 300X, and US Marine David Aldrich winning the Sportsman Class on the Yamaha FZR. 
Top 10:             
  Pos Boat # Name Class Time
  1 11 Craig Warner Pro/Am 59:00:00
  2 58 Mark Gerner Pro/Am 1:02:50
  3 7 K.C. Heidler Pro/Am 1:03:45
  4 55 Scott Myers Vet Master 1:07:35
  5 50 Steve Friebe Pro/Am 1:09:40
  6 8 Lee Phan Pro/Am 1:13:45
  7 234 Russell Libby Vet Master 1:16:50
  8 10-TCO John Feeney Amateur Open 1:18:07
  9 470 Akira Tanaka Amateur Open 1:20:35
  10 77X Tom Cruz Amateur Open 1:22:10
 Below, Steve Friebe of PWCOFFSHORE.COM Racing at the 2011 Dana Point to Oceanside and Back Race:
Below, Podium finishers Warner, Gerner Heidler:
For more information about offshore endurance racing, go to
The Hot Products APBA Mark Hahn Memorial Havasu 300 Mile Race
By PWCOFFSHORE on March 2, 2011
 The 2011 Hot Products APBA Mark Hahn Memorial Havasu 300 Mile Team Endurance Race
February 26, 2011  Sponsored by Hot Products, Hydro-Turf, Techone, Walts Motorsports, R&D; Racing Products, RIVA, SeaDoo, Kommander Industries, Clawsons Motorsports, Looter Productions, Discount Tire, Yamaha Motor Corp. USA Inc.  Promoted by DSM Events, Jim Russell and Staff
Race Director: Ross Wallach
Safety and Tech Inspector: Eric Graff
 The Kawasaki Platform Takes Its Third Consecutive Mark Hahn 300 Havasu Title.

The Mark Hahn Memorial 300 mile race is raced every year in memory of fallen endurance racer Mark Hahn. Racers can race Personal Watercraft (PWC’s) solo called Iron Man/Woman or two man teams. Stand-up Jet Skis can race as a single racer or up to three man teams on Stand-ups. Endurance ath letes traveled to Lake Havasu, Az USA from all over the globe to participate in this coveted endurance event. 2011 brought more international racers than any Mark Hahn Race in the race’s history. Belgium, France, Japan, The United Kingdom, Australia, Indonesia and others were represented at the race.

Rain was on the forecast and the winds were blowing from the South resulting in essentially two desperate races, flat on the East side of the course and rough on the West side of the course. Looking at the course from the hot fueling Pits, one would think the course was flat. This was not the case. As the racers progressed down the first leg to the first turn conditions would get rougher followed by confused chop around turn one with wind waves down the backstretch between turn two and three. The weather  held out until the final lap of the race as the rain started to cross the lake. The water was cold and the winds were in the 10-20 mph range resulting in white caps on the West side of the course.  32 mph winds on the back leg of the course providing a greater challenge to endurance racers.

Mechanicals would take out almost all of the favored American Race Teams, Incumbent 2010 Mark Hahn Champion Craig Warner of Monster Kawasaki would suffer a mechanical on his Kawasaki 300X taking him out of the race, 2009 Mark Hahn Champions Mark Gerner and Robert Carreon of PWCOFFSHORE.COM Racing would break an intake grate on their Piston Kawasaki ULTRA resulting in a full hour off the course but they would return to avoid the DNF, and 2006 Mark Hahn Champion Steve Friebe of PWCOFF SHORE.COM Racing teamed up with Sean Conner also suffered a me chanical early in the race taking them out of contention. Team Follmer and Beck who won the Mark Hahn in 2005 would keep their craft functional even after experiencing a mechanical during the final five laps of the race. This left the European Teams battling it out on the  course. Nicolas Ruis was on a blistering fast Turbo Yamaha that was screaming across the course at speeds that looked like they were in excess of 85 mph, he too would suffer a mechanical late in the race taking his Yamaha out of contention. With all remaining major teams out, French racers Pastorello and Carlier would go on to take the victory racing their Kawasaki ULTRA 300X with an impressive time of 4 hours 37 minutes and 8 seconds. Congratulations are in order for their win in only their second attempt at a Mark Hahn 300 Championship!
The Ente / Maeck Team would take second racing their Kawasaki 300X. Aero put in an impressive performance racing the R&D; Yamaha VXR N/A Motor and the Iron Man taking 7th overall. KMG Racing would put in an impressive performance with  Dawn Fekete completing the race Iron Woman style and the Bobby Kerns and Aaron Sanchez Team taking the overall Standup Title racing his Kawasaki SXR800.

The Best Pit Crew Award is awarded to the Pit Crew that demonstrates the best teamwork, safety and speed in the pits. The 2011 award went to Team Mike Follmer consisting of Travis Farnsworth Ryan Farnsworth Mike Neiezgodzki, Earl Goudreau and Edward from Walts. Congratulations!
Answay won the 4 Stroke NA Class, Ente Maeck won the 4 Stroke Super Stock Class, Ferrin / Frink won the Manufacturer Stock Class, Pastorello / Carlier won the Pro/Am 4 Stroke Class. Stand-up: Bobby Kerns and Aaron Sanchez won the overall Standup Class, and the Conroy team won the Vet Master Class.

With the Kaw asaki ULTRA 300X winning the 2011 Mark Hahn, Kawasaki continues to dominate offshore and endurance racing. Kawasaki has won three consecutive times at the Mark Hahn and three consecutive wins at the Prestigious APBA Long Beach to Catalina and Back Offshore National Championship Race, including the 2009 overall Triple Crown of Offshore (TCO). Kawasaki has won four of the seven Mark Hahn 300 Mile Races.

The next highly anticipated race is the Dana Point, Ca USA to Avalon and Back Offshore Race on March 27, 2011. This will be the first of the three APBA Triple Crown of Offshore (TCO) race series. Entry form and information available here:

The July 18, 2010 APBA PWC/Jet Ski Offshore National Championship by Hot Products and SeaDoo
By PWCOFFSHORE on July 21, 2010
July 20, 2010
By PWCOFFSHORE Pictures by
Additional Pictures from the Helo:

The July 18, 2010 APBA Offshore National Championship by Hot Products and SeaDoo in Long Beach Ca., USA. aka “The LB2CAT”

The biggest names in racing gathered for the 2010 APBA Offshore National Championship sponsored by Hot Products and Sea Doo. This is the second of three races for the Triple Crown of Offshore Racing Championship Series (TCO).
The Long Beach to Catalina and Back Race Offshore Race is a 58 mile round trip race across the channel and back from the Queen Mary to a turn boat off the coast of Avalon and back to the Queen Mary. Professional Racers are doing the roundtrip in an hour’s time. Navigation, a fast craft and physical fitness all play a role in a successful race.


TAD Racing Texas The sound of various race craft at the Queensway launch ramp peaked as the PRO Open boats started up. The sound was pure glory. It was clear that many sho wed up with their craft “set on kill” for this highly anticipated Offshore National Championship Race. There  was much on the line this year for the race teams. TAD Racing traveled from Texas with team rider Tyler White seeking another podium finish on his RXTX with Andy Wise representing the team on a heavily modified Kawasaki. Incumbent Offshore National Champion Craig Warner was going for his third consecutive win and a 'three-peat'. This would be the only time in the LB2CAT history since Billy Womack that a racer could potentially win three Championships in a row. Chris MacClugage aka “Macc” of was back to protect his lead in the 2010 Triple Crown of Offshore racing his Yamaha. 2009 second place LB2CAT finisher and 2009 Incumbent 'Triple Crown of Offshor e' Champion Mark Gerner of race team executed a 'gloves off build' with Technician Aaron Cress on his Kawasaki ULTRA. This PWCOFFSHORE race boat was reportedly producing 400 horsepower of ocean racing fury. Robert Carreon of PWCOFFSHORE was racing his Piston Ultra with his sights on a podium high points finish as a contention for TCO points. Lee Phan had a quiet build going on with an ULTRA that was rumored to be ready to be in the mix. Many speculated that it was a Turbo Ultra (the first of its kind in a LB2CAT) but this could not be confirmed. Sean Conner had an extremely fast SeaDoo built by master technician Steve Friebe. Conner had engaged in an aggressive off water training regime. Chris Lawrence was said to have a craft that was going to blow the doors off of many on the course.
The intensity in the air on race morning was palatable. World class Racer Macc was off stretching in the grass by himsel f. One could see his racing mindset coming to the surface as Macc prepped himself and his craft. Craig Warner had his entourage from Kawasaki staging gear next to the Kawasaki Monster Energy Drink Van. World famous racer and safety instructor Ms. Shawn Alladio and the crew from were doing final gear rev iews with Clothing close by filming the events and supporting the offshore racers. KMG Racing was in force with Looter and Dave and Dawn Fekete leading the charge. Other classes had close to stock craft that were also highly tuned and racers that had been training for nearly a year in preparation fiord the race. Legendary offshore racer and PWCOFFSHORE Hall of Famer Billy Womack was in the parking lot shaking hands and encouraging racers. Yes, that Billy Womack, the man who played a huge role in taking our sport to the next level, and a pure class act to boot. Former LB2CAT Champion John Anick was there to support the scene. There was history, legacy racers and talent everywhere.

The Line:

Ross Wallach of RPM Racing Enterprises announced at 8 am “we have a green light, we are good to go.” The smell of race gas permeated the ocean air as over 40 craft with racers in full performance and safety gear made their way to the line for a 9 am start time. The vibe in the air was just plain intense. Many had their eye on Craig Warner and Chris MacClugage as they made their way to the line; this would be the first time in history that the two would battle for a prestigious Long Beach to Catalina and Back Championship. Many had anticipated flat water; however this would not be the case. There was discussion around 'five footers' outside the break-wall, and so it would be. Yes, there appeared to be a glow on the face of many of Racing’s Sponsored Racers, this is the sea state they seek out and train in. They appeared to be beaming in recognition of the possibilities. Notably Robert Carreon and Mark Gerner almost simultaneously making the sign of the cross and pointed looking up in the sky as they approached the line. So much had gone into preparing for this race; time, training, injuries, healing, countless hours by technicians working on the craft, mechanicals, decisions regarding setup, rebuilds – the sea state was up and it was time to produce results!. Hard Core Offshore was the theme of the morning, it could not be denied, and apprehension was in the air. Anticipation and soon, disappointment and rewards awaited those who stayed the course.

The Start:

Carreon The film helicopter appeared. The orange flag went up and was quickly followed by a green flag. Over 10,000 horsepower roared to life as these craft rocketed across the water behind the Long Beach harbor break-wall. Those who have done this race before will tell you that the true race doesn’t start until you exit the harbor gate and encounter the Pacific and her potentially unforgiving channel between Long Beach and Catalina Island. Heartbreak: Many noticed that Macc was not there; after all of Macc’s preparation, he had an unfortunate mechanical that kept him from starting. Soon, others would follow and become part of the chain reaction that led to the victory of the second wave.
The Race:

Almost Instantly there were two distinct race packs. The high horsepower modified PRO OPEN craft in front walking away and the stock (or close to stock) craft in a separate following pack. This year was unique; none of the racers could remember having this much capable talent and impeccably tuned powerful craft on the line. As the first pack of PRO racers exited the break-wall the racers encounter big ocean swells and sweeping fog. Nobody backed down or backed off the throttle. It was quite a sight to see. The higher horsepower craft launched through the air at 70 mph plus with skilled offshore racers putting on an incredible demonstration of riding prowess, skill and raw power. This race hasn’t seen this potential in years, if ever. Many of the craft were getting enormous air as the large swells outside the gate met the racers head-on; it was captured by the helicopter tracking overhead. The first few miles looked like a war on the water. But, there would be a price to pay for this, by some of the competitors.

Out of the Queen’s gate Craig Warner took the lead by a small margin, followed closely by Sean Conner, Pat Roque, Lee Phan, Mark Gerner, Chris Lawrence, and Robert Carreon, Andy Wise and Tyler White all mixing it up close behind. Robert Carreon of PWCOFFSHORE broke a belt on his Kawasaki ULTRA 250X just outside the break wall and was out. Lee Phan fell back a bit, leaving Craig Warner, Pat Roque, Mark Gerner, Tyler White and then Sean Conner battling for holding positions to take the lead. Picture to right Andy Wise TAD Racing Picture to left is Andy Wise. Tyler White’s RXTX would break a few miles outside the break wall, followed by race leader and 'Back to Back' Champion Craig Warner about two miles out. Mark Gerner then took over the lead as the race headed into unexpected heavy fog conditions. Pat Roque de-laminated his hull about this same time and fell back a bit. Andy Wise of TAD Racing fell victim to a mechanical on his Kawasaki ULTRA 260X, followed by another breakdown by Chris Lawrence on his Yamaha. The PRO boats were taking a beating.

With the fog growing thicker, Mark Gerner stayed on the throttle racing his heavily modified Kawasaki ULTRA250X and built a two-mile lead of the field and was first across the channel to the turn boat off Catalina Island. His turn boat time was 32 minutes, ahead loomed a faster return pace running with the swell. Unfortunately for Gerner, about a mile into the return leg back to Long Beach and with an impressive 2.5 mile lead, Gerner too would fall victim to a supercharger belt. His craft broke and he was out of the race.

That left a former LB2CAT Overall winner Pat Roque of the Catalina Crew second position to the turn boat and assumed the lead. Roque was followed by Sean Conner of PWCOFFSHORE Racing on his RXT who was trailing Pat Roque by 60 yards. Kim Bushong of PWCOFFSHORE Racing tracked a distant third but still in an impressive position considering he was on an almost stock craft. More than halfway back to Long Beach Pat Roque, too, would suffer a mechanical and was out of the race. While Kim Bushong, a formidable rough water rider would pass Conner to take over first place and begin to build a sizable lead in the fog and outside the Queens Gate entrance into the harbor. Conner would ultimately fall back, losing his position to Paul Pham, and Vet/Master Class Kim Bushong of PWCOFFSHORE Racing would hold on for the overall win! Paul Pham finished second and newcomer Brian Steeves placed third overall in his first offshore race on a stock Yamaha SHO!

The top three finishers battled 58 miles of changing course conditions and elements to take the podium. Navigation was also an extremely important element in this race. Many lost positions due to a navigational error or nursing a mechanical to the finish line. Of note, first, second and third place finishers were all on nearly stock boats.

The incredible carnage in the PRO OPEN class was so pervasive that Shawn Alladio of K38 Water Safety / Liquid Militia / PWCOFFSHORE Racing unselfishly stopped her own race and just resorted to tow and rescue for broken down racers scattered across the course. Alladio traveled across the channel all the way to Catalina Island to tow in the broken craft of teammate Mark Gerner who was waiting at Avalon.

It was utter destruction for many in the PRO Class. The PROS were holding heavily modified race rockets wide open in big water and it took a toll. The entire class minus two racers had issues. This is a testament to a number of things 1) The power these modified craft are now producing 2) The degree of intensity the PRO Pilots were pushing their craft in heavy water 3) How some of these racers were pushing the envelope with both the throttle and their modifications.

Kim Bushong has been racing watercraft for well over a decade. A world class athlete, Kim is a former top ten finisher in the Kona, Hawaii 'Iron Man'. It should be noted that he led his Iron Man race for the swim through the bike ride, after the marathon he still finished top ten. Kim started off on an old Tigershark Jet Ski and laughs about bouncing across the channel to Catalina Island back in the 90’s. He has well over 100 cross channel transits and is known to have a great deal of stamina, tolerance for pain and rough water riding capability. Bushong was in the top three at the LB2CAT a few years ago and blew a belt on his ULTRA and was out of the race, last year he finished 4th overall and now has taken the Championship!! There have been many hours of training and sweat equity from Kim over the years. What is unique about this year’s race is that Kim was on hiatus to pursue his latest venture which is international paddling competitions. Bushong has been traveling the globe for the last six months in pursuit of championships. Add the LB2CAT to the List Kim, you did it and you deserve it. After the race Kim said “You cannot control what others do, or how they are doing, no matter how bad you are doing, or perceive you are doing, or how bad you feel, never give up, fight to the end, If you put all you have into it, good things will happen, never, ever, give up. “ Amen to that Kim.

Tommy Kolleck of Southern California took the Amateur Open Class on his Kawasaki ULTRA 250X with an injured wrist. “Dynamic conditions” said Tommy. Brian Largarticha took the Superstock Limited, a new class that Brian himself initiated. He won racing his SeaDoo IS. Warren Frank won the Challenged Athlete Class on his Kawasaki ULTRA260X. Warren is an amputee that did this race on a prosthetic, quite impressive. Warren would also go on to win the Award for Excellence later in the day. Sean Conner took the PRO OPEN Class with one of the last remaining PRO boats running. Of course Kim Bushong won the Vet/Master Class. And the standout of the day was Brian Steeves, brand new racer, brand new to offshore, first race and he takes the podium and wins the Sportsman Class!

The field was also honored to see legendary Water Skier Mike Murphy on the course racing in the Vet Master Class. Mike Murphy is an inventor and groundbreaker in water sports. Anyone that knows waterskiing knows Murphy from winning the Catalina Water Ski Race to setting world speed records to his Fosters Beer Commercial to his world travels. This man has done it all.

For the new racers out there or the racers that don't want to invest the time and money in a full on race craft, you too can win this race and or be in the top three on the podium! We believe that two of the three podium boats were essentially 100% bone stock! Never again should it be spoken that “your craft is not fast enough” to win this race or participate in the LB2CAT Race! There are many dimensions of this race that make it possible for anyone to win on any give day.

Next Race of the TCO is in September from Dana Point to Oceanside and Back - be there! for information.

The race footage helicopters were all forced to turn back due to the increasing fog layer only a few miles into the race but were still able to get some fantastic pictures.

The little video we did get from the helicopter was hardcore!”
Kawasaki now has the greatest number of LB2CAT Offshore National Championship Titles, taking that away from Polaris.

Racer Quotes / Interviews Following the Race:

Ms. Shawn Alladio: 'The LB2CAT was everything that a hardened offshore racer could ask for. Except for the fog conditions. It is a shame all the top fueled race boats fell away in the race. There is no honor in a race that takes out the best, I know folks say 'that's racing' and to some degree it is. For me to see or hear about a real race challenge being earned across the line is my personal dream of this event. That challenged was handed down to the next tier level of racers who did just that. They stepped it up and stayed the course. Kim Bushong is not a surprise for the win, he's a focused and driven competitor. Anyone could have won this race in those conditions with the navigational and mechanical issues, on July 18th, it was Kim's race.'

Mark Gerner: “That was a race! I was so pleased about the sea state; this is water that I thrive in. I love the intensity of the rough and was eager to get the race started and not miss what appeared to be tough water outside the gate, that was a true offshore race and what we wish for! I felt the zone in this race, pushed the envelope, put the mouthpiece to good use, lost a GPS while hammering through a five footer at 65 mph, and have a few bumps and bruises, perfect. Just the way we like it. To be candid, it’s difficult to have a mechanical when you have that far of a lead and at that stage of the race. But that is racing, you have to finish to win it and this was not an uncommon story today. I would have loved to see Shawn Alladio on a Kawasaki ULTRA260 out there battling in that sea state, this is her kind of water also. I feel bad for Warner, Macc, Tyler White, Andy Wise, Carreon and all of the others that also worked so hard and had mechanicals, some barely got the opportunity to compete. That is racing and on any given day anything can happen. I would have enjoyed seeing everyone keep their craft rolling and truly battle it out in that sea sate for the entire race, epic. There was so much talent out there. I will go home tonight, have a glass of Merlot, wake up Monday morning and start the process of preparation for 2011. I will be even more motivated to win, I will be ready again. I will also continue to do all I can to support this truly fantastic event and wonderful community of offshore racers. All of which are like extended family to me. He / she who cross the line first is the Champion that is the bottom line. I am happy for my good friend Kim Bushong, Kim has worked so hard for over a decade in pursuit of a win here, it was his day and on an almost stock boat to boot! LB2CAT Platinum Club for the year 2010, Kim Bushong. You have to love it. Given that Kim is a world class athlete, he is incredibly humble down to earth and just a great guy - he deserves this. I am so very proud and happy for Kim. I am also very happy to see the number of new racers we have on the course! See you next year!”

Warren Frank: “Well I just think as a team that trains in fog and rough water, the conditions were absolutely ideal for us. To me the conditions defined "offshore racing" compared to the three other races I did which had flat water and clear visibility. Even for the top racers in the sport other than our team or riders that train in those conditions, I’m certain it messes up their game to navigate with a GPS while their hull is slamming up and down thousands of times in the race compared the going WOT on flat water with the ability to see Catalina very clearly as they exit Long Beach Harbor. Just the fact that I’ve trained in the past with Mark Gerner and Shawn Alladio in very thick fog going WOT made me feel comfortable. Even with 2 dead GPS's I didn’t panic and did what I thought would be best to finish the race as fast as possible even though I did mess up a little. But without my training in those conditions, things could have got a lot worse. Also in the past three races I totally over-trained on the water. I beat my body up to where I was aching in every joint non stop. I think for me personally its better to train on the water once a week and cross train with other activities like weights, stair climbs, swimming, mountain and spin bike. In previous races I kept my whole body weight back with my arms extended and if I hit a big bump Id hit the face portion of my helmet on the bars and my shoulders, elbows, forearms and hands would fatigue within 15 mins. This last race I positioned my upper body over and in front of the bars and taking much less strain and not getting nearly as fatigued as before. A few times when I took a big hit, I slammed my chest into the bars. I'm not sure if this position works for everyone or even if it’s good for the pump to hookup best but it worked for me. Endurance racing is not always about top speed WOT, it’s about keeping a good fast pace while riding as efficient as possible going in the straightest line possible.”

John “The Master of the Channel” Belton who has over 600 cross channel transits on a PWC: "This was probably the most difficult race I have ever done. Visibility was horrible along with an inconsistent swell pattern which made for a difficult ride".

Legendary Water Skier Mike Murphy: “It was a great race, I need to learn how to more effectively utilize my GPS System, I need to be able to better navigate in this kind of fog. This year there was nobody to follow really in the fog due to limited visibility on parts of the course. It was so fun! Shawn Alladio sacrificed her race to tow other racers and to just help other people, she knew there was a more important role for her and she made a sacrifice and I think that is just great. I thought that was really cool.

Robert Carreon: “This was the offshore race that would prove Man & machine would need to be as one. For some it was all that, For Kim Bushong, he proved that sometimes it's not a horsepower race, but steady wins the race. The water was big, the fog was thick, in the end, The Iron Man from came out on top. I was hoping for rough water, as the Ultra does well in that type of water. The winds were up in the morning. My ski had been running good. It felt strong, and was running as quick as ever. I told the scoring boat, just before they pulled out from the dock, Look for #21, I'll be the first guy to cross the line...And I was.But I was the first guy to break and cross the line. I'll be more specific next year. (true story, ask Arnold's wife).”
Pos Boat # Name Class Time
1 98 Kim Bushong Vet/Master 1:07:00
2 99 Paul Pham Vet/Master 1:09:40
3 24 Brian Steeves Sportsman 1:09:52

Complete results available on
Craig Warner To Defend The APBA Offshore National Championship Title On July 18, 2010
By PWCOFFSHORE on June 14, 2010
The best of the best of Offshore PWC / Jet Ski Racing will gather on July 18, 2010 to take on approximately 60 miles of the open Pacific Ocean and their fellow offshore PWC/ Jet Ski racers from Long Beach to Catalina Island and back (aka the LB2CAT) as they pursue the prestigious APBA Offshore National Championship Title. The Current Offshore Nat ional Champion and Factory Monster Kawasaki Sponsored Racer Craig Warner has two consecutive titles under his belt. Warner has won the LB2CAT race in both 2008 and 2009 racing the Kawasaki ULTRA 250/260X Platform. Warner will be pursuing his third consecutive APBA Offshore National Championship on July 18. There has been only one racer in the history of the Long Beach to Catalina Race that has won three consecutive titles and that is Offshore Hall of Famer Billy Womack who won his third straight title racing his Polaris in 2001. It should be noted that Billy Womack is currently the only member of’s Offshore Hall of  Fame. This is a highly anticipated offshore race positioning Warner against the absolute best offshore racers the United States has to offer. Speculation is that one of the European Champions may surprise the field with a showing at this year's LB2CAT. Regardless of who is on the line come July 18, 2010, rest assured that Warner will come very prepared. "I added to my riding times; I've gone from riding 1 to 2 days a week to 3 to 4 days a week" said Warner. "I’m also doing a great deal of cross training. I'm surfing every other morning before riding or work, and Mountain Biking in the evening. This  is also the first year I have ever worked out in the gym. It  has been good, my wife has been my trainer pushing me to work harder. Now that it's getting close to race time again, I really enjoy spending my time in the water having fun crashing, jumping, surfing, and whatever else I can do just to enjoy my favorite sport in the World" said the champ. Warner dominated the field in the 2009 Offshore National Championship Race. The question remains, can anyone beat Craig Warner on the Kawasaki ULTRA Platform? We will find out on July 18, 2010. Craig Warner is also a 2010 Sponsored Racer.

Entry forms for the race at the LB2CAT Race Page of
The 2010 APBA Long Beach, Ca. USA to Catalina and Back Offshore
By PWCOFFSHORE on May 9, 2010
The 2010 APBA Long Beach, Ca. USA to Catalina and Back Offshore National Championship Race, AKA the “LB2CAT” is scheduled for July 18, 2010 and will be brought to us by RPM Racing Enterprises and Ross Wallach.

The best offshore PWC / Jet Ski Racers in the world will assemble to take on this legendary and epic race! Many are forecasting the best gathering of talent ever and one of the best LB2CAT Races - ever. Kawasaki has swept the podium the last two years straight with the Kawasaki ULTRA 250x and 260x platforms. Last year’s standout racer was Factory Mon ster Kawasaki’s Craig Warner who won his second consecutive APBA Offshore National Championship and he will be pursuing his third straight Title this year! Mark Gerner of Sponsored Racing took second place on his Kawasaki ULTRA 250X in 2009 and third place went to former World Champion Chris Heinrich racing his Kawasaki ULTRA250X.

The race is a 60 mile round trip course that starts from behind the break wall in the shadow of the majestic Queen Mary for an approx. 30 mile sprint across the channel to a turn-boat off the coast of Avalon (Catalina Island), and then back to the finish line at th e Queen Mary. Professional racers are completing this round trip in just less than 60 minutes, a reflection of the speed and raw power of contemporary watercraft. A well tuned, fast, reliable craft, navigation skills and physical fitness all play a role in the success of these racers. The water conditions in the channel are unpredictable and can be “ocean smooth” (the ocean is never completely flat) or could present rough water conditions similar to what we saw at the 2008 LB2CAT. Racers do their best to implement a “setup” on their craft that is best for the given sea state on ra ce day.

Ms. Shawn Alladio of Liquid Militia / PWCOFFSHORE Sponsored Racing / K38 Water Safety fame will be there in force to take on yet another LB2CAT. Alladio has been the first woman to cross the line in literally every LB2CAT she has participated in. Chis MacCluggage of MACC Racing won the 2010 Dana Point to Avalon Offshore Sprint Race, the first offshore race of the 2010 Triple Crown. Macc will be a contender at the 201 0 LB2CAT racing his Yamaha in pursuit of another LB2CAT win while simultaneously pursuing the prestigious title for the “Triple Crown of Offshore” for 2010. Note to self, we will see Macc and Warner battle in an offshore race for the first time in history. Drama anyone? Much will be determined on this day…..  Word on the street is that Mark Gerner is building a new Kawasaki ULTRA platform with a “gloves off” approach to the build. Mark’s Mantra – “pray for rough water.” European racers are being solicited to participate and there is rumor that one prominent name might show up! John Belton of PWCOFFSHORE Sponsored Racing has been tearing u p the offshore course on a stock Kawasaki and is preparing for the race through multiple cross channel transits. Sean Conner has been engaged in a strict training regime and will not be on a stock craft as he was at the Dana Point to Avalon Race; word is he will be back on a rocket-ship for the LB2CAT. Relatively new offshore standout Tommy Kolleck has  also stated his intent to race again in 2010 and has been putting in multiple hours of training in preparation for the race. Also engaged in a training regime is Mark Manke and David Fekete of KMG Racing. When asked about how he was training for the LB2CAT, Mark Manke said “Along with the regular cardio & strength conditioning, I ride as often as I can.  Closed course on stand-ups during the week with the SD Crew, river trips with friends and racing my Sport Spec Blaster at ISBA World Finals and selected APBA Watercross tour stops.” Tyler White from TAD Racing will also be participating after a strong Triple Crown start and podium finish at the Dana Point to Avalon Race.

There are multiple classes to accommodate all skill levels and types of watercraft from manufacturer’s stock class to fully modified watercraft Pro Classes. 2009 Class standouts were Warren Frank who won the Challenged Athlete Class, Kevin Shaw won the Manufacturer’s Stock Class, Mike Arnold won the Military Class, Jim Walker won the Amateur Open Class, Dave Szych won the Sportsman Open Class, Kim Bushong of PWCOFFSHORE Racing won the Veteran Master Class and of course Craig Warner won the Professional Class and the overall. intends to put a helicopter in the air again this year to film the race and create yet another DVD co vering the race. 2009 DVD sponsors were Liquid Militia Clothing, TAD Racing - Doug White,, Parts, Corner Pocket Studios,, Impros The Impeller Professionals, Vanick Racing, Steve “Famous” Friebe, The AWA, K38 Water Safety and Dave Arnold LB2CAT DVD's can be found here: 

SeaDoo has a new model for 2010 with their SeaDoo RXTX; the craft sports a larger hull than its predecessor and appears to be a better rough water hull than the 2009 RXTX hull. Mark Gerner of PWCOFFSHORE Racing who owns both a Kawasaki ULTRA250X Race Craft and a 2007 SeaDoo RXT Race Craft said ”The 2010 RXTX hull is a much better hull for rough water than SeaDoo’s previous year’s RXTX hull and SeaDoo appears to have taken a significant step forward for ocean riding and racing, nice job SeaDoo!  My initial impression and opinion gleaned through a few offshore rides with the new RXTX is that the ULTRA hull still appears to be the better hull for rough/big water. Kawasaki got a lot right with the ULTRA hull for rough water. Time, the aftermarket and a few more offshore races will ultimately be the determing factor and this could all change, we shall see.  Hey, how about that Yamaha SHO, it really appears to be doing significantly better in offshore."  With the aftermarket’s advances with the Yamaha SHO and Macc's recent offshore win, the Yamaha SHO appears to be picking up momentum in offshore racing. Yamaha, SeaDoo, Kawasaki, Honda - the offshore battle of the brands will be a great one this year!    

We are poised for yet another epic LB2CAT Offshore National Championship Race! See you on July 18, 2010 – be there! Entry form and logistics information here: 

John Belton of Racing wins the Vet Master Class
By PWCOFFSHORE on April 12, 2010
John Belton of Racing wins the Vet Master Class on his Stock Kawasaki ULTRA260X and comes in 6th overall at the 2010 Dana Point to Avalon Offshore Race!  
John Belton AKA “THE MASTER” of the channel between Long Beach / Dana Point and Catalina Island earned that nickname for traversing the channel over 650 times, yes 650 times. Belton has spent a lifetime on the water engaged in competitive sailing, surfing and racing watercraft. John is also a competitive runner. Nobody has the experience and knowledge of the channel that Belton has, and it showed on Sunday March 28, 2010 when Belton finished just behind a few of the very heavily modified high dollar watercraft on his completely stock ULTRA260X. Belton came in 6th overall and won the Vet/Master Class of the first race of the Triple Crown of Offshore. John was the first craft to cross the finish line on a completely stock craft (minus HYDRO-TURF lifter wedges), a tremendous accomplishment. Congratulations Mr. John Belton!
An interview of the Master: In addition to the many hours or riding and cardio you did to prepare for the race, what else did you do to prepare? About a week before the event, I start to track weather systems to give me an idea of what race conditions will be like. It is important for me to know what the weather will be because you will use different sets of muscle groups depending upon weather / water conditions. Believe it or not when the water is calmer and weather conditions are good, I find it more physically strenuous to ride in those conditions.
What are your thoughts about racing in rough or “ocean flat” water? When the water is rougher and there are swells, you can actually relax a bit when the boat is in the air. When the water is really fast and "mostly" calm, you must have a very tight grip on the throttle the entire 100% of the time and you must "move around" on the boat constantly to try to find the "sweet spot" which will maximize hull speed.
 Do you prefer rough or flat water? When it comes to an event, I can't say that I pr efer one type of water over the other. It's my job to adapt to the elements presented to me. But if there is a good groundswell, I have to say I do enjoy that type of ride.

How did you prepare your stock craft for the race? Regarding the issue of the boat itself, obviously this is a very important part of the equation. I make sure the oil level is correct, hose clamps are tight, as well as the SC Belt adjusted correctly. The night before a race, I like to just sit on the boat in the garage for a 1/2 hour or so. I just sit there and do nothing. This helps to reinforce a "comfortable" feeling on the boat. You should feel comfortable with the ergonomics of your boat. A successful offshore rider must be comfortable on the boat. If you are comfortable on the boat you are able to ride with less effort and stay strong in mind and focus.

Who are your sponsors? I want to thank my sponsors for their great support of me and of offshore racing. They are, HYDRO-TURF, Fly Racing Products, R&D; Racing and the great information we receive from TeamMoto.

See you at the 2010 Long Beach to Catalina and Back Offshore National Championship on July 18, 2010!

Kawasaki Dominates Offshore & Endurance PWC / Jet Ski Racing
By PWCOFFSHORE on March 4, 2010
Kawasaki is dominating offshore and endurance PWC racing. T he numbers tell a story here! With Monster Kawasaki's Craig Warner and Victor Sheldon's recent win at the Mark Hahn Memorial 300 Mile Race on their Kawasaki ULTRA260X, Kawasaki is leading the win count with the most wins at the Mark Hahn 300 with a total of three victories.  This includes two consecutive victories in both 2009 with Gerner and Carreon on their Kawasaki ULTRA250X and 2010 with Warner and Sheldon on their Kawasaki ULTRA260X. Not only has Kawasaki swept the podium in the last two prestigious Long Beach to  Catalina And Back Offshore National Championship Races (AKA The LB2CAT), Kawasaki is also tied with Polaris for the most wins at the Annual Long Beach to Catalina and Back Offshore National Championship Race with a total of four (4) overall victories. Most recently, Monster Kawasaki's Craig Warner has won two consecutive Long Beach to Catalina Offshore National Championships on his Kawasaki ULTRA 260X and will be pursuing his th ird consecutive Championship on July 18, 2010. Should Craig Warner win in 2010, Kawasaki will be the all time leader of overall wins of the historic LB2CAT Offshore National Championship Race and Warner will be challenging the legendary offshore racer Billy Womack, the current all time leader for LB2CAT National Championships.  Billy Womack has won a total of four (4) LB2CAT Championships.  Mark Gerner of Racing (#58) won the overall Triple Crown of Offshore in 2009 racing his Kawasaki ULTRA250X and will be pursing that same title in 2010.    Many attribute Kawasaki's success to their incredibly stable hull configuration combined with the craft's  horsepower production that enables racers to push the envelope in rougher water, more so than any of the other manufacture’s hulls can endure.  Craig Warner is one of the few racers that has been able to consistently transition from closed course racing as a World Champion to also winning Offshore National Championships.  Warner has been extremely successful in both venues. Racing  announced their sponsorship of this elite offshore racer for the 2010 season due to Warner's remarkable success in offshore racing.  Will Kawasaki continue to dominate? Time will tell however for now, no manufacture appears to be poised to knock Kawasaki off the top for offshore racing.
Left, Robert Carreon at the 2009 Mark Hahn Memorial
The 2010 Hot Products Mark Hahn Havasu 300 Team Endurance Race
By PWCOFFSHORE on March 2, 2010
March 1, 2010
 The 2010 HOT PRODUCTS Mark Hahn Memorial Havasu 300 Team Endurance Race.
The best PWC / Jet Ski Endurance Racers in the world gathered once again in Lake Havasu City, Arizona to take on the 6th Annual Mark Hahn Memorial 300 Mile race.  Defending champions Mark Gerner and Robert Carreon of Racing were there in force to defend their 2009 title on their Kawasaki ULTRA 250X but would be outmatched by Factory Monster Kawasaki’s World Champion Craig Warner and Victor Sheldon who took the win and 2010 Mark Hahn Memorial National Championship in a new record setting time of 4 hours and 42 minutes. 
The Mark Hahn Memorial 300 Mile Race is run every year in honor of fallen racer Mark Hahn and is produced by DSM Events with support of Race Director Ross Wallach of RPM Racing Enterprises and Mike Follmer of Yamaha Factory Racing. The race can be participated in by a single racer (Iron Man) or in two man/woman teams. Strategy, Pit Crew process, fuel consumption, a racer's endurance training and a fast and extremely reliable craft all play a role in competing in and successful completion of this 300 mile endurance race. What makes this race unique is that the fastest craft does not always win. This race is about finding that point of dim inishing return between speed and reliability to complete six hours of full throttle competition. The first racer to complete 30, 10-mile laps wins.

The 2010 Mark Hahn Race did not disappoint, the promoters put on yet another great event with an epic banquet. The weather conditions were forecasted to be rainy, windy and cold; racers were bracing for yet another epic rough water battle that would push racers to the limit as the brutal conditions did at the 2009 Mark Hahn Race. When racers awoke on race day, the conditions were mild and would stay that way throughout the day.  
The Grand Prix Start was triggered by a shot gun blast that sent over forty race teams sprinting to their craft to start and throttle up for the 300 mile race. Nicolas Ruis took an early lead in an exciting start, literally walking away from the pack on the fastest Yamaha most including myself have ever seen. Ruis built an enormous lead and a blistering pace on the first lap followed by Kawasaki’s Craig Warner, PWCOFFSHORE’s Sean Conner and Rick Trevezio. Ruis would experience a mechanical issue with only five laps completed taking him out of the competition. Factory Monster Kawasaki Racer Craig Warner took an early lead and would maintain it throughout the entire race on his Kawasaki ULTRA 260X. The Kawasaki would perform flawlessly throughout the entire race putting in one of the fastest lap times of the d ay of 8:14.539 for the 10 mile loop. Craig Warner is also the two-time Offshore National Champion, winning both the 2008 and 2009 APBA Long Beach to Catalina and Back Offshore National Championship Race and a closed course World Champion. Warner would not disappoint his fans by putting in yet another spectacular performance on his 260X and a new record time for the event. Craig Warner said “The fastest boat doesn’t always win. In endurance racing, being consistent is the best way to go into a race. I have learned over the past few years, sometimes the less you push it on the race course the faster you go!”  
Second place overall finisher Mike Follmer and Tony Beck put in an impressive performance on his R&D; Yamaha with an emotional finish. Mike Follmer aka "The Chief" is the man behind this race, without him this race would never have happened. Mike would receive a standing ovation at the banquet for his hard work and dedication to the sport. "It has been a year in the making for me" said Mike, "I think we have pushed this event to another level now. This was a great day for our R&D; Yamaha team Follmer. Our pit crew teamwork was what made our day so special with 30 second fuel stops all day and a great team mate Tony Beck. 30 laps and 300 miles with a record time for this year’s event and so many great stories by all the racers, what more can you ask for."

Defending Mark Hahn champions Mark Gerner and Robert Carreon of Racing showed up with their heavily modified Kawasaki ULTRA250X but would ex perience a minor hick-up with the Kawasaki prior to the practice lap forcing them to quickly move their transponder over to their backup SeaDoo RXT race craft. PWCOFFSHORE Founder Mark Gerner said “We are pleased to have been able to finish. Our SeaDoo burned through an additional two gallons of oil throughout the race, a reflection of the toll this race takes on race craft and the absolutely magnificent job our Pit Crew did just keeping us running in this race. Robert Carreon said “Gerner and I are honored to have shared the course with so many talented racers and congratulate Craig Warner and Victor Sheldon for their great win and record time on their Kawasaki ULTRA260X.” Pat Roque and Paul Pham of Catalina Crew would put in an impressive performance on their 2010 SeaDoo RXTX passing Gerner and Carreon on their ailing SeaDoo to take 3 rd place overall. At the end of the day, Gerner and Carreon would take 4th place overall.
 Photo of Gerner, photo by

Ironman winners for the most solo laps were Steven Leprhon racing 26 laps on his Kawasaki with the Standup Iron man going to racer Peter Yauri putting in an impressive 18 laps on his Yamaha Standup. The Ironman is a special award as most teams race with a partner giving each racer a 35 minute break, these racers have no rest and go it alone. Congratulations are in order for these two racers. Mike Hackler would win the standup class putting in an impressive 19 laps on a standup watercraft.

KMG Racing was there in numbers to take on the challenge and put in an impressive performance with a team of talented racers and aggressive KMG Racing Pit Crew Team. Dave Hard enburger would receive The Mark Hahn Memorial Cup for his support of racing. “Out of my 24 years of racing, receiving the Mark Hahn Memorial Cup means more than any other award I have received.” KMG Racing Team member Dave Fekete raised big money for every lap completed in support of The Challenged Athlete Foundation which is an organization that supports athletes who have endured serious injury but continue to compete in various forms of sporting events. Dave Fekete and his team represented the sport with great class at the 2010 Mark Hahn Memorial.

Ross Wallach of RPM Racing Enterprises, the promoter of the Triple Crown of Offshore Racing said "The 2010 Mark Hahn Havasu Memorial 300 was by far the best one of the 6 events. I am so pleased to be affiliated with this great event and to see the best endurance racers in the Country competing at this prestigious event as well as the camaraderie I witnessed throughout the race."

The event’s first Best SeaDoo Pit Crew Award was given to the Racing Pit Crew led by Aaron Cress and Russell Libby with additional team members Mike Arnold, Tommy Kolleck, John Feeney and Dave “Pirate” Tew. The team would immediately donate their award money to the Challenged Athlete Foundation. Pit Crew pictured below
 The banquet and awards were over the top as usual, testament to Follmer’s commitment to this race. The highlight of the banquet was the attendance of Mrs. Sandy Hahn, Mark Hahn’s wife who gave a brave and emotional speech to the racers.

Another fantastic event put on by the promoters! See everyone next year for the 7th Annual 2011 Mark Hahn Memorial Race! Mr. Mark Hahn, your legacy lives on Sir.

Congratulations Kawasaki for their second consecutive win!

The Triple Crown of Offshore Starts on March 28, 2010 at Dana Point, Ca. The series includes the epic Long Beach to Catalina APBA Offshore National Championship Race on July 18, 2010. Go to or for more information. 
 ============================================== is pleased to announce their current 2010 Race Club Selections
By PWCOFFSHORE on January 30, 2010 is pleased to announce their current 2010 Race Club Selections!

The following racers have been selected for inclusion in the Sponsored Racers Club and The Offshore Gunz Racing Club for the 2010 race season. Selections are made by invitation only.

2010 Technical Advisors: Aaron Cress Steve Friebe

2010 Sponsored Racers (Black Jerseys) Steve Friebe Ms. Shawn Alladio John Belton Robert Carreon Sean Conner Mark Gerner * These racers focus on the Professional, Vet Master and Stock Race Classes

2010 Gunz Racing (Red Jerseys) Warren Frank Mike Arnold *These racers focus on the Amateur Class and Military Race Classes

These racers have been selected by virtue of their PWC offshore riding and racing experience, professionalism, success on the racecourse, and their willingness & desire to play a major role in the expansion of our sport. This is an exceptionally unique group of racers by virtue of their actions off of the racecourse. These racers are focused on their individual racing performance and giving back to the offshore racing and riding community in the form of leadership of positive change in the offshore PWC community. This includes but is not limited to assisting promoters orchestrate races, collaboration with new racers and information sharing. Congratulations are in order for these accomplished racers!       

Craig Warner To Be Sponsored By Racing For 2010
By PWCOFFSHORE on January 29, 2010
January 29, 2010 Racing To Sponsor Craig Warner of Monster Kawasaki Racing is pleased to announce their sponsorship of IJSBA World Champion and two time APBA Offshore National Champion Craig Warner of Monster Kawasaki Racing for the 2010 Racing Season.  Warner has taken the offshore racing scene by storm by capturing two consecutive Offshore National Championships in 2008 and 2009 racing his Kawasaki ULTRA 250X and 260X.  PWCOFFSHORE Founder Mark Gerner said "Craig Warner has been selected for sponsorship by virtue of truly differentiating himself as being one of the elite of offshore racing.  We are very pleased to augment our relationship with Craig Warner and look forward  to working with Craig as he continues to excel in offshore racing."  Craig Warner said "I am proud to be part of the Team and I am looking forward to defending my Long Beach to Catalina Offshore National Championship Title again this year."
Congratulations are in order for all involved!
For more information regarding Offshore PWC/Jet Ski Racing, please rvisit: and
For more information regarding Kawasaki Watercraft visit:
By PWCOFFSHORE on December 17, 2009

The Triple Crown of Offshore was a collaboration between race promoter RPM Racing Enterprises, K38 Water (left - the helo that filmed the DVD for the 2009 LB2CAT DVD) Safety, and the APBA.

The Triple Crown of Offshore Race Series consists of three races: The 37 mile Dana Point to Avalon Offshore Sprint Race in April, The historic 58 mile Long Beach to Catalina and Back APBA Offshore National Championship Race (AKA the LB2CAT) in July, and the 50 mile Dana Point to Oceanside and Back Offshore Race in November. A points system was created to determine Triple Crown series race winners by class and an over Triple Crown Winner. 2009 also saw the creation of new race classes; The Military Class which is available to all current and former members of the US Military, the Manufacturers Stock Class that is for 100% stock craft only and The Challenged Athlete Class.
Individual Race Winners: Individual race winners were Lee Phan of Southern California who won the Dana Point to Avalon Race racing his SeaDoo RXT, Monster Factory Kawasaki sponsored racer Craig Warner won the 2009 LB2CAT Offshore National Championship Race for the second consecutive year racing his Kawasaki ULTRA260X, and Pat Roque of Huntington Beach, Ca won the Dana Point to Oceanside and Back Race on his SeaDoo RXP. 
2009 Triple Crown of Offshore Race Winners: founder Mark Gerner (58 pictured above) was the overall 2009 Triple Crown Winner racing his heavily modified Kawasaki ULTRA250X. Gerner's win further solidified Kawasaki’s dominance of offshore racing. Mark attributed the success to “two great technicians in Cress and Friebe working on the craft, many years of offshore experience, an aggressive training regime and great love for the sport.” Paul Pham won the PROAM Class on his SeaDoo RXT, Iron Man Triathlete Kim Bushong won the Veteran Master Class Racing his Kawasaki ULTRA250X, Ralph Perez won the Amateur Open Class, Mike Arnold of the US Marine Corps won the Military Class, Shawn Alladio won the Manufacturer’s Stock Class, Warren Frank won the Challenged Athlete Class and Tommy Kolleck won the Sportsman Class.

Mark Gerner of Racing (pictured above) was voted the Offshore Racer Of The Year by his peers, while Sean Conner of GUNZ Racing was voted the New Offshore Racer Of The Year. Quakysense wetsuits was voted the best vendor supporter of offshore racing for 2009 and was recognized by the racers during the awards banquet for their support of Offshore PWC / Jet Ski Racing.

Ahmed Hamade and Brian Largentina were both given special recognition for giving up their respective Oceanside Races to support a downed racer that was sinking after a mechanical. Their selflessness earned them great respect from their fellow racers. Special recognition is in order for Warren Frank, Ryan Levinson and Dave Fekete who were the first "challenged athlete" class to ever compete in the LB2CAT. The 2009 LB2CAT, the second race of the Triple Crown was filmed and a DVD was produced yet again this year.

The 2009 LB2AT DVD race coverage is available via The Triple Crown of Offshore PWC / Jet Ski Racing is scheduled to kick off again at Dana Point, Ca in march of 2010, don’t miss out! Come on out and participate. Yes, you! For more information regarding the Triple Crown of Offshore, visit the premiere site for the PWC / Jet Ski offshore racer, rider and enthusiast!

Ms Shawn Alladio of Sponsored Racing - 2009 Dana Point to Oceanside and back Offshore Race Jet ski racing pwc racing lb2cat triple crown of offshore racing pwcoffshore hydro turf R&D; Racing, Liquid Militia Fly Racing
2009 APBA Pwc Offshore National Champion Craig Warner Signs 2009 LB2CAT DVDs
By PWCOFFSHORE on October 29, 2009

On October 29, 2009 paid a visit to the Kawasaki Headquarters USA to meet up with two time APBA PWC Offshore National Champion Craig Warner of Monster Kawasaki. Warner earned the prestigious cover shot on the 2009 LB2CAT DVD by taking his second consecutive Offshore National Championship racing his green and black Kawasaki ULTRA260X. The purpose of the visit was to get the champ’s signature on well over 50 of the 2009 Long Beach to Catalina and Back DVDs! The champ took his time and carefully signed each one of the DVDs!

As of October 29, 2009 and while Craig Warner signed DVD supplies last, those ordering their DVD’s from will receive one of the personally autographed 2009 LB2CAT DVD copies signed by Two time Offshore National Champion Craig Warner! appreciates Craig Warner and Monster Kawasaki’s support of Offshore PWC Racing and the time Kawasaki and Warner took to sign through so many copies of the DVD! Thank you and congratulations again Kawasaki and Craig Warner!

To view the order page for the LB2CAT DVDs, click here:

The Long Beach to Catalina Offshore National Championship Race takes place every July from Long Beach, Ca Harbor to Catalina and Back (approximately 58 miles). There are multiple classes from Amateur through Professional. For more information visit Come on out and race, yes you!

About the LB2CAT Offshore National Championship Race and The 2009 DVD coverage of the race:  The LB2CAT is the most prestigious and longest running Offshore PWC Race in the United States! Leaving the shadow of the famous Queen Mary ocean-liner, racers head out through the Queens Gate across 28 miles of dangerous open waters of the Pacific Ocean. The City of Avalon on Catalina Island looms ahead, hard core offshore PWC racers turnaround and face off the strenuous return leg of open ocean swells, fatigue, and the exhausting control of their high horsepower race craft. Who can take the LB2CAT challenge and go the distance, who will be the winners? The DVD consists of pre race interviews and helicopter footage of the race from Long Beach to Catalina and back. Enjoy!
UWSF 280 Mile PWC Ride
By PWCOFFSHORE on September 13, 2009

 September 13, 2009

PWC Riders take on the open Pacific Ocean for a 280 mile ride along the California Coastline as a memorial fundraiser on behalf of UWSF surviving spouses of our fallen Special Operations Warriors since 9-11. On 9/11/2001 our country was attacked  by a group of terrorists.  We must never forget.  Since then, our military has been engaged in warfare to maintain our freedoms and keep our families out of harm’s way.  We have lost great Americans while waging this war against terror.  We must never forget.........  We stand in awe and with the greatest respect of these great Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our country. 

The United Warrior Survivor Foundation is the only organization exclusively dedicated to serving the needs of the surviving spouses of Navy, Army, Air Force and Marine Corps Special Operations personnel killed in the line of duty since September 11, 2001.  More information is available here: The 280 mile open ocean round trip personal watercraft (PWC) ride from San Pedro (Los Angeles, Ca) to San Diego, Ca and back in one day was done to augment visibility to The United Warrior Survivor Foundation (UWSF).  A small group of accomplished PWC Racers and one Navy EOD Expert took to the water to accomplish one mission; complete the ride and bring visibility and donations to the UWSF. 

The ride was the brainchild of and orchestrated by Ms. Shawn Alladio, the legendary watercraft safety instructor and watercraft racer out of Southern California (she is also part of Liquid Militia and a Sponsored Offshore Racer).  Alladio selected a very experienced group of offshore riders and started the preparation process months before the event. 

The United Warrior PWC Freedom Riders completed the final course and safety checks in Los Angeles, CA at Cabrillo Beach on 9/11. These "Freedom Riders" on PWC made the trek on September 12th, departing San Pedro at 7:25 am.  Departing the safety of the Angel’s Gate from the Los Angles Port, they headed offshore into the Pacific Ocean and landed at a number of predestinated refueling stops along the southern coastal route.

Dave Tew from the Southern California Watercraft Club was there in force at the various checkpoints to assist with refueling the craft and rider support.  Dave 'Pirate' Tew is also an Amateur Class Offshore National Champion PWC Racer. Mark Gerner of said " Dave was absolutely invaluable in supporting us, he spent his day driving from marina to marina, buying fuel and acting as our primary communications point, we could not have done the ride without him."  The riders had a small mechanical that was quickly and efficiently repaired by supporting mechanic Aaron Cress at Dana Point Jet ski and the riders were back on the water, gutting it out down to the next fuel stop and ultimately San Diego. 

Water conditions were mild for the ride down the coast to Oceanside but would slowly pick up momentum throughout the day.  Challenged Athlete Foundation representative Ryan Levinson met the group  6 miles off the coast of Mission Bay and provided the group with an honorary escort into San Diego and Coronado.  After arriving safely at Coronado, the riders turned back to encounter higher winds and big seas.  White caps started to present themselves off the coast of La Jolla and would continue to get rougher through the day, culminating with consistent white caps, high winds and 6 foot seas for the final leg from Dana Point to San Pedro. 
Ms Shawn Alladio would comment that "those ocean conditions were fitting for the event, the pain we felt is a reminder of the pain felt by the spouses who lost a loved one, one must continue forward."  Almost 12 hours after the ride commenced, the group returned to San Pedro through rough waters, high winds and a magnificent sunset.  

How can you support the UWSF PWC Freedom Ride?  The initial fundraiser campaign has launched with a $2,000 charitable contribution to UWSF. Please support us in our goal of reaching $25,000 on behalf of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. 

Sponsor a charitable donation on behalf of the PWC Freedom Riders by making a financial contribution to the non-profit UWSF. Follow this link to their hompage:
 Make a Contribution to the UWSF:

Stephen Ruth - UWSF Vice President
Steve was born June 24, 1965 in Baltimore, MD. He has served in the United States Navy for 21 years and is currently an E8 (Senior Chief) working in the Explosive Ordnance Disposal community. Steve has been affiliated with UWSF since 2005 and helped coordinate two very successful Coronado Golf Tournaments in 2006 and 2007. Steve was previously the UWSF Operations Officer but stepped back in 2008 due to military commitments and the arrival of his second child.

Ralph Perez
Currently a Federal Law Enforcement officer and Former Drill Sergeant amongst other service distinctions, Ralph is also a distinguished PWC Offshore Racer. He is on the 'Gunz Group' race team and is a prolific supporter of endurance challenges. Ralph chronicles all his adventures and is currently scripting a book about PWC travels that will benefit Wounded Warrior Foundation. He along with his teammates are supporting the UWSF ride to help raise funds for the organization.

Russell Libby
Former United States Marine Corps LCPL, HMM-268 39th MAG, 3rd MAW. 1986-1990. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to show my support on behalf of the United Warrior Survivor Foundation on our PWC Freedom Ride. ‘You have not been forgotten, and we will never forget.’

Mark Gerner
Mark is the founder of the PWCOFFSHORE Champions Race Team, a former United States Marine Corps Infantry Officer (0302), Veteran of Operation Desert Shield & Storm and highly skilled endurance champion racer.

Shawn Alladio
Personal Watercraft Boating Instructor for public safety agencies and special waterborne divisions of the US Army, USMC, USAF, US Navy and USCG. Founder of the K38 Way of Training that is represented in 14 countries worldwide. AWA H2O Responder program director, NSBC Instructor and Professional PWC Racer since 1989How can you support the UWSF PWC Freedom Ride?
Sponsor a charitable donation on behalf of the PWC Freedom Riders by making a financial contribution to the non-profit UWSF. Follow this link:
PWC Offshore Series Announced for 2009!

RPM Racing Enterprises is proud to announce a 'New Series' in addition to their trademark Offshore Events! Due to the increased support for PWC Offshore racing in 2009 this has generated an incredible array of racing talent and amassed exposure globally on behalf of our Offshore communities.

The advent of 3 PWC Offshore races for 2009 has given this sport the ability to create an inaugural series: the "Triple Crown of PWC Offshore'.

The commitment made by PWC offshore racers ushers in this charter namesake with complimentary Awards. The final point ratings will be tallied upon the final race for all 3 events.

The distribution of these awards will be held on September 27th at the awards program during the "Dana Point to Oceanside and Back" PWC Offshore race.

Overall placings will be acknowledged from 1st through 5th in each Class by the supporting point system earned for these 3 PWC Offshore events.

The PWC Offshore panel that is overseeing the awards consists of Ross Wallach David Tew, Shawn Alladio, Mark Gerner and Steve Friebe. These panel members have a diverse and extensive background in PWC offshore riding and competition and events. Each member is honored to be serving this racing community in stewardship of the sports growth.

There will be additional Category and Recognition Awards that will be announced at the program that expand upon the diversity and talent within this community. You won't want to miss this awards program!


1. Dana Point to Catalina Sprint, Ca USA
2. LB2CAT National Offshore Championships  Ca USA
3. Dana Point to Oceanside and Back Ca USA

1. Pro Am Open
2. Vet Masters
3. Mfg. Stock
4. Amateur Open
5. Challenged
6, Military
7. Sportsman

There are two categories that are included in respect to our Offshore Racing Enthusiasts with multiple awards being given. These categories represent the spirit and passion of the people who support PWC Offshore racing at these 3 events.

About RPM Racing Enterprises
RPM Racing Enterprises promotes multiple power boat competition events under APBA Sanctioning. For more information on these races, please visit or
Ross Wallach can be reached at

Open Ocean races comprised of a minimum of 35 miles heading offshore or transiting off the coast. All Competitors are required to abide by Federal, State and Sanctioned safety gear. Racing and boating rules, regulations and recommendations apply at all times while underway. A racer's 'Code of Conduct and Prudent Mariner and Seamanship Skills' apply as stewards of the PWC community. Personal Watercraft are raced by competitors in distance, timed, and transitional runs on courses that compliment the theme of 'offshore' riding, versus inland waterways. Ocean riding consists of weather and water conditions and navigation while underway.

Follow the Triple Crown discussion at this link:
Shawn Alladio Receives Award for Valor at 2009 Long Beach to Catalina Offshore National Championship Awards Banquet on July 12, 2009
By PWCOFFSHORE on July 15, 20092009-07-15 21:33:57
. . .
Ms. Shawn Alladio was awarded an award for valor for her actions on an evening in May of 2009 that resulted in saving the life of a stranger. Subsequent to training PWC Safety and riding methodology to a group of Marines, Shawn Alladio was returning to her home and traveling on the 5 Freeway outside of Los Angeles when she came upon a horrific car accident.  Alladio took note of the burning vehicle with spectators surrounding the vehicles but not acting.  Alladio sprung into action and ran to the burning vehicle, broke out the car window with her fist sustaining a fractured wrist in the process and burns on her abdominal area.  Ms. Alladio reached into the burning car and while inhaling the toxic fumes from the burning car, retrieved an unconscious man, drug him out of the vehicle and to safety, and just in time.   By the time the young man was dragged away from the vehicle by Ms. Alladio, the car exploded and was completely engulfed in flames.  Shawn Alladio saved a life that night.  The PWC Offshore Racing Community honored Alladio with the award for valor for her actions on that evening.

2009 Long Beach To Catalina & Back APBA Offshore National Championship Race, R.P.M. Racing Enterprises
By PWCOFFSHORE on July 14, 2009

The 2009 Long Beach to Catalina and Back APBA Offshore National Championship Race orchestrated by R.P.M. Racing Enterprises is in the books and Craig Warner
and Monster Kawasaki take home back to back offshore National Championships.  Not since legendary offshore racer and sole PWCOFFSHORE Hall Of Famer Billy Womack has any racer won two in a row.  Kawasaki further solidified its dominance in offshore racing with the second year of sweeping the podium with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishes on Kawasaki platforms.  It appears to be official, for now the Kawasaki ULTRA250/260X platforms own offshore racing. 
 Some of the biggest names in offshore racing gathered with R.P.M. Racing Enterprises around the historic Queen Mary at 8 am on July 12, 2009 to take on the challenge and test their metal with some of the best offshore racers in the world. The "LB2CAT" is a trek just under 60 miles round trip from Long Beach to Catalina Island & back across the treacherous channel waters on PWC/Jet-Skis.  The racers take on the mighty Pacific Ocean and shipping channel that presents wind, kelp, rollers, chop and navigation to the racer to assess and overcome.  The racers that participate in this race come prepared looking like linebackers with helmets, neck collars and mouthpieces to hold 75 to 80 mph watercraft wide open throttle (WOT) across the channel and back, a true test of physical strength and mental stamina.  This epic and historic race attracts the truly hard core pros and enthusiasts to pursue the prestigious win and membership into the "Platinum Club" of offshore racers who win the overall.  Honda came with their guns loaded with Honda sponsored racer Nick Vanis, Monster Kawasaki brought World Champion and returning offshore defending champion racer Craig Warner, PWCOFFSHORE Racing had their team prepped and ready to pursue a win with recent Mark Hahn 300 winners Mark Gerner and Robert Carreon in the PROAM class, there were a number of bone stock SeaDoo IS craft in the mix, one ridden by PWI's Kevin Shaw and the new Yamaha FZR also debuted with two participants choosing it as their weapon of choice for the day.
Over 40 craft hammered throttles for the straight line start out of Queen's Gate providing spectators lining the rock wall with a sight to be seen.  The adrenalin and horsepower junkies of our industry were in bliss with the sound and site of 1000's of horsepower roaring out of the hole, it was enough to get your blood rolling to say the least.  Pat Roque's tweaked out SeaDoo sounded like a Boss 302 with headers and Craig Warner's magnificently tuned ULTRA260X looked and sounded like a rocket screaming across the water.  Robert Carreon's green ULTRA screaming out of the hole as it always does is a sight and sound to enjoy.  Many eyes were on Lee Phan of Southern California this year, Lee was the recent winner of the Dana Point to Avalon Offshore Sprint Race and brought an extremely fast ULTRA to the race.  The combination of his offshore riding prowess and fast craft made him a formidable opponent for any racer on that day.  The conditions were relatively flat for the indoctrinated with two to three foot rollers with chop outside the break wall, not enough to slow those craft prepped for a flat day but enough to allow the rough water craft to compete and flourish.  Conditions close to Catalina Island and Avalon Harbor were mild resulting in a throttle run just outside the island and the first leg on the return trip.   
The 2009 LB2CAT saw new race classes instituted by Ross Wallach of R.P.M. Enterprises; a new Military Class, a Manufacturer's Bone Stock class and a Challenged Athlete Class.  Former Marine Corps Drill Instructor and competitive boxer Mike Arnold (all 6ft 3in and 250 pounds of muscle) debuted for his first offshore race competing against former Marine Russell Libby, both would put on an impressive display of racing with "Iron-Mike" Arnold edging out Russell Libby for the Military Class win.  The new Manufactures Bone Stock Class pitted Shawn Alladio of PWCOFFSHORE on the Kawasaki ULTRA250X competing against multiple racers including the new RXTIS ridden by Kevin Shaw of PWI.  Shawn Alladio put on an impressive performance and while in 5th place overall and right outside the Queen Mary on the final leg her entire steering column literally ripped off the craft propelling her over the handlebars for a very nasty toss.  This allowed Kevin Shaw to capitalize on his RXTIS and pass Shawn for a very impressive top 10 overall finish on the SeaDoo RXTIS winning the Manufacturers Stock Class.  PWI would have a good day with two of their team making it into the top ten.   Shawn Alladio was able to slowly manipulate the craft across the finish line using her bodyweight and legs to steer the disabled craft, using nothing short of sheer willpower to get the craft across the line and avoid the DNF. 
The challenged athlete class was a highlight for the day, truly an inspiration for all who observed the race.  Warren Frank is a below the knee amputee and athlete who runs triathlons and participates in other forms of endurance racing.  Driven is an understatement with Warren, he trained with intensity for this race and it showed on
the race course.  He also made a last minute boat change with the purchase of the ULTRA260X.  Warren Frank's performance was impressive and challenged all on the course on that day.  Equally impressive is Ryan Levinson, a challenged athlete with FSH Muscular Dystrophy (FSHMD), an incurable, untreatable,  muscle-wasting disorder. Those who trained with Ryan in preparation for the race were awestruck with this athlete's strength of will and character.  His form was impeccable on the craft, a testament of Shawn Alladio's instruction.  Shawn Alladio spent countless hours working with these challenged athletes in preparation for the race.  Mark Gerner of PWCOFFSHORE Racing also trained with Ryan Levinson just prior to the race and described the experience as "humbling and inspirational."  Ryan Levinson will never acknowledge that it could and likely is very painful for him to ride in the demanding offshore PWC racing niche.  Not once did he complain, never did he falter, never did he show weakness.  The challenged athletes at the

2009 LB2CAT represented themselves extremely well.  One word describes David Fekete, Ryan Levinson and Warren Frank, awesome. We suggest you go look at their sites:

The Sportsman Class is designed to allow first time offshore racers to come participate at a reduced rate and is the fastest growing class on the roster.  Dave Szych of PWI took the Sportsman class, Jim Walker put in an impressive performance racing a SeaDoo RXT winning the Amateur Class and Iron Man Triathlete Kim Bushong of PWCOFFSHORE put in a very impressive performance on this Kawasaki ULTRA250X taking the Vet Master Championship and 4th overall spot.  Tyler White of Texas made the trek up to race his RXTX only to encounter a major mechanical during tuning the day before the race that took his craft out of contention for race day.  Many scrambled to get him a loaner craft and a stock RXTX appeared resulting in Tyler taking 6th overall on a loaner craft!! How about that!  Tyler was accompanied by his father Doug White, a class act and supporter of the offshore racing community.            
Craig Warner's performance was dominant beating second place overall finisher and PWCOFFSHORE founder Mark Gerner by two minutes.  Warner took the lead quickly at the start and then kept the lead throughout the entire race. Paul Pham was in second but was tossed in mid channel off of his SeaDoo RXT.  Mark Gerner and Chris Heinrich battled the entire race with Gerner edging out Heinrich at the very end of the race.  The race was plagued with DNF's (Did not finish) due to mechanicals, a testament to the racers continuing to push the horsepower envelope to achieve the speed required to win this race and then pushing that craft to its breaking point during the race.  That point of diminishing return of speed vs. reliability is ever-changing and elusive.  Many were performing well when their craft had issues, heartbreak was rampant at this race with many racers who had prepped for months (in some cases a year) only to find themselves drifting in the channel with a grenaded engine.  After that reality settled in, the race was over and everyone was back on land in one piece, the offshore fraternity and comradery was there with old friends talking and enjoying the great community this niche displays.  That is the nature of this epic race. Many of these competitors will be back next year to take on the challenge of the Pacific yet again.  The LB2CAT lived up to all its expectations yet again.  Congratulations Kawasaki! took hundreds of pictures, generated great video from their helicopter and has engaged Hypnotic Films to create a DVD for the race, stay tuned and watch for updates on the DVD! 

See you on the water.                      
Craig Warner of Kawasaki Wins the 2009 Long Beach to Catalina & Back Offshore National Championship
By PWCOFFSHORE on July 14, 2009
Craig Warner wins the 2009 APBA Long Beach to Catalina and Back Offshore National Championship!
1  Craig Warner (1) Pro Am Open time of 59m 27s
2   Mark Gerner (58 ) Pro Am Open time of 61m 58s
3   Chris Heinrich (25) Pro Am Open time of 63m 5s
Crag Warner and the Kawasaki ULTRA260X wins, agian.  This is also the second year in a row the Kawasaki takes the top three spots on the podium, further solidifying Kawasaki's dominance in the ocean and offshore PWC racing. Congratulations to World Champion Craig Warner for his truly remarkable performance. 
Craig Warner celebrating his win at the awards ceremony:
 Top three:  Craig Warner, Mark Gerner and Chris Heinrich:
More information regarding the race is available on
Pro PWCoffshore Racer Mark Gerner's LB2CAT Interview
By Shawn Alladio on July 25, 2009 Sponsored Racer Mark Gerner

LB2CAT 2009 National PWC Offshore Championships, July 12th, 2009's own Mark Gerner and his LB2CAT interview post Race. Mark and his team are dedicated to supporting racers and offshore racing. You won't want to miss the LB2CAT DVD that will be coming out soon! If you are interested in offshore racing, check out and read up on all the tutorials. You'll be glad you did!

 Name Mark Gerner

Race Boat Make/# 2007 KAWASAKI ULTRA 250X, #58


Time for the race: 61 min

Placing for the Race 2nd overall
2nd in the Pro/Am class

Why did you choose the class you raced in and what does it mean to you?
I race Pro

Your position as best you could determine on the start?
Top 6 at the exit gate (6th)

What did you do the day before, any preparation?
All the preparation was done during the weeks before the race. Thank you Aaron Cress and Steve Friebe for all of their tremendous technical support.

The only race prep I did the day before the race was duct taping the two GPS units to the hood of my craft. I do that the day before to ensure the tape is fresh and has the opportunity to bake in the sun.

Mark sharing the podium with Tech Advisor Aaron Cress & Steve Friebe

What were you thinking of the night before?
As always, I go through the mental check list in my head multiple times. I'm not entirely sure if I do it intentionally, I just do it - and ultimately it inhibits sleep! Ha! I really never sleep before the LB2CAT, as always I think I had three hours, max.

Why did you choose the boat you raced?
I had a very trusted advisor in the middle of the channel at 7:30 am to provide a sea state report. He provided his report and recommended the ULTRA250X over the RXT.

Having complete trust in this individual, I chose the ULTRA for that sea state, he was correct in his recommendation.

What time did you wake up!
3 am

2 Hours out of the race, what were you doing?
Driving down the 710 freeway, I was about 10 minutes out from the ramp.

1 Hour out of the race what were you doing?
Prepping both the RXT and the ULTRA, putting on my wetsuit, drinking water, giving race fuel to a friend, waiting for the "recon" phone call from my friend in the channel that would ultimately lead to a boat selection decision.

What was your first thought when you picked your position in the lineup for the start?
I intentionally was far left so I could have clear water and stay away from the main lead pack of craft. That turned out to be a successful approach, I had no craft in front of me (no water wash from other craft) and clear water the entire way. You will see my craft a the very top of the screen on the LB2CAT DVD teaser footage of the start.

Editor Note: Here are the links for the 2 Promos:

Gerner pictured with fellow team mate, Kim Bushong on the podium

As the start went off, and you passed the Queens Gate (harbor mouth) What was going through your mind?
"this thing feels like a heavy, plowing barge and feels way too slow....." I had close to 30 gallons of race fuel in the craft (extra fuel tank in the bow) that appeared to be weighing me down.

I was not pulling as hard as I should have been and was concerned. Over time, the craft picked up speed as I burned off fuel.

How was the first 10 miles of the race for you?
The conditions were mild (relatively speaking) and therefore it felt fairly easy for the ULTRA.

I passed a few broken/down craft & felt bad for them, I know how much preparation there is that goes into this race and breaking this quickly in the race must have been a severe disappointment

When you came to the turnaround boat, how were you feeling? How was your boat doing in those conditions?
I felt strong. The craft was a little fuel heavy and I noted that I lost a little hookup in a few choppy spots. I will reevaluate the 1 degree wedge on the ULTRA for the ocean.

Half way back did you hit a psychological or physical wall?

Any mechanicals failures?
None thankfully. Thank you Aaron Cress and Steve Friebe

Did you have any 'Battles' during the race with other competitors you especially enjoyed?
Yes, with another Kawasaki ULTRA250X

What advice would you give to recruit other racers to this event?
Anyone can win this race on any given day.
1. Train hard and safe.
2. Lifter wedges are a must for me.
3. Adopt a riding/racing style that lends to hookup (keeping the pump
engaged) and one that is ergonomically comfortable

Thank you Sponsors and Supporters!
Thank you
R&D Racing
HT Moto
Liquid Militia Clothing
OTB Boots
Fly Racing and the Fly Platinum Helmet
K38 Water Safety
Steve Friebe and Aaron Cress
AWA Club Members
Fly Racing to Sponsor PWCOFFSHORE Watercraft Racing
By PWCOFFSHORE on June 4, 2009 
 June 1, 2009

Fly Racing to Sponsor PWCOFFSHORE Watercraft Racing

Fly Racing is pleased to announce the signing of Team PWCOFFSHORE.

PWCOFFSHORE is the premier offshore endurance watercraft racing team based in Southern California. The Team will wear Fly Racing’s lightweight helmets during its quest for offshore event wins and championships.

"I am very excited to have such a professional team with Fly Racing,” states Fly Racing’s Rich Kumm. “PWCOFFSHORE is the kind of team that will help the sport as well as local communities." PWC (Jet Ski) Racing is comprised of founder Mark Gerner, Shawn Alladio, Robert Carreon, John Belton, Kim Bushong and David Walker, whom race at the Professional and Veteran/Master level. PWCOFFSHORE also sponsors competitive racers in the amateur ranks called PWCOFFSHORE Gunz Racing, made up of team riders Sean Conner and Ralph Perez. PWCOFFSHORE's technical advisors are Steve Friebe and Aaron Cress.

“I'm excited about this new relationship with Fly Racing. After reviewing their product line, I am extremely impressed with the quality and great looks of Fly's gear,” states Mark Gerner of PWCOFFSHORE. “I am very pleased to have the opportunity to wear Fly Racing products in the extremely demanding offshore PWC Racing niche. The gear we use needs to be the best the industry has to offer, I am confident Fly Racing's gear will fit right in!"

The offshore racers of Team PWCOFFSHORE have differentiated themselves with tremendous success in offshore and endurance racing, which has resulted in the very sought after selection to be one of the few PWCOFFSHORE Sponsored Racers. Fly Racing is proud to be on board as an official sponsor of PWCOFFSHORE and wishes all team members success in this year’s events.

For more information on Fly Racing products, visit For more information about PWC Offshore Racing, go to
PWCOFFSHORE / Cover Shot on April 2009 PWI Magazine
By PWCOFFSHORE on April 16, 2009
PWCOFFSHORE's Team Gerner and Carreon on the cover of the current (April 2009) issue of Personal Watercraft Illustrated (PWI) Magazine for the overall win of the 2009 Mark Hahn Memorial 300 Mile National Championship.  Check it out for the full story!

 Mark Hahn Race, Mark Hahn 300 Mile Race, Jet Ski PWC Racing, offshore endurance racing
John Belton of Racing Is The first STOCK Craft To Cross The Line At The 2009 DP2AV Offshore Race
By PWCOFFSHORE on April 9, 2009
John Belton of Racing Is The first STOCK Craft To Cross The Line At The April 2009 Dana Point To Avalon Offshore PWC / Jet Ski Race

John Belton, AKA "THE MASTER" of the channel to Catalina Island thrives on his stock Kawasaki 260X at the 2009 Dana Point to Avalon Offshore Race with a 5th place overall finish in the 37 mile  offshore race to Avalon.

Riding his completely stock Kawasaki 260X, Belton was the first racer to cross the finish line on a completely stock craft. Every craft that finished ahead of Belton was modified, most were very heavily modified craft with speeds approaching or exceeding 80 miles per hour. So what makes John able to be so competitive on a stock craft? Time and experience; Belton has crossed the channel from Los Angeles to Catalina Island in excess of 500 times on a PWC (yes, more than 500 times). You will be challenged to find anyone else on the planet with more experience in the channel than John Belton. An accomplished sailor, this endurance athlete and former Marathon runner is a force to be reckoned with in any offshore PWC Race and remains a tremendous wealth of information regarding what it takes to be successful in racing PWC offshore.

One of the most mild mannered, focused and nicest people you will encounter, but don't be fooled by the calm demeanor and mild mannered approach. Belton is a tenacious competitor on the race course that will put any racer through his or her paces. Those who know endurance racing know and respect Mr. John Belton. Congratulations John Belton!

For more information on offshore PWC Jetski racing, go to
PWCOFFSHORE Racing Takes 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th overall and the Ironwoman at The 2009 Mark Hahn 300 Mile PWC Endurance Race
By PWCOFFSHORE on March 7, 2009

For Immediate Release: March 6, 2009 2009 Mark Hahn Memorial 300 Mile Race

PWCOFFSHORE Racing Takes 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th Overall & the Ironwoman at the 2009 Mark Hahn Memorial 300 Mile PWC Endurance Race. Race Date: February 28, 2009 The annual Mark Hahn Memorial 300 Mile APBA Sanctioned PWC Race was held in Lake Havasu City, Az. on March 28, 2009.

The race is run every year in memory of fallen PWC endurance racer Mark Hahn who passed during a race in 2004. 54 teams and the biggest names in both PWC endurance and offshore racing from Europe and the United States convened to take on the grueling 300 mile PWC race. The Mark Hahn can be run as a two racer team or as an Ironman or Ironwoman (solo racer). This race is unique due to the personal endurance, strategy and a well oiled pit crew required to be successful.

Although the previous week's weather was mild resulting in 78 degree temperatures and flat water, racers awoke on the morning of the 28th to 32 mile per hour winds and rough conditions. Racers reported three and four foot wave conditions on the race course resulting in a true test for physical fitness and machine.

Over six hours later, there was an exciting finish with Team Robert Carreon and Mark Gerner of Racing on their Green Kawasaki ULTRA 250X taking the lead by passing fellow PWCOFFSHORE Racer Paul Pham's and former APBA Offshore National Champion Pat Roque on their SeaDoo RXT to win the race.

Roque and Pham were given the award for top SeaDoo to cross the line for their 2nd place overall finish. "The race was a test of mechanical and physical endurance" said Robert Carreon, "The Kawi ran consistently through the first half of the race, then as the race progressed and the wind conditions subsided somewhat, the Kawi really stepped up and started to fly." Mark Gerner said "we brought two boats with us, Robert’s ULTRA 250X for rough water and a Steve Friebe-enhanced, exceptionally fast SeaDoo RXT for flat water. "We made the decision to go with the Kawi ULTRA 250X when we got up in the morning to find the wind blowing at more than 30 mph, it definitely turned out to be the right decision." Gerner went on to say that "I have to take my hat off to the ULTRA 250X, The race was very rough—it really demonstrated that that boat is the one for rough water."

Both Gerner and Carreon were passionate about recognizing their pit crew. "Our entire pit crew, led by Aaron Cress, played a major role in the win - also thank you to The Southern California Watercraft Club for stepping up in the pits.”

Gerner took the lead on the final 10-mile lap passing the team of Paul Pham and Pat Roque, who finished second aboard their extremely fast Sea-Doo RXT. "The sea sate favored the offshore racer" said Carreon, "four of the top five spots were won by offshore racers." Gerner, founder of echoed Robert's sentiments and was pleased to see four of the top five spots go to PWCOFFSHORE. "I'm very proud of the determination demonstrated by this team" said Gerner. Gerner was exceptionally proud of the overall 3rd place finisher and Ironwoman winner Shawn Alladio of K38 Water Safety fame, the newest member of PWCOFFSHORE Racing. Alladio raced the entire 30 laps on her stock Kawasaki ULTRA 250X without a teammate, Ironwoman style. She finished in 6 hours, 19 minutes. “That’s the real deal as far as I’m concerned,” said Gerner, who competed Ironman in the previous two years at the Hahn. “Running in those conditions and doing as many laps as Alladio did, that’s endurance racing and merits a great deal of respect.”

Iron Man Tri-athlete Kim Bushong of PWCOFFSHORE (top ten finisher in the Kona, HI Iron Man) teamed with Dave "Pirate" Tew of Southern California and took home the overall Vet Master Championship and the 5th Overall spot; this was Lordback Racing's first big win.

The awards banquet exceeded all expectations with dinner and beautiful trophy awards. "Honestly, Carreon and I just feel very honored to have had the opportunity to share the course with so many extremely talented racers and to race in Mark Hahn’s honor,” Gerner said. “It was a rough, technical race. It was the most difficult Mark Hahn competition I’ve done—the offshore training Robert Carreon and I do definitely helped. I’d also like to thank Mike Follmer of Mike Follmer Specialties & Yamaha, Ross Wallach of R.P.M Racing Enterprises and Jim Russell of DSM Events for putting on a fantastic race - this is a great event and we encourage people to come out and race in this annual competition.” Mr. Mark Hahn, your legacy lives on.
PWCOFFSHORE wishes to thank their sponsors for their great race support. They are R&D Racing Products, HYDRO-TURF, OTB Boots, Liquid Militia Clothing, Racing. PWCOFFSHORE also wishes to recognize and thank Team Moto

2009 Upcoming Races: April 5, 2009 - The APBA Dana Point, Ca to Avalon Offshore Sprint July 12, 2009 - The Annual APBA Long Beach to Catalina and Back Offshore National Championship "LB2CAT" entry forms available at
Top 5 teams At The 2009 Mark Hahn: 1. Robert Carreon/Mark Gerner, 30 laps, 6:05:31, Kawasaki Ultra 250X 2. Paul Pham/Pat Roque, 30 laps, 6:06:57, Sea-Doo RXT 3. Shawn Alladio, 30 laps, 6:19:09, Kawasaki Ultra 250X (Ironwoman winner) 4. Jean-Bruno Pastorello, 29 laps, 6:06:56, Kawasaki Ultra 250X 5. Kim Bushong/David Tew, 29 laps, 6:19:09, Kawasaki Ultra 250X Congratulations Kawasaki for four of the top five spots! For the complete results, visit or
Jet Ski / PWC Offshore Racing and Riding Defined
By PWCOFFSHORE on December 24, 2008
We hear the term offshore riding and racing used frequently yet many times offshore racing is mischaracterized.  Allow us to define it:  Offshore PWC Racing involves racing PWC offshore i.e., in the open ocean off the coast where the PWC racer encounters mother nature, her swells, sharks, kelp and cross chop at high rates of speed.  True offshore racing does not involve riding in salt water behind a break wall there to offer protection from the elements.  Offshore racing and riding involves big waves, chop, tanker wakes, possible fog and big ocean; this is truly offshore riding and racing.  Offshore PWC racing attracts a very special breed of racer that has true endurance to race PWC in rough water for long distances and can essentially tolerate a great deal of pain.  He/she must be able to endure the potential violence inflicted on the human body that only the open ocean can inflict on man/woman and PWC Machine at a high rate of speed.  It usually involves long distances (at least 40 miles) and straight lines that involve some navigation skill.  Currently there is only one true offshore PWC race in the United States every year and that is the Long Beach to Catalina PWC Race.  There is a major effort underway to orchestrate other offshore races such as the Dana Point to Avalon PWC Offshore Sprint scheduled for April 5, 2009.  But those are it.  Do you have what it takes?  Do not be confused, there is only one offshore PWC racing niche and it is just that - off shore in the open ocean between you, your machine and mother nature.  Oh how we love it so! 
For more information on pwc / watercraft offshore racing, go to

Jet Ski / PWC Offshore Racing

 PWCOFFSHORE Announces The Creation Of The PWCOFFSHORE "Gunz" Racing Group
By PWCOFFSHORE on December 8, 2008 announces the creation of the PWCOFFSHORE Gunz Racing Group.  The Gunz Group will augment PWCOFFSHORE's Sponsored Racer's Group that focuses primarily on racing in the professional PWC class.  The PWCOFFSHORE Gunz Group will focus primarily on racing and excelling in the Amateur and Sportsman classes of PWC endurance and offshore racing.  Gerner, founder of said that "these racers are the future of offshore and endurance racing.  Those designated are relatively new to offshore and endurance racing but have differentiated themselves with tremendous passion for the endurance and offshore racing niche and have excelled in the sport.  They have represented the sport with class, knowledge and professionalism.  We expect them to continue to represent the sport accordingly and assist the club in growing the sport while affiliated with PWCOFFSHORE."

Please join me in welcoming Sean Conner to as our first Gunz Racer!  Sean brings great riding ability and a passion for our sport that will fit nicely into our vision for success on the race course and the demeanor to assist in growing our sport!  Sean is smart, articulate knows racing and is tenacious on the race course.  Sean will have well over 100 years of experience to leverage from the Sponsored Racer Group to assist him in achieving success.
Wingman In The Ocean, Prior Planning and Preparedness Is Key To Success For PWC Endurance Riding In The Ocean
By PWCOFFSHORE on November 21, 2008
You must have a wingman when you ride in the ocean.  Fighter pilots and Marine Corps Infantrymen do not fly or walk into combat missions solo, you should not venture into the ocean solo on a PWC.  Wingmen are those men and women in a fighter pilot's formation who assist in accomplishing a mission and watch each other's back.  With offshore PWC riding, designated Wingmen are those men and women in your group who help you get back to port and to your family in one piece.  The trusting relationships and process you build with your Wingmen PWC riders are critical to your success and safety on the water.  After riding in the ocean for almost thirteen years, I have seen many close calls that could have resulted in injury or a loss of a rider.  There are few places on earth that can be less forgiving than the ocean, especially if you're on an eleven foot PWC and twenty miles at sea.  She is majestic, soothing and beautiful but she can also be death, she must be respected.  Don't respect her and she will bite, it is only a matter of time.  You must be proactive, prepared and vigilant about safety.  It goes without saying that you must have the fundamental safety gear, communications equipment, navigation equipment and tow rope etc., but that's a different article.  So how does a Wingman apply to riding PWC and how does one implement an effective Wingman process and strategy in the ocean.  Here are a few guidelines for your consideration.  First, you must identify your wingman before you step off the dock and he/she should acknowledge you as his/her wingman.  They should be two man teams.  Choose a Wingman that has equivalent riding skill and a watercraft that is similar in speed.  You must have a game plan and prepare for either breaking down or losing one another (but don't do that! Stay together!).  Don't rush the conversation with him before you step off, yes you're excited to get on the water but ultimately its not a fun day if you don't come home.  Have a contingency plan.  You are now accountable for one another.  You must have his or her cell number programmed into your fully charged cell phone that you carry with you and waterproofed on your craft.  You must each have tow ropes, redundancy is key.  RULE #1, you never, ever leave your wingman while en route - NEVER!  You must stay within a distance that enables you to maintain visibility of him/her and monitor how he is doing.  We all have that desire to focus forward, hammer the throttle down and get to our destination.  Should you have a wingman and not look back and monitor their progress, you could lose them.  Full throttle on a stock contemporary watercraft equates to about 65 mph.  Three minutes at full throttle without looking back at your wingman can equate to a mile (s) distance between you and him if your Wingman has had a mechanical and is dead in the water.  Rule number 2:  Always look back, frequently! Check his progress and don't leave him behind, slow down if necessary.  If there is fog, decrease dispersion based on the thickness of the fog or marine layer so you can maintain visibility.  So what if you break the rule and inadvertently lose your wingman while en route and can't find him.  What do you do? Well, other than being relegated to the dishonorable PWC dungeon of the ultimate sin of leaving him behind, consider stopping and calling him with your lat and long.  Always leave a voice mail if he does not pick up.  He can then input the lat and long and proceed to your destination via his GPS.  Rule #3:  Always communicate!  Leave voice mails / check voice mails and leave the time you are calling so the Wingman can track how he/she is progressing, inform one another if there is the potential of a developing emergency situation or if she has already arrived at the destination etc.  Communicate.    You must be prepared, you must plan, you must have the safety gear, you must have the navigation gear, you must have reliable communications gear.  If not, don't ride into the ocean.  Ride hard and ride safe, have fun! Gerner is the founder of, a site that focuses on offshore and endurance PWC riding and racing            
2008 PWC Offshore National Championship LB2CAT and Back DVD
By PWCOFFSHORE on October 4, 2008

October 4, 2008
From: The Core Website for PWCOffshore Endurance Team Racers, Catalina and Offshore Riders from around the World! is pleased to announce the release of the 2008 APBA Long Beach to Catalina & Back PWC Offshore National Championship Race DVD on Friday October 10, 2008.  The DVD will be made available for sale via Gerner of stated "Working closely with IBall Productions, PWCOFFSHORE has generated some of the finest PWC offshore endurance racing footage we've seen to date. The heavy sea-state, speed of the watercraft combined with the intensity of many of the racers resulted in some truly awesome footage. This includes footage of a PROAM1 racer doing a get-off at well over 70 mph which is an amazing thing to watch on a big-screen." The promoter of the event Ross Wallach of RPM Racing Enterprises stated that "If you couldn't have been there to watch the race, having the vantage point from the helicopter is absolutely the next best thing, probably even better! I am excited about the growth of the LB2CAT PWC event and look forward to the races that will follow in the years to come. We thank PWCOFFSHORE for using the DVD as a platform to show this truly epic PWC offshore endurance race to the rest of the world."

PWCOFFSHORE wishes to thank the following DVD Sponsors for their support. The DVD would not have happened without these sponsor's support and we are all truly grateful to:, NOBLE Racing, PWC Performance Forums,, Rude Performance, St Pete Rental Properties, JetTrendz and David Walker, Florida Team Moto Racing and Skip Holmes, R&D Racing Products, Clawson Motorsports, Steve Friebe, Vanick Racing

PWCOFFSHORE also wishes to thank Kevin Shaw of Personal Watercraft Illustrated (PWI) and Jason Johnson of WatercraftWorld Magazine for their great coverage and support of the event!

Enjoy the DVD!
Ms. Shawn Alladio First Woman to Cross The Finish Line At 2008 Long Beach to Catalina And Back Offshore National Championship
By PWCOFFSHORE on October 2, 2008
Photo By Mr. Dave Santos
Congratulations are in order for Ms. Shawn Alladio of Sponsored Racing for being the first woman to cross the line at the 2008 Long Beach to Catalina and back APBA PWC Offshore National Championship Race and 10th overall in the PROAM1 Class! A veteran of years of racing and founder of the K38 Water Safety Group , Shawn continues to excel and set the standard for women in offshore racing. Shawn was the first woman to cross the line in rough conditions with the smallest hull (Kawasaki 15F) vs. the competition that was on the significantly larger Kawasaki's and Yamahas. No small feat in the rough. Shawn seems to be able to do it all; mother, business owner/operator, talented writer, she can do it all. And oh by the way, prior to engaging in the grueling 58 mile offshore endurance race, she took a red eye from a teaching engagement and had no sleep the night before the race. All of this executed with the standard Alladio all encompassing and pervasive positive mental attitude with tenacious racing on the course. Intestinal fortitude.................
Check out Shawn's site at
Want to learn more about the Long Beach to Catalina and Back PWC Race? Go to
8/2008 Shawn Alladio now part of Sponsored Racers! PWCOFFSHORE thrilled to have Shawn as part of their elite group of offshore PWC racers!
By PWCOFFSHORE on September 19, 2008

Ms. Shawn Alladio, Southern California

K38 Water Safety International

Primary Race Craft: Kawasaki STX-15F Stock-(Boat Named after Jay Moriarity “JAY”)

Shawn's reputation truly precedes her! Shawn has been on the watercraft scene for decades and is one of the most passionate and accomplished members of the watercraft community. One of the nicest, most inclusive people you will encounter, Shawn represents our sport with class. On the race course she is tenacious, this is one hard charging lady! There is no backing down from Shawn, in any of sea-state. Referred to as "Superwoman of the Surf," Shawn has attacked 100 foot waves at Mavericks in Northern California (2001) on her PWC. Regardless of the PWC related topic, Shawn Alladio is a thought leader in the watercraft community. Google Shawn Alladio's name and you will find a phenomenal amount of watercraft related information authored by Shawn. One of the best safety instructors in the world, Shawn shares her expertise through her K38 Water Safety Group. In addition to teaching and competing, Shawn has saved countless lives on the water. Shawn was recognized for her efforts in saving lives during the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans where she used her PWC and expertise to save lives. There is no question, she is a hard core woman and a tremendous wealth of information. PWCOFFSHORE is truly honored to have Shawn as a member of the Sponsored Racers. Shawn is a proud mother of two children; Shaniah Oceania 4, Kyla Anne 27. "I’ve enjoyed my time on the water from stand ups to sit downs, closed course, slalom, obstacle, enduros, freestyle, exhibitions, trainings, special events and endurance events for many years. I plan on extending these adventures and exploring the PWC watery realm, always more to come! CJ3 inspired me early on in offshore endurance racing, each of us has a person we connect to, his wild side perfectly suited my appetite for going the distance, and I did, I do." Shawn went on to state that "These unique small powered boats have brought great moments into my life and that of my children, especially the people I meet, work, compete with and celebrate our common ground, Personal Watercraft ‘endurance’ racing. It’s an honor to be a member of PWCoffshore Team. I say that with respect to the talent and dedication each of these members have inspired, like a chain reaction. I know firsthand what it takes to make a commitment to something we all love. The PWCOffshore Team provides an avenue that allows each of us to uniquely pursue our individual competitive dreams and test our core physical and mental abilities on these amazing craft. All invitations extended to those who want adventure, get into the world of Offshore Racing! You will discover new friends and open the frontiers of your own limits-Go Cosmic! (Ode to Cosmic Miller)" for the complete story
November 18, 2012:  Two PWCOFFSHORE riders take on the open Pacific with a "Big Blue" ride from Santa Barbara to San Diego in one day via Avalon!

Gerner and Belton selected the Kawasaki Ultra LX JetSkis for the run and were supported by Kawasaki.  All done to bring exposure to three charities;, The Phoenix Patriot Foundation and The Wounded Warrior Project - check them out! 

Click HERE for the story

On Safety by John Belton, 10/28/2008
Wounder Warriors Ride by Ralph Perez, 8/21/2008
Billy Womack, by Shawn Alladio, 7/22/2008
Fuel Prices Cramping Our Style, 5/20/2008 
The Man In The Pits, By Mark G.  2/26/2008 
2008 Mark Hahn Race, by Ralph Perez 2/25/2008 
PWC "Lanyard Testing and Ocean Towing Test,"  a Rider's Rough Day on The Water and Lessons Learned by Ralph Perez, 1/20/2008 
So You're Thinking About Becoming An Offshore Racer?  By Mark G, 11/22/2007
LB2CAT.... What an IRONMAN Has To Say, by Nick Stanoszek (OH) 10/12/2007
San Diego Thunderboat Regatta Overview by Mike Follmer, 9/22/2007 
A Racer's Experience In The 2007 LB2CAT Race by Mark G, 8/22/2007 
My First LB2Cat Race by Robert Carreon, 8/14/2007
Confessions Of A Self-Proclaimed Jet-Ski "Geek" by Kim Bushong, 8/2/2007
Safety When Loading And Unloading PWC by John Belton, 7/27/2007
PWCOFFSHORE.COM Big Blue Offshore Run From DANA POINT, Ca Directly To The South Point of SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND's Pyramid Cove, 122 Miles Round Trip On Kawasaki ULTRA 300X Jet Skis



September 2, 2012 5:45 am, Dana Point Harbor, Ca: “Where you going today” says a stranger to Mark Gerner. San Clemente Island. “San Clemente island? On a JetSki?” Yes. “San Clemente? That’s like, over 60 miles offshore” Yes. “ You have a chase boat, right?” No. “Are you going to Avalon, Catalina first?” No. “On a JetSki?” Yes. “Why not go to Avalon first, that’s like half way there right?“ Because we’re not aware of anyone that’s done this direct shot before from Dana Point to Pyramid Cove, San Clemente Island unassisted there and back. “Do you know there are probably 6-8 foot seas out there because of the hurricane?” Yes. “Do you have enough fuel?” Yes, we’ll be fine. Long pause from the stranger…….. With a little nervous laughter “You guys are nuts, be safe.” This will be good training - plus, we’re prepared, said Gerner. 

That preparation was due in large part to three time Vet Master World Champion KC Heidler and technician Peewee Price. 

9/2/2012:  Three select racers from PWCOFFSHORE.COM plot a course from Dana Point tracking directly 61 miles across the open seas to the South Point of San Clemente Island, a military base approximately 30 miles beyond Catalina Island and 61 miles from Dana Point. The brainchild of three-time world champion KC Heidler of PWCOFFSHORE, Heidler’s original intent was to take the adventure all the way to Cortez Bank 100 miles offshore on Saturday, September 1. Unfortunately the hurricane, small craft advisory at San Clemente Island, 7 foot seas, white caps combined with the challenged manageability of the craft due to the weight of 46 gallons of fuel on the Jet Ski in that sea state resulted in the team opting to push the Cortez ride out and do a San Clemente Island ride direct from Dana Point. 

Mark Gerner, KC Heidler and Tom Cruz launched from Dana Point to tackle the 122 mile pure “big blue” open ocean run direct from Dana Point California to San Clemente and back. Supported by Race Technician Peewee Price, the day started with a navigation and weather brief from KC Heidler at 5:15 am followed by launch. “Its going to be a bumpy run out there guys” said Heidler. The team was underway by 6:30 am. The group would encounter 5-8 foot seas and white caps the entire way to San Clemente Island. It became especially intense at the half way mark approximately 20 miles due South of the South tip of Catalina Island with the southerly winds between the islands stirring up quite a mess of 8 foot steep waves. After over two hours of being hammered by white caps, 15 knot winds and 8 footers off the East side of San Clemente Island due to the residuals of the hurricane, the team arrived safely to rendezvous with their refueling craft “The Tranquilidad” – 60 ft. The Beneteau was anchored on the outer rim of Pyramid Cove on the South side of San Clemente Island and skippered by Jeremy Anwyl. The craft was equipped with aircraft grade fuel bladders and zuck up bibs for the team to refuel from. The sea state would involve less white caps on the return run with large swells, by no means flat but only a few white caps and following seas resulting in a significantly less eventful ride back compared to the exceptionally large & intense conditions on the way out. 

The team had two Epirbs each, SPOT Tracking Devices, Satellite phone, two radios each, a total of nine GPS devices, floats plans etc. Safety was paramount. 

Thank you Jeremy Anwyl for the great skipper support, thank you Salty! Captain Macc of SeaTow for watching out for us and the constant communication, Peewee and Brandy Price for the phenomenal preparation work and support. Article forthcoming - make sure you get a read.

Note to reader: San Clemente Island is a military training ground. There are parts of San Clemente that don’t allow boats within miles of the Island. There are times that San Clemente Island is completely closed within a few miles. Land access is not authorized (Stay off the island). Coordinate with their website prior to considering approaching the island on a boat of any size. WE RECOMMEND YOU DO NOT MAKE THIS RUN on a Jet Ski without a minimum of a decade of offshore experience on a Jet Ski, multiple ride partners, significant planning and redundant safety equipment. 

John Belton of PWCOFFSHORE speaks off the cuff on PWC safety, an interesting perspective: (10/28/2008) 

"I have been hedging for years if should get an EPIRB or not. This letter has just pushed me to get one. You know one thing you touched on, which I would like to elaborate some more on is Seamanship. And just what is that? Good seamanship starts at the Ramp or in the garage, it plays a role when you are washing your craft down. When I am washing my pwc off, It is not just for cleaning purposes; I am also looking for things that might be wrong. Loose wires, hose clamps, nuts bolts, etc. When I am done cleaning my boat, I remove every drop of water out of the bilge area. The bilge area is the lowest point in the hull so likely any loose "parts" will find their way there. If I find a broken zip tie down there, I find out where that zip tie came from! Alot of people treat their pwc's like they are "dirt bikes on the water". Nothing could be further from the truth. Alot of accidents at sea can be prevented by keeping the pwc as mechanically "ship shape" as possible. Of course there will be some breakdowns here and there; a pwc has alot of moving parts so some mechanical misshaps will happen. But if thru good Seamanship some of those can be prevented, I think that's a good thing."

SAFETY IS ALWAYS FIRST, Never ride in the ocean unless you are prepared.
Subject:  Wounded Warrior PWC Ride, August 21, 2008 

Story by Ralph H. Perez, AKA: Trawlercat


Two words you don’t usually associate together are PWC (personal watercraft) and volunteers but that’s just what we came down to do in America’s finest city ( San Diego), home of the U.S. Marines.  “Semper Fi” Marines (“always faithful”). 


Now if you served time in our armed forces or ever watched a good war flick you’ll quickly see military folks sticking together in times of good and bad.  That’s just the way Marines are; they stay in the fight until their battle is won, both on and off the battlefield.  Marines are that special breed of people that take care of each other before, during and after the battle.  

And so it was on a warm and sunny Thursday, August 21st 2008, that “us” volunteers reported for duty on beautiful Mission Bay Park in San Diego, California.  One of our leaders and organizers - Ray Hinton was on hand bright and early to ensure everyone had a great time.  

To give you an indication of where we were; if you squeezed the throttle on you PWC from the launch ramp on Fiesta Bay to just a short burst of wide open throttle (WOT) riding you would be at Sea World home of big Shamu the Killer Whale.     

Our support camp was located on Crown Point.   Why even the lifeguards showed up to move us.  Seems the San Diego PWC Club assaulted the wrong beach upon arrival.  That was quickly remedied by the lifeguards enlisting their boat to move all the beach gear to the right spot.  By the time it was all said and done all was in order to include: a) combat veterans; b) over 20 high spirited Americans who care about their brothers and sisters; c) 20 PWC’s; d) 4 stand-ups; e) 1 Ski-nautique; f) kayaks, two sail boats and one power boat (The Semper Fi) owned by a Marine Corp Gunny Sergeant.  The Semper Fi was enlisted for not only giving rides but for making waves.  

Why did we need a boat to make waves you may ask?  Why non other than Ross Champion showed up to lend his support to this great worthy cause. 
Providing the crowd with some great air time on his stand up. ).  If you don’t yet know who he is see PWC Moderator LisaLisa’s comments below:  Going huge and clean in the clear blue curling surf of Montelivet, France, Champion pulled off a first place win during the first round of the 2008 International Freeride Watercraft Association's 2008 season opener.  The Injured Service members also known as Wounded Warriors were organized by the San Diego Adaptive Sports Foundation who teamed up with the San Diego PWC Club ( to enable them to enjoy a unique “Day at the Bay” water, boating and overall fun opportunity.  My long time friend Mel Pasley set up a booth for the Handicapped Scuba Association.  A 1981, organization whose long time international organization has dedicated itself according to its mission to improving the physical and social well being of people with disabilities (  

Why just weeks earlier in nearby Lake Forest, the two presidential candidates were speaking about volunteerism in America and now here we were today.  McCain said that the nation’s greatest moral shortcoming is its failure to “devote ourselves to causes greater than our self-interests.  With Obama responding by saying that America's greatest moral failure is its insufficient help to the disadvantaged, especially victims of racism, sexism and poverty.   

PWC Forums (Pwc Today, GreenHulk, PWCOffshore, etc) and  PWC riding clubs; if you also want to help make a difference in a number of people’s lives why not start with providing a separate topic (volunteerism) in your forum or club web site.  We challenge you to “find the need” for others will surely help fill it like was done in San Diego by their PWC Club.   

Yes, we have big problems facing America but, if you’ve got the toys to play with then why not also make a profound difference in someone’s life.  The Day at the Bay was a perfect example of helping our injured brothers and sisters with permanent physical disabilities following their return from Iraq or Afghanistan.  Thank you for giving them an opportunity to improve their overall quality of life, fitness and lifestyle.  For more information visit one of the following web sites to see how your club can also help make a difference.;;;; 

Because I don’t know about it doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening.  So, please, use this thread below to let the moderator know if you also see this as a worthwhile cause or to let us know what you or your club are doing for persons with physical disabilities, the less fortunate or the even the environment.  

A special thank you for helping out our troops goes to AWA (American Watercraft Association) PWC Club President Ray Hinton; The Corky McMillin Companies, SDASF (San Diego Adaptive Sports Foundation); a chapter of The Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports Project, Disabled Sports USA, Bialis Family Foundation Clara Project; Handicapped Scuba Association, Ross Champion and a host of many other volunteers.  The following is borrowed and I am sorry for I cannot quote the original author.     

And a special thank you Wounded Warriors who have seen more suffering and death than you should in your short lifetime.  As an American Fighting Man you have stood atop mountains and wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat.

You feel every note of the National Anthem vibrate through your body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away' those around you who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking. In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, you defend their right to be disrespectful.  You are paying the price for our freedom.

You are the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years and ask for nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding. 

We will always remember you, for you have earned our respect and admiration with your blood.
For our Military "Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us.  Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us. Amen.

1. Be courteous to everyone, friendly to no one.
2. Decide to be aggressive enough, quickly enough.
3. Have a plan.
4. Have a back-up plan, because the first one probably won't work.
5. Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
6. Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun whose caliber does not start with at least a "4."
7. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap. Life is expensive.
8. Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend. (Lateral and diagonal preferred.)
9. Use cover or concealment as much as possible.
10. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.
11. Always cheat; always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.
12. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance or tactics. They will only remember who lived.
13. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating your intention to shoot.

 US Navy Rules: 

1. Go to Sea.
2. Drink Coffee.
3. Deploy the Marines.

 “Semper Fi”

Billy Womack by Shawn Alladio

Dear Friends and Fellow Endurance Racers,

The press release above is listed on the core site for PWCoffshore racing. I'm going to give you a personal description and hope that you add your own stories and memories from the 'EMERALD CROWN' of offshore racing, the LB2CAT and your first honored member, Mr. Billy Womack!

The 2008 crew from PWCoffshore took center stage in support of the induction of Billy Womack as the first honored member to be recognized for his contributions to the Long Beach to Catalina and Back event. The precedent has been set in infamy, Billy Womack has set the standard, nobody will ever forget it. I remember Billy racing on a Waveblaster many years ago, he was the 'blaster master' and set a furious and fast pace, exactly what offshore racing needed.

Endurance racing always held an audience that wasn't quite mainstream, and those who are passionate about it have the blisters, the breaks and the broken boats to talk story about after each and every session, some things will never change, only increase with the HP race we are now is fitting to give way to the Pirates of the Open Seas...the OFFSHORE riders of today, a unique breed of PWC enthusiasts, unlike any other.

Billy seemed to be unassuming and quiet, until he hit the fast track to outer bounds, his tenacity flew away for the wins he garnered. As a champion he was focused and leveled the swells in front of him to push the time envelope, he proved himself repeatedly over years one the offshore circuit. The core group of dedicated racers held the offshore endurance racing within it's own boundaries. Few could appreciate the hard hits and stamina needed on the physical realm and not to discount the desire. Equipment was the compliment. To win you needed a harder charger PWC that could take the edge of no return. A real Mr. Nice Guy.

Out to sea to an offshore island and back home to the edge of a continent, landing near the historic Queen Mary, 'the majestic symbol of the seas of transit', wasn't just an act of faith, it takes grit, and as Billy said in his acceptance speech, 'rough water, can't see the island, just the way you like it, and tomorrow you will appreciate your rebate check!'. The earned hits your body feels from the torturous and enduring pace, trying to beat the best and keep up with the pack was what fueled Womack to stay the course. Checkered flags welcomed him, he was rarely denied.

It's not easy to say goodbye to a champion, everyone wants to know where Billy Womack is? He's now the #1 PWCOffshore Hall of Famer, keeping with his industrious past. He'll always be #1 for the LB2CAT, everyone else will be 2, 3, 4 and so on...A nice way to end a new beginning. Congratulations Mr. Womack.

Special kudos to Ross Wallach of RPM Racing Ent, his staff, the team and all who love endurance racing.

Shawn Alladio-A fan
Fuel Prices Cramping Our Style!  5/20/2008

Fuel Prices are cramping our style!  Darn right we're horsepower hogs and we love it, the more the better - but its costing us.  Those of us who ride and ride hard offshore are getting hammered by these fuel prices, especially those of us who are riding the ULTRA.  Those who ride both days of the weekend or twice a week are finding themselves scaling back to one day a week.  
So unless you have more money than you know what to do with, you're feeling it also.  So lets do the math:  At 4.17 per gallon for premium fuel in California (5/2008), it costs about 85.00 to fill up the ULTRA, then 10.00 to get in the gate at the ramp.  Now we're at 95.00 just to show up.  So how much fuel did it take you to drive your truck to and from the ramp (for me its 40.00 w/a fifty-two mile commute each way).  Now we're at 135.00.    Now if you hold it open like the offshore guys tend to do for extended periods of time, you will go through that 85.00 worth of fuel in the ULTRA in about one hour and seven seven minutes.  For those of you that do the Long Beach to Catalina and back training ride and go there and back only, well your total cost for the day is 135.00.  If you want to extend your ride and decide you need to fuel at AVALON, the current cost per gallon is 5.40 per gallon, so do the math... four gallons is 22.00.  Lets just assume that you only go from LB2CAT and back only and your cost is 135.00 and you do that every weekend, you're looking at a cost of 535.00 per month or 6420.00 per year in fuel.  Ride twice a week and you're looking 12,840.00 per year in fuel (including your truck's fuel to and from the ramp).  Of course this assumes you're holding it open on every ride and this also assumes you're not topping off or adding fuel on the water - that's going to cost you significantly more .  
So what is the hard core offshore enthusiast to do?  Stay home?  Absolutely not.  There is not much you can do but suck it up and revaluate the number of ride you engage in.  Certainly you can go to ramps that are closer to your house (if that is an option).  Undoubtedly there will be many that fall by the wayside and no longer go out as frequently - and understandably so, heck those numbers are taking a toll on all us. Given the cost of PWC training on the water, we are all evaluating alternative sources or training as we prepare for races.  The best thing we've found continues to be mountain biking.  Although offshore PWC endurance riding is difficult to duplicate, mountain bike climbing (I say again climbing, that means hills) work similar muscle groups and there are correlations that can be capitalized on.  Also, just hit the gym and do your complete workout including the heavy cardio.  Break out the tennis balls and squeeze them repeatedly to get the burn.  Good luck and lets hope for lower fuel prices! 

The Man In The Pits, By Mark G., 2/26/2008

“It is not the critic who counts, the credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred with sweat and blood, who knows only the sweet smell of victory and the agony of defeat……”  You all know that speech and I must acknowledge that I think of this quote as I reflect back on the many pit crews I saw busting their backsides in support their riders as they all pursued a win at the 2008 Mark Hahn 300 mile endurance race.  Let’s establish one thing right from the beginning; you don'tb  win long endurance races without a well organized, disciplined, focused and aggressive pit crew.  It’s that simple.      

It’s Tuesday evening February 26, 2008 and I’m on an airplane at 12 am en route to a business meeting.  After approximately 26 Iron Man laps, I’m starting to feel the body smart somewhat, but you have to love it and you have to love this sport.  Something tells me that since you’re reading this article, you love it also and I’m confident you understand.   The conditions on race day were mild and conducive to an Iron Man run.  Given that I raced solo, I didn’t have the opportunity to spend a great deal of time in the pit area.  My only exposure was during my actual pit stops.  That said, I feel compelled to share with you what I experienced.  As I continue to reflect back on my observations of the pit area, I find the activity I observed in the pits inspirational and yet an additional indication that our sport is packed with good men and women and multiple team players.  This sport is only getting bigger, it is only getting better and the character of the people involved in this great sport continues to excel.    

Lets go back a few days to that beautiful Saturday that Mark Hahn gave us to race:  My fuel warning is beeping as I am at full throttle on lap 10, I see the yellow buoy, hard right turn, make sure I don’t hit the score boat, full throttle around the red buoys for a hard left turn as I hear the pump on my ULTRA disengage for a quick moment resulting in the supercharger sounding its signature scream, through the black and whites, hand goes up and I bank hard to the right to enter the Pits.  Off in the distance I see our Crew Chief Aaron Cress scrambling to back our Quad and trailer rig into the water and Zack waving his hands to ensure I see him.  As I get close, I see multiple people converge on my trailer and Quad that is now in the water awaiting my bow to touch.  As I’m almost there, I see the intensity and readiness in their faces.  I think to myself, “outstanding, they all want to win just as much as I do.”  As soon as I’m within reach, the hooker quickly hooked my craft while the Marine Corps’ own Russell from the SoCal Watercraft Club quickly cranks the wench to get me partially lodged on the trailer and in the blink of an eye I was out of the water.  I notice the two 10 gallon quick fills staged perfectly approximately 15 feet from the water line.  Dan P (below on left with the hat on) from Iowa runs up to me and sticks a quart of Gatorade in my face, “you’re doing great man!” he said, and then he quickly scrambled off to help guide one of the jugs to the craft’s gas tank.  What he doesn’t realize is that he just motivated the heck out of me.  It wasn’t what he said, it wasn’t the Gatorade, it was that I could tell that he genuinely gave a sh--.  I look over my shoulder just as the first 10 gallons is pored and I see Carreon’s mammoth neighbor who is about 6 ft tall and 235 pounds of pure muscle, the kind of gentle giant that you usually see bouncing knuckleheads out of bars that have had too much to drink, I observe as he quickly picks up and launches the full 10 gallons of fuel like it is a Styrofoam cup and manhandle the thing like only someone with a 400 pound bench press could do.  Quick data point – you ever lift 10 gallons of fuel over your head?  It’s not lite.  In the hole it goes and down the fuel went.  Aaron Cress jumps into my craft to check the steering “it’s good, it will hold!” he says.  My craft looked like bees on honey, yet everything was being orchestrated and executed almost flawlessly.  I look at the crew beside me supporting another craft when their ATV gets stuck, in literally two seconds there were five or six people from different teams pushing the quad out of the rut.  Its teamwork, pure teamwork.  I see up and coming racer Brit Wildman’s mother Eve with a big smile on her face off to my right giving words of encouragement.  I look back at Aaron Cress and everyone working furiously on fueling my craft.  It is inspirational, I think to myself, I must win this race; I must not let these guys down.  If I win, they win, if I don’t win, they don’t win – failure is not an option.  And before I know it, I’m back in the water with Carreon’s neighbor man handling my 1000 pound, fully fueled ULTR250 to get it straight. “Clear” he yells, which is my command to start and throttle up, and away I went.  As I throttle off, I am reminded of these men’s teamwork, focus and dedication to getting me over the finish line.  As I get up to about 67 mph, I think about how I do not want to let them down, I want to make them proud of me and proud of themselves, proud of our team.  I want to win so that they win.  It is a team, even though only one person is on the craft, in actuality there are about three to five people on the craft propelling it to the finish line. 


So, for those of you in my Pits, and you know who you are – THANK YOU

A few best practices and lessons learned from the Pit Crew:

1.  If loose sand is in the pits that may cause your quad or rhino to get stuck, go to Home Depot and buy and bring about 50 x 7 foot of metal fence (Approximately $70.00).  Well done Dave Tew and Young from the Southern California Watercraft Club.  This idea was and is huge and by far the best pit lesson learned from the race..    

2.  If you ride an ULTRA250X and are using Hunsaker quick fill fuel jugs, suggest you remove the metal line from the gas cap.  Also get a small saw and cut the plastic piece off that lies on the inside of the gas tube that holds that metal gas line to the gas cap.  If not removed, it will make it difficult to insert the plastic fill tube from the Hunsaker gas can.

3.  Trailers:  A single small trailer is preferred over a light aluminum trailer with large beech tires.  The tires float as you know, the standard trailer is heavy enough not to float and is light enough that a large quad can still pull it.

4.  Bring an additional 20 gallons of fuel on top of what you think you’ll need – my ULTRA went through 108 gallons of fuel.

5.  Practice, practice, practice before the race, your pits must have a process and they must all know their roles prior to race day. 

6.  If you are an Iron Man racer, wear the water pack, I did and it was invaluable.  You will need fluid even on a mild day.                             


Hope to see all of you at the July 20, 2008 Long Beach To Catalina and Back race and at the 2009 Mark Hahn 300 Mile Endurance Race

Rest in peace Mr. Mark Hahn, your legacy lives on.           

Subject: Trawlercat on 2008 Mark Hahn 300 mile race, By Ralph Perez

“Success is not by chance”. “Planning is an unnatural process; it is much more fun to do something”. I may be accused of using those two quotes around the office but for me they can easily sum up the Mark Hahn 300 mile endurance race held at Lake Havasu, AZ, on Saturday, February 23, 2008.

Permit me to explain myself. Success is not by chance – in endurance racing you are literally testing the durability of your machine against your competitors. Did you do all you could to try to break it; test it to its limit, before the race? After a 300 mile endurance race would you trust it to get you to Catalina Island and back? I feel confident that my SeaDoo GTX could. More on this shortly.

After the checkered flag did your ski do for you what you wanted it to do. My answer is now a resounding YES/NO. Yes, because it ran flawless. No, because now I want more speed. I could not say the same thing just a short two weeks prior to the Mark Hahn race; when I was only going fast enough to just barely pass up a Polaris. Not only was I going slow, I was also taking on water.

Sunday I made a no brainer decision to visit (225 mile) my new friend Steve Friebe who turned it all around for us in five short days. Unlike jet engine mechanics that have never seen the ****pit of an airplane Steve Friebe will fix your boat, then test ride it. Does your mechanic do that? If its good enough to end up with a “Famous Friebe” decal on the stern side; then you know its ready to race. Fifty percent (50%) of our first place Novice Open Class WIN goes to Steve Friebe.

Race partner Robert Carreon, you and I each get to split 30%. I admit now that I was in denial during some of those training rides when you told me she was not cutting it. Was he bad mouthing my GTX I thought? Sometimes the truth is a hard pill to swallow. Test it to the max during a training run or risk a break down during the race? How many training hours on and off the ski did you do?

Remember, endurance racing is not only about machine but also about man. When it came to training rides our friends at pwcoffshore or SoCal Watercraft club were always there for us. Thank you all. Besides friends make for more fun and friends with the same goal all encourage each other to learn from each other. How else could a novice like me have competed in the Mark Hahn. 

Pit crew you guys get the other 20% of the pie. And what a pit crew we had - three racers basically sharing and helping each other out in the true spirit of the Mark Hahn. Thank you Roberts next door neighbor, Aaron, Zack, Russell, his brother in law; Navy Dave, Eve; Dan P and David, Hooker and Sucker too.

First don’t get the wrong impression about this endurance race when I tell you that one of the top ten racers badly bruised his ribs and oh by the way; the race was scored a few laps shy of the thirty – 10 mile laps because mechanical problems on one ski caused he/she to plow into the scoring boat, literally knocking out the lead scorer. These two incidents and a few other minor ones should indicate to you that this after all was an endurance race and mechanical and fatigue problems will happen. Those top ten finishers certainly paid their dues in preparation, add to that a good fast boat, throw in a few good years of experience, an ace pit crew and we’re ready for next years race.

The first overall finisher Andy Wise/Bobby Hall; according to the Noble Racing website it says that Andy’s been involved in PWC racing for nearly twenty years. Now you tell me where else can a novice rider like myself, in any sport, compete with the pros. My new mechanic Steve Friebe whom I mentioned above says long races are his favorite because of all the additional requirements like perfect fuel stops, quick rider changes and good strategy. Steve Friebe won the 2006 Mark Hahn.

Days leading up to the Mark Hahn - Thursdays weather
, a warm 65 degrees with that that nice feeling you get when the sun strikes you just so and; also by the way, flat like lake conditions. Not really knowing my way around Lake Havasu I chose the Windsor launch ramp for my Thursday test ride. Having route planned the course on my GPS I was looking forward to riding the course. It did not take me long to figure out that two of the planned waypoints were on land. And so, I say again; planning is an unnatural process – it is much more fun to do something. So off into the lake I headed along with about 1,000 bass boats who would be trying to leaving the launch ramp about the same time as I.

Thank goodness for all the running and weight training I did because I had to park way up the hill in a sea of pick up trucks and bass boat trailers. And for what - a Fish! Don't bad mouth these guys they're probably thinking the same things about us. Friday’s weather took a wrong turn as we experienced rain most of the day with 10-20 mph winds thrown in to stir up that lake. Add to that the same 1,000 bass boats competing in their own tournament and things were looking like what we prepared for. PWCOFFSHORE.COM teams were forewarned that this was what it would be like. That’s why we rode in all kinds of offshore weather that mother nature threw at us.

Not knowing full well that the late Mark Hahn was a person who touched the lives of many people over the years and how much he loved the endurance racing sport there was no doubt to many others as to Saturdays weather. You guessed it. It was beautiful. For those of you that enjoy recreational riding on a flat lake this day was created for you.

“Planning is an unnatural process – it is much more fun to do something” In other words no one planned ahead for the soft sand the day of the race. The challenge was certainly there. Remember, we had to launch, retrieve and fuel our PWC’s in that soft sand. And they needed to be exactly ten feet away from the water; because the USCG says so. That’s what we were told. Creative solutions were quickly sought and some found.

Everything from plywood to carpet was laid down. Nothing worked quite as well as what our SoCal Watercraft Pit Crew Team put together. Enter HomeDepot and chain link fencing. Our pit crew laid out a chain link carpet all the way into the water. It was such a beautiful site worthy of a naval beach assault. Our PWC trailer could now be easily pulled in and out of the water. Other solutions for other teams proved more challenging. Like, hooking up a second quad or mule to the first and just going for it. Flying sand was everywhere and with people and machinery everywhere side by side it’s a wonder no one was injured or maimed. Ready set go for a LeMans type start. Only saw one person fall. Thanks partner, glad you went first.

Didn’t I tell you this was my first PWC race? So how does one compete in the World’s Longest Continuous PWC Race and WIN (in our class) – with just starting out in the sport less than one year ago. When I purchased my 2007 GTX LTD racing was the farthest thing on my mind. That is until I started running into guys I often referred to as “helmet dudes”. And they all seemed to belong to

Thinking about purchasing a PWC or want people to ride with - join a great club and get involved. Like Watercraft Magazine says, if you can’t find a club – start one. Trust me, you build it and they will come. SoCal Watercraft Club is a club worth taking the time to know. All our members are not afraid to help or answer your questions. Commit to ride. I ended 2007 with 62 riding hours. 2008 started me out with the flu; but hey, we live in Southern California – and we ride all year round.

Also remember anyone can ride when the conditions are ideal. What we look for is something more. If you missed it this was the transition. Leaving the recreational riding and starting to wander into the offshore riding and racing. If you dare to visit PWCOFFSHORE.COM – don’t say I didn’t warn you. For all your offshore riding there is only one site worth visiting - Not only will you find an answer to your questions but, you may begin to push the threshold to areas where you never knew you could go. As I sit here writing I know full well that the moment I go to stand up my still yet aching body will give me that euphoric feeling of Saturday’s accomplishment.
Thank you all – it was all well worth it.

Fuel Prices Cramping Our Style!  5/20/2008 

Editors Note -  Ralph refers to himeself as a "Novice" in his article.  Wat he doesn't yet realize is that he is no longer a novice, he is now a respected member of the PWC community.  Congratulaions Ralph, you deserved the win.  I am also honored to call Ralph my friend.     

Trawlercat on PWC Lanyard Testing & Ocean Towing, a Riders Rough Day on the Water and lessons Learned, by Ralph Perez.  1/20/2008

If anyone finds a set of Dragon Goggles – coal colored with the dual layer face, micro fleece lining, anti-fog polyurethane frame lens please mail them to me at ….   Seriously they may have sunk by now or are still floating to Costa Rica. 

This morning’s ride consisted of two missions.  Mission #1 was an untimed lanyard testing mission; vicinity of 16.2 nautical miles from the turn around point of the LB2CAT waypoint.  Yes, I got launched for the first time in my short 68 hour PWC riding career.   Sure I could tell you I was a little tired from yesterdays Dana Point to Oceanside and back run.  Or maybe say my UMI steering system is still not yet totally centered so when I slammed sideways on that rogue wave it launched me from the point of no return.  You know with the water 59 degrees you would think that “cold” might be the first thing you think of when you land in that water. 

NO.  It’s more like (oh sh--, where’s my ski and I’m out here in the middle of the ocean).  And yes, I’m here to let you know that the lanyard testing mission was a 100% success.  My one for one launch this morning proved that a) the ski will stop; b) experienced riders do return when they observe a rider less ski even while riding WOT; c) swimming in boots is hard work; d) goggles will fly off so carry a spare.  Pay extra attention to B.  You should not be riding in tunnel vision.  You should be doing like a military sniper; scanning to your front (immediate danger area) and to your left and right looking for other boat traffic or that far off toque wave that got me. 

By now you may have gone back to the subject line to see if this article is really on towing or lanyard testing.  Like I said earlier the test was a complete success with just one launch – no need to recreate. 

One to Mission #2 - So off we went the five of us when 9.2 nautical miles from Avalon one of us was prepared to bring this valuable towing lesson to you so their engine suddenly died.   Now is not the time to find out you forgot to renew that towboat membership service.  So what do you do?  Hopefully, you have a tow rope and are not taking on water.  Remember that bilge pump we told you to install? 

You should have a VHF radio and the ability to use it.  Turn it on and wait your turn.  If you hear an emergency stay off the radio.  How to call on Channel 16.  Example:  (TowBoat, TowBoat, this is (your boats name or your name) hailing TowBoat.  Wait two minutes, if there is no response, try again.  Once they make contact they will likely ask you to go to Channel 78.  Know how to change channels on that radio as well.  Or, if you’re close - use that cell phone with the preprogrammed towboat service phone number. If you don’t have that towboat service and your buddies aren’t willing to tow you back in heavy seas then plan on paying that towboat about $150 per hour.  We learned today that longer is better when it comes to tow ropes.  Also, we safely towed a rider less ski at 25-30 mph without a problem.  A towing situation generally affects three other riders.  One to tow your boat.  One to give you a ride.  One to monitor the entire situation periodically checking in on the tow ski.  Having made that earlier call to Avalon the towboat company was ready to take that ski back to Long Beach - after we had lunch. 

This is where one picture is worth 1,000 words.  Seems the $150/hour labor charge is a good deterrent for jumping into cold water.  The pretty little gal with a new tattoo (ouch) that was not yet healed jumped into the 59 degree water before I could volunteer to take her place.  In the end it turned out to be yours truly to jump in that water to cut off the docking line firmly wrapped around her propeller.  And now I felt that cold water.  Even made up for it during mission #1 above.  Maybe its cause that helmet did a good job in keeping that part of the body warm, safe and secure.  You do wear a helmet, don’t you? 

By Ralph Perez, Los Angeles, Ca  AKA "Trawlercat"   


So you're thinking about becoming an offshore racer?

So you're considering being a new offshore racer and may have doubts with regard to your riding ability and ability to compete?  If you're in good shape and have a few bucks in the bank, don't doubt yourself.  Here's the good news;  some of the best closed course racers in the world are out of their element in the open ocean and many times find themselves struggling to keep up (like many offshore guys struggling in the turns on the closed course, by the way).  That means that the playing field on the offshore scene is leveled in many ways. With the right offshore training and focus on riding in big waves, many of you can come out and do relatively well in your first undertaking of an offshore race.  The ocean with its currents, inherent danger and large waves do a nice job of weeding out the men from the boys (or the women from the girls if the shoe fits).  The offshore scene is so unique that the number of riders comfortable in this environment are limited and quite hard to find.  Lets face it, the, number of riders (like the riders from PWCOFFSHORE) that ride to Catalina Island and back every weekend are very, very limited and quite unique.  So what's that mean to the offshore rider?  It means that you can come out and compete in a race like the Long Beach to Catalina and Back Race with most of the riders in your first race.  Be smart, be ready and be confident...........  
Here's the next set of good news.  You can go out and buy a stock RXTX, RXPX, ULTRA250X, possibly the new Yamaha SHO and if you can hold it wide open for 90% of the time, you will place in a very respectable time.  Yes I know, I may be minimizing the stamina associated with accomplishing such a feat, but the days of having to dump 6000.00 into your craft in aftermarket parts just to do "ok" are over.  Much of it comes down to having the right stock craft such as the aforementioned craft and being in the right shape.  Yes, you may not win the overall with that stock craft but don't underestimate the quality of the gear the manufacturers are putting on the market in stock form.  Net net - got 11, 400.00 to slap down on a new 2008 craft or 10,000.00 on the 2007's?  Then you'll do OK (assuming you're in good shape).
So what else will you need to race?  A GPS (130.00 - 200.00). a set of race numbers (60.00), a wetsuit for 135.00, a helmet (200.00 minimum) and your safety gear. 
By Mark G.  11/22/2007
LB2CAT…What an IRONMAN has to say, by Nick Stanoszek

For about five months I trained day in and day out for the Half-Ironman that was held in Oceanside.  This, however, was only prep work for the even harder, even longer race (Ironman) to be held in August in Louisville.  I trained for about 3-4 hours a day, for six days a week.

Come March 31, 2007, I raced in Oceanside.  No problem, the race went very well.  After, a good friend of mine, M. Gerner, asked if I would be interested in a LB2CAT trip with some of his buddies—knowing very well that I am an avid water sports fan and have been riding a PWC for several years.  “Sure” I said, no problem.  How hard could it be…I just did a Half-Ironman…at this point in my life, the hardest thing I have done—little did I know, I was in for a sweet treat.  So I accepted the challenge and the next day was off to Long Beach to start the much anticipated trip to Catalina.

The day of, we (Mark and myself) headed to Long Beach bright and early.  Sun was shining and weather reports called for a great day—with some waves on the water.  When Mark told me there were waves, I immediately thought back to the waves we had in the Gulf back in November for Watercraft World’s “Dream-Demo” and the waves that we have in my home lake, Lake Erie.  Obviously I was mistaken to compare either one to the Great Pacific Ocean.

I was riding a Kawasaki STX-15F, loaned from a fellow Ironman, Kim Bushong, who placed 8th in Ironman Kona in 1982.  The day started off great…I was riding right with the others—following 2 Kawi Ultra-250x, a Sea-Doo RXT, a couple Yamahas, and another 15F.  Little did I know, however, the waves would soon tear into me and break my down my body.  When we hit the open water, everyone took, having never done this before, had trouble riding the waves.  It took about 45 minutes to get to Catalina.  Then we headed back…which took me a little longer, as I was very tired and sore.  Finally, though, I finished my first LB2CAT “race”.

I now realize that being in shape for one sport does not mean you can take on the world in another sport.  These guys really showed me up…this is the race they live for every year.  Come next year…having rode much more this season, I plan to give them a run for their money—I hope!  Yes, I have done an Ironman…but Ironman and Open Water Riding are on two totally different levels…both of which are very challenging.  Whoever said that the LB2CAT race is easy…well they have another thing coming when they decide to actually do it.  Thanks again to M. Gerner, Kim Bushong, Paul Pham, Lee Phan, John Belton, and whoever else contributed to my first, and not last, LB2CAT race. 

Editor's note:  Just in case you may have missed that, Nick ran a half Iron Man the day before he took on the LB2CAT ride!  No small feat! Also, Nick recently completed the Louisville Iron Man in an impressive time.  Congratulations Nick!     

San Diego Thunderboat Regatta, PWC Race - September of 2007, by Mike Follmer


On a sunny, clear 80 degree weekend at the famed San Diego Thunderboat Regatta, aptly named "Bayfair" in front a crowd of rabid race fans estimated to be approx. 168,500 (over the 3 days)  there to watch the spectacle of the various forms of boat racing including the worlds fastest boats, the Unlimited Hydroplanes to Drag Boats, Offshore, flatbottom circle boats, nimble Tunnel Boats to the PWC endurance sprint racers . Sea Doo, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Hydrospace were all well represented by some of the best endurance racers in the county.  These racers gathered to compete in this the biggest event of the year. This years PWC Endurance Sprint Racing started off with a the first of four, ten lap sprint races on an eight-turn, 1.5 mile course in front of the huge crowd.  The "dead engine" true Le Mans style start made it an all out run for the first turn the field of super charged 4 stroke, standup and the lone 2 strokeYamaha GP 1300 R of Mike Follmer of Factory Yamaha R & D.   With the drop of the flag, the boats t ook off with the lead going to former World Champion and Lake Havasu City resident Chris Fischetti  on his Sea Doo taking the lead.  Glendale, Az native Steve West, also on his Sea Doo starting in second followed by Mike Follmer Factory Yamaha R & D going at it for 10 high speed laps of the weekends closest racing.   Veteran Firefighter (fresh off the line) and La Mesa CA resident Dave Hardenburger piloting the Hydrospace Stand Up entry grabbing he holeshot and giving a great show against the runabouts. Dave Hardenburger may have taken the holeshot but it was short lived. After rounding the second turn it was all Sea Doo's and the Yamaha.   Fresno, CA Cheng Leu and Tom Clarke of Huntington Beach and rookie Robert Carreon diced it out with Vinnie Ferrara of Phoenix, AZ.  rounding out the first heat. The second resulted in Vinnie Ferrera taking first with second place going to 2 stroke Factory Yamaha Mike Follmer and third to Steve West.  Sunday saw the two heat winner going to Steve West and second Place to Mike Follmer with third place going to Chang Leu then  Dave Hardenburger and Matt Owens on the Stand Ups .  The crowd was thrilled with the action on the water and the exposure that the PWC racers received to again be a part of such a prestigious event.  This  made the experience for all those in attendance worthwhile!  Congratulations to the winners!
The Overall Standings for the weekend:
1st Place Overall and Pro/Am 4 Stroke Champion - Steve West,# 2, AZ On-Site, Metro Motorsports RPM Racing Glendale,AZ 
2nd Place Overall and Pro/Am 2 Stroke Champion - Mike Follmer, #1,Yamaha Motor Corp.USA, R & D, MOTUL, OAKLEY, NGK, RIVA Fountain Valley, CA
3rd Place Overall  and 2nd Place Pro/Am- Cheng Leu #411, Clawson Motorsports, Riva Racing, Fresno, CA
3rd Place Pro/Am 4 Stroke-Chris Fischetti #300, Walt's Motorsports, R & D, Lake Havasu City, AZ
4rth Place Pro/Am 4 Stroke- Vinnie Ferrara #10, JSU Racing, JP Designs, LGI, Sin Gear Clothing, Sun City, AZ
1st Place Vet/Master Open- Tom Clarke, #371Wolverine Brass, Huntington Beach, CA
1st Place Novice Open- Robert Carreon #338 La Mirada, CA
1st Place Stand Up- Dave "Looter" Hardenburger, Looter Productions, La Mesa Firemen's Association, La Mesa, CA
2nd Place Stand Up- Matt Owens, Looter Productions, La Mesa, CA

A Racer's Experience in the 2007 LB2CAT, by Mark G.
Ya gotta love the Long Beach to Catalina and back Race!  Few events can inspire our PWC brothers to train for months and spend thousands of dollars to get our gear up to speed in pursuit of placement or a win.  Having been one of those people, I feel compelled to share my observations and a few learning experiences about this year's race. 
Like so many of you, I look forward to the LB2CAT race year around and start the training process in February of every year.  As my primary mode of riding over the past ten years has been offshore and my favorite race is LB2CAT, the craft I purchase are purchased based on the model I feel is best suited to do well in the LB2CAT race.  So I'm sure you can imagine that in the old school days I rode my Yamaha1200XLT, then transitioned to the RXT, then purchased the ULTRA250X.  And man I wish one of those purchases and all of that training has resulted in a win - but not yet!   
Training for the race:  Lots of mountain biking and regular Sunday rides to Avalon and back out of Long Beach (resulting in consumption of large quantities of Tylenol).  A number of questions from the wife when she saw me limping around after a Sunday ride, "why do you do that to your body?" she asks.  "A lot of fun honey" is my usual response.  Her reaction is the usual puzzled look and subsequent shrugging of the shoulders.  As most of you know, training for offshore endurance riding is difficult to duplicate so riding and riding hard offshore is critical.  Since I purchased the ULTRA in February of 2007, training also included familiarizing myself with the ULTRA in big ocean conditions; its fuel consumption, capabilities in the rough, steering, sponsons, everything.  I was not disappointed by the way, but that's another story.  I dropped weight from 200 pounds down to 190 - some things are pretty straight forward, less weight results in more speed.  This is one of the few sports that I wish I was a heck of a lot smaller, my 6 ft 2 inch frame and 200 pounds is not good for this sport.... oh how I wish I was 5-7 and 145 pounds on  LB2CAT race day!   
The night before Race Day:  I was able get only a little bit of sleep the night before the race.  To be candid, my mind flipped through the many variables that could impact performance on the following morning such as - should I be running that intake grate that Aaron (our mechanic and good friend) and I installed earlier in the week, will it be rough or smooth (man I was hoping it was going to be rough as I had prepped the boat accordingly), is my oil level where it needs to be (the ULTRA is difficult to get the oil level at a level that achieves optimum performance), do I have my level so I can get an accurate oil level reading in the morning, will the block offs that I had just installed impact performance, did I input the correct lat and long into my redundant GPS (I would end up needing that), what position on the line should I position for - far right, yea far right, did I take enough creatine, did I tighten the oil filter tight enough on the oil change I just did, do I have more 10/40 Amsoil, the G-Force boats sounded dramatically different than mine, what had they done to their craft (?) and are they running a grate (?), did I pack by redundant GPS, and the list goes on and on.  Maybe its the Marine Corps thing of being overly focused on every finite detail, who knows. That said, I'm confident many of your minds go through the same rather obsessive checklist the night before.  Note:  I spoke with one racer the morning before the race, he laughed about having no sleep.  Aaa, alas, I'm not alone... 
Race Day:  I picked up my friend Steve at about 5:50 am.  Steve is an accomplished body builder, mountain bike race friend and not to mention an MBA/Lawyer who was assisting in filming the race. The guy loves competition, any competition so he was thrilled to be part of the race.  Aaron Cress was right behind him at 6 am ready to rock and roll in pursuit of keeping my craft tuned in pursuit of a placement.  Aaron's passion for this sport is all encompassing and pervasive.  En route to Long Beach, Steve's competitive nature kicked in and he proceeded to pepper us with questions about how to win, tactics, the readiness of the craft, the training, navigation, what we anticipated in terms of a winner etc.  Regarding the favored winner, I stated that it "all depended on conditions, if it was rough, Kim Bushong will take it" I said.  Kim was spanking all of us on rough days and his ULTRA was about 1.5 mph faster than mine due to a better ride plate, and I assume the 45 pounds less body weight (I weigh more), "or maybe John Belton if its rough" I said.  "Pat Roque, Nick Vanis, Paul Pham, Lee Phan, John Belton, Anick, it all depends on the conditions but if its smooth one of the SeaDoos is going to take it, if its a rough day - the ULTRA will take it" I said.  I had seen Paul Pham's craft in action, fast, very fast and it had Friebe's magic touch.  I had also heard rumor that Nick Vanis' boat was hauling a-- and knew Lee Phan had something going on with his RXT giving him speed but I had no details.  On that note and still driving North on the 405, I turned on the weather forecast on my marine radio, it was stating wind waves were at two feet, "nice" I said, "not completely flat, that gives the ULTRA somewhat of a an advantage" I said.  I started to revaluate the intake Grate....  two foot wind waves are still pretty small.  As we passed over the bridge in Long Beach en route to the launch ramp we all looked left over the Long Beach Harbor with great anticipation for our first look at actual sea state.  "GLASS!!?" Oh Sh--!  I said, we all let out a few explicative's and thought, not our day.  At the risk of sounding negative, Aaron and I quickly realized that the wind had better kick up and produce some waves as the ULTRA in its current rig would not get us to the podium on a flat day - we need rough water and we needed it badly.  We just didn't have the speed to hang with the tweaked out RXT's, no way.  As we put the boat in the water I hoped for five footers outside the break wall.  Then while on the ramp, I heard one of the G-Force ULTRA25O's again and thought "damn, what in the heck do they have in those things."  For those of you that were there, you will recall the sweet F-18 like sound of those craft; Nice, very nice (Hey Michael, care to elaborate? Any feedback is appreciated! ;-]   Michael's ULTRA was one of the few ULTRA's getting to 70 mph on that day)   
The Race:  Where is our helicopter?  Our helo did not show, starting to stress and then off in the distance with literally 40 seconds to spare, they showed up with our camera man hanging out the side.  "Nice" I thought and then the flag was out and away we went.  Sure enough, Glass all the way to Queen's Gate so I tucked and kept it pegged with a line close to the starboard side exit.  Full to the rim of fuel, the craft felt slow.  I recall watching the heavily modified SeaDoos start to pull away already!  Through the break wall and yes! Finally some waves, a little air and I hear the supercharger scream as I get air and the pump came unhooked and then back in and engaged, back and forth as the supercharger made its whipping, screaming sound that all ULTRA owners know so well.  "Waves, nice" I thought, but only for five minutes and then back to glass.  Not good. I need the rough.  I see the helicopter that is tracking the leader start to slowly pull away.  I decided to take it wide right and so does a blue / gray Ultra, who is that?  Is that Belton?  Sure enough there's John about 60 yards away.  John and I stayed together (not by design) the entire race.  We both had ULTRAs, his newer than mine and they were obviously performing at the same level.  Tuck?  Yes, it was so smooth that for the first time in as far back as I can remember that I felt inclined to tuck and become aerodynamic.  As many of you know, you almost always stand to accommodate the pounding of the channels usual sea sate. Conditions that enable you to sit and tuck on a LB2CAT run are highly, highly uncharacteristic.  I look down, 7790 RPM's - nice, good to go I think, "can't this thing go any faster"  I start to revaluate the intake grate........ I literally never lay off the throttle, pegged the entire way.  Turn-boat comes and goes, a few large wakes to negotiate outside of Avalon as I start my way back but nothing serious.  My fuel alarm goes off at about the half way across on the return leg, OK, I have approx. 7.5 gallons left - cool.  After a while at full throttle I see the two small buildings appear on the horizon I have seen so many times while looking for terrain on the horizon, then the Spruce Goose dome way off in the distance.  Then a massive, unexpected wake from the Catalina Cruiser launches me (thank the good man for lifter wedges!).  I feel something hit my shoulder as I go airborne, I let off the throttle and then I get that sensation that so many of you have felt before when you get way too much air, aaiiiirrrboorrneee.... whhheennnn aaammm I goooiiinngg toooo comme back dooowwwn and make cooontact with the waatteeeerrr... ssssssloooowww moooooootion, stomach gets the weird feeling, bow starts to rise a little uncontrollably, aft end drifts, and then finally after what seems like an eternity, SLAM!!!!!! w/the hull coming back in contact with the water with my face and shoulders simultaneously slamming into the handlebars.  Turns out to be my $200.00 GPS hitting me on the shoulder as it came undone and flew off my craft due to the impact of me being hammered by the 8 to 10 foot wake from the Catalina Cruiser.  Yea!!! That's what I'm talking about!!!  Now that's offshore riding!!!  Apparently this was the same set of waves that knocked Lee Phan's rocket RXT out of the lead.  After encountering that same group of wakes, I understand.  The waves produced by the Cat Cruiser were massive and at about 60 mph, resulted in big, rather uncontrollable air.  Back through the gate and across the finish line, I remember thinking "man, that was way too easy" (flat conditions).  Belton is at 58 minutes and I'm at 58.01.   One second so you can imagine how close we stayed together.  "Who won" I yelled over to Steve Friebe - "Nick Vanis" he yelled back.  I made my way over to Belton and gave him a high five, "great race John" I yelled over.  
I was not surprised Nick won.  Nick wrenched an incredibly fast craft for those conditions.  His craft was hitting close to 80 mph, no embellishment there guys, it was truly impressive!  Hats off to Nick Vanis, John Anick and their crew for making it happen.  Trust me when I tell you he was hauling a--.  Nick was due for that win and we're all happy for him - he earned it and the best man won on that day!                     
I say again, ya gotta love this race.  I hope to see you, yea YOU out there racing next year.  You will not be disappointed, it is a great time.  By the way, you have 11 months to train for the next LB2CAT, get moving!  Enjoy and be safe. Mark is the founder and writer for     

My First LB2Cat Race. By Robert Carreon (Amateur Class II National Champion)

After a let down three months before the 2007 Mark Hahn race, I vowed to do the LB2Cat race. It was mid April when I decided for sure that I was going to commit to this race. I knew once I committed, I would need to bust my butt training, and riding.  I started riding weekly with Tom Clark, and Andy Horning. We made a trip to the Island, as well as ripped up and down Long Beach, to Huntington Pier, or Long Beach to Redondo.  When we rode, we all pushed each other, as none of us wanted to be behind the other.  We did this weekly with only missing a few weekends 3 months leading up to the race. 

In addition to riding, I was hitting the gym 3 times a week, just doing cardio (running & Versa Climber), and weight training. I did some general weight training, hitting the different muscle groups.  My focus was on my hand strength, as that’s what tends go get tired while I am riding. Reverse grip curls, and dead lifts then shoulder shrugs helped my grip a lot.  I also wanted to be able to ride for 80 minutes, as that is what my pre-set goal was.  With that in mind, I knew cardio would be very important. I knew if my legs got tired, I can always sit down, but if my arms, and hands got tired, I’d be hosed!  I continued to train, and push my body, while getting in much better shape, physically, and mentally.  I knew mentally I would also need to prepare myself, so I stared to tell myself to stay focused, and when all the big guns disappear in front of me, not to stress out, just to stay focused, and stay on track. 

That brings me to another important aspect of the race, staying on track. I had my GPS guru helping me for a few weeks leading up to the race (Thanks Young). He would give me a lot of tips, and things to practice. I would take his advice, and practice my navigation skills, weather it was around my neighborhood on my mountain bike, or while driving in the car, and of course, when I was on the water.

The race was closing in real fast; I only had about 3 weeks left, when I FINALLY got the opportunity to ride with “The Catalina Crew.”  I had heard of these guys a year ago, but never saw them on the water as I normally ride on Saturdays! I hooked up with Mark, Pat, Johnny, and the rest of the crew.  Super cool guys, they could leave me WAY in the back but allowed me to stay with them. Riding with them pushed me more than I thought and also reminded me of the importance of staying on track when riding; riding fast, but not reckless to endanger myself, or others.  Just trying to stay up with them pushed me to ride harder, and tested my riding skills, and stamina!  I ended up going riding with them one more time, and again, pushed myself during the CHOPPY conditions.  The week leading up to the race, I started to ease back on my training, as I didn’t want to injure myself, but I kept running, and doing the versa climber, and light weight training.  The week of the race, I went thru my list of equipment needed, and picked up anything I didn’t have. I also went over my ski, checked everything, tightened stuff, and made sure everything was in order.

Mentally and physically I felt I was ready.  The day before the race, I set everything out, and in a BIG plastic box so come race day, I could wake up and go.  I changed batteries on the GPS, I double and tripled checked my GPS and I had my brother verify I had the correct Coordinates.

RACE DAY: Knowing it would be a long day, I slept early the day before, and woke up quite early, but I had everything in the truck already, and just needed to grab my Monster, and burrito the wife made me!  We arrived at the launch ramp, where a few fellow So. Cal Watercraft members were there Young, and Pirate33.  They helped tow John Smith, Brittney, and myself out to the starting line. My fellow Club members came through for us. Thanks guys!

So, now, it was race time.  Well, the start was kind of Surreal for me, as I clearly remember everything!  I see the green flag rise, and GUN IT! Yep, the race was on.  I had already laid out my game plan, and what line I had wanted to take.  I hit my line, and kept on it. I looked at my GPS while I was still in the break wall, and noticed it was on the wrong screen! Big no no to say the least.  While riding WOT, I attempted to change the screen, but with gloves, water in my face, and constant bouncing, I realized I wasn’t going to be able to do it until later. Later ended up turning into never! I left the screen as is, and followed the helicopter! I was maybe half way to Catalina, when the chopper started getting smaller, and smaller, and no longer visible.  Now I had two guys within 100 yards of me, so I just continued WOT behind them.  I kept thinking to myself, “man, your in last place”, but I couldn’t go any faster, I was WOT already. I finally saw the race leader on his way back, then another, then another, then a large group. I wondered where the rest of the racers were, then, I see the turn boat. I realized, hey, I wasn’t in last place. I hit the turn boat and started back to LBC.  I then noticed a large group, and one which had a familiar # on the hull, 301. Andy Horning, a fellow racer in my class. He was on my tail! I realized that, and kept on WOT, thinking he could beat me if I got tired. The two guys in front of me kept on as well, and we were moving at a good speed. 3.5 miles from the turn boat, I got an un-easy feeling. I felt as if I was off course. I looked back, and saw #301 south of me, maybe a mile or so. Then I see the white condos over my right shoulder, maybe a half mile south of me. I then knew I was off course! I started to veer back on course, eyeing #301 the entire time. He made up more time on me, as I ventured about 2 miles off course. I then had to rely on my GPS which was on the wrong screen; all I could see is a straight line on the screen, and a small arrow. For now, that had to be good enough, as I kept the arrow as close to the line as possible, at times wondering if I should stop and fix, but realized that it was too close of a race to stop. With about 9 miles from the finish line, my fuel buzzer went off; I ignored it, and didn’t let off the throttle. I had already known from previous rides I could make it there and back without running out of gas, so I kept on WOT. And #301 kept on too, he never faded, I was not able to pull away. I started seeing more boats as I approached LBC, and FINALLY saw the spruce goose dome my good buddy told me to keep an eye out for. Once I saw the dome directly in front of me, the GPS never was looked at again. I approached angels gate and told myself 2 minutes dude, don’t let up! As I approached the finish line, I felt relief, and excitement that I had finished the race.  At that time, I had no clue what place I had finished, I knew quite a bit of people finished in front of me, but unsure if anyone in my class was part of that group. At the award ceremony I then found out that indeed, I was the first guy in my class to cross the line, and my buddy Andy who was on my tail placed second. In all, it was an exciting race, with exceptionally flat conditions.

Confessions Of A Self-Proclaimed Jet-Ski "Geek"by Kim Bushong


I’m not a Geek; at least I used to not be a Geek.  Hey, up until about 1997 I used to even be kind of cool.  In 1997 I bought my first Jet Ski, a new 1996 Tigershark three-seater.  I know what you’re thinking, this guy calls a runabout a Jet Ski and he bought a Tigershark, he is a Geek!  Oh but do not judge yet, I have much more incriminating evidence.    

I rode the snot out of that willfully disobedient beast, that flat bottomed piece of work beat the heck out of me and itself.  While skipping sideways across wave-tops in the open ocean, I used to marvel at the abilities of other riders to master the waves.  Years later, I found out those same riders wondered how that geek on the Tigershark could even stay on that thing while skipping sideways across the swells. 

 My next Ski (get used to it, that’s what I call them) was a 1997 Sea Doo SPX, one of the greatest hulls ever.  That Ski started my downhill slide to Geek-dom.  I went from liking the sport, to being in love with the sport, from there, I became obsessed. 

I’ve tried to explain to my wife that men are pre-disposed to taking a hobby to excess such as Golf, or watching football, or drinking beer.  I tried to reason with my Jet-ski widow that I don’t smoke, drink, do drugs, watch football to excess or even golf.  But the fact is I am an addict.  I’m addicted to the beauty and serenity of the open ocean, the endless horizon, the Southern California coastline, the sheer freedom.  You can’t beat a crystal clear, eighty degree New Year’s Day.  I also find that riding hard at full throttle, unencumbered by traffic, red lights, or any of the fifteen million people that live and work within ten miles of my spot on the ocean is stress relieving.  The faster I go, the harder and more violent I bounce, the more sore I get, the more satisfaction I feel.  If walking up the dock after a hard ride does not cause my legs to crumble from under me then I’ve not had a good ride.  I tend to go through Jet Skis like a pair of my running shoes.  I’m on my fifth and sixth in as many years. This brings us to why I’m a Geek.  

Meet me and you might think that I’m a normal person.  Get to know me you’ll think “GEEK”.  Nobody knows this better than those in the watercraft industry.  I pity the service manager who has in his custody one of my machines.  The first week that my Ski is in the shop I’m almost a normal customer, I might call a time or two. 

Week two: I’m calling offering theories on what is the matter with my boat. 

Week two and a half: After hours of phone calls and research I’m sure what’s wrong and I call again and again. 

Week three: Begging 

Week four: Pleading 

Week five: Crying. Yes, I’m a sissy Geek. 

Week six: begging, pleading, and crying. 

A grown man reduced to a needy quivering mass over his lost toy…GEEK…or am I? 

A service manager once insulted me tremendously by comparing me with the infamous Marque De Sade.  But knowing the story of the Marque, I realized that this service manager got it, he understood me, and this was actually a great compliment. The Marque De Sade lived in France several hundred years ago.  He wrote about and practiced all types of sick twisted sexual escapades.  Thrown in prison, forbidden to write, he was denied a quill and paper.  This man was so passionate about writing that he wrote over every square inch of his cell in his own blood.  This service manager got how important this sport is, like the air I breathe, to me.  He still didn’t  repair my Ski any faster, but he was a little slower to cuss me out.  

In the past I’ve fallen hard for various sports and hobbies.  I’m a former world police and fire games triathlon champion as well as Ironman triathlon top ten finisher.  I’ve mountain and road bike raced, swam competitively and competed in running races.  I’ve burned out on every one of these, some more rapidly then others but all within a few years….except Jet Skiing, I can’t get enough.  What is it about this sport that makes me more passionate than the other sports that I did so well in? 

I’ve thought hard about this and need to articulate it, not only to myself but to my family and friends and everyone else who thinks I’m completely insane.  I love Jet skiing for the beauty and escape it provides, which I previously mentioned, but there’s more to it.  This sport for me is like a woman playing hard to get.  I get a taste, then it’s snatched away, increasing my desire to ride.  I never get enough, between breakdowns, my wife and one year old daughter, (who rides but flops around a lot) family obligations, work, or just having no one to ride with.  I ride alone a lot, if I told those stories you would think I’m stupid as well as an insane geek.  Anyway I’m just coming off one of those dark times in my life. No, I’m not talking about divorce, death or even illness, I’m talking about my personal dark time.  You know, one ski is in the shop, for the fourth time for pretty much the same thing, and they are keeping it extra long, just to kill me while my other ski sits on the trailer useless because the bottom fell off of it. During this long six week period right in the middle of summer I have to think, dream and fantasize about my lost love.  Finally, on the verge of insanity, we’re finally reunited, I think I made the whole shop staff ill, but who cares, it was our special time.  My love for this sport grew ever stronger, they say absence makes the heart grow fonder. That particular shop staff did not get it, they just thought “Why’s that Geek hugging and kissing his Jet Ski?” 

I thought to myself, how can I shed this crushing burden, when in public people are beginning to notice, and they’re not even Jet Skiers.  Is there some aura or neon light shining over my head broadcasting, “here is a no life, one dimensional, selfish, Jet Ski loving Geek.”  I decided I needed an image makeover, who are the coolest dudes in the whole sport?  Racers,  yeah that’s right, I’ll try to race.  So thinking swiftly, I entered the first motorized sporting event of my life.  Staying true to the super intelligent decision making process that has brought me so far in this sport, I entered the Long Beach to Catalina and back grand prix.  Great beginner race, the parking lot was intimidating enough filled with boats that looked like they could suck me down a carb and spit me out the pipe without a knock.  Not being a large man, I stayed well clear of those boats as I made my way over to the pre-race riders meeting.  Trying to put on a brave face, I stood  tall and listened to the instructions.  Damn, my eyes wondered and I saw three time defending champion Billy Womack.  Crap, what was that they just said about the turnaround?  Motzouris, what is he doing here?  What? What about a series of buoys before the finish?  Macclugage?  That can’t be him, but it looks like that guy in the magazine, Uh oh, I guess I don’t need that trip to the bathroom anymore.  Wetting myself I can live with, the laughing and pointing by my fellow competitors, with the exception of the focused three I just mentioned, I can live with.  Taking a golden opportunity and squandering it is a tough pill to swallow.  All kidding aside, I really had no pressure on me, I rode a stock Kawasaki STX DI and did not have to worry about anyone except for the first two seconds it took for the back of their Skis to disappear into the distance.  I had hoped for rough conditions so that my power disadvantage would be minimized and rough they were.  What I had not planned on was the quality of the field.  It did not really matter what I was riding, or from what planet it came from, I was going to get my butt seriously kicked.  One advantage I did have was not having to fuel, though some fueled pretty fast with their high tech, nuclear powered fueling system, or what ever high tech name they call it.  To my shock I crossed the finish in fourth overall.  Notice I said I crossed the line and not finished in fourth. Yes, Geek boy did it again, thirty miles of open ocean each way with just a turn around boat, and I managed to hit that boat earning a three minute penalty and dropping me to seventh overall.  In my over-enthusiastic zeal at the turn around one guy pointed left, one pointed right, I took the middle, BOOM - GEEK.  IJSBA stock class off-shore national champion, Geek… 

On one of my first rides ever I was on the launch ramp, massively pumped and excited about my impending ride.  My wife noticing my rather extreme state of arousal said loudly,  “calm down you’re shaking!”  Every person on that launch ramp heard and knew I was a Geek.  The launch ramp, where people make fools of themselves all day, I felt like the biggest fool of them all.  

Now days on the launch ramp I still shake, and if that’s being a Geek, I don’t want to ever change!  Kim Bushong is a six time National Chamption, and one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet (Picture of Kim below)

Safety when Loading and Unloading PWC, By John Belton 7/27/2007
Contrary to popular belief good seamanship does not begin once you are out on the water riding your pwc. Actually, it begins on the loading ramp the moment your craft touches the water. We have all seen articles how to properly load and unload pwc, but I haven't seen many (or any) articles on what to watch for once your pwc is in the water and you are standing right next to it or sitting on it. This article attempts to address these points. . . There are some old sayings on the sea that also apply to pwc; "if you think it is time to do something, it already was" and "always keep on eye on where the weather and waves are coming from". When you are on the loading ramp, it is important to notice other pwc around you and what kind of wakes and waves are headed your way. Are other pwc around you secure? Are other pwc approaching the ramp at an unsafe speed? Are you standing between two pwc's while waiting at the ramp? When wakes and waves come across pwc that are not securely held or idly floating at the ramp, they become movable objects that can injure people. Some of the pwc today are approaching 1,000 lbs . . . some have exceeded that number already. You don't want to have one of these crafts bump into; it can hurt. And as for the owners of pwc, it is your responsibility to make sure your craft is secure and not a floating hazard in the general ramp area. If you are holding a pwc at the ramp, or two of them, or even three, your ability to get out of the way of danger is compromised by the fact that you are holding pwc's (you are probably waiting for the trailer to take them out of the water or the trailer has just put them in and you are waiting for the other skippers). Always keep an eye on approaching waves and wakes that can cause pwc's to abruptly move into you. Think of the surfers in the ocean; what are they watching? what are they looking for? If you answered "the waves" that is correct! In closing, it is a good idea not to hang around the loading ramp area any longer than you have to.


This website is informational only. This site is intended for the review by adults only.  No representation is made or warranty given as to its content. User assumes all risk of use., its owners and its suppliers assume no responsibility for any loss or delay resulting from such use. Warning - although PWC riding is great fun, riding personal watercraft (PWC) in the ocean is not for the beginner and is for adults only.  Offshore PWC riding can be extremely dangerous resulting in serious injury or death.  The information on this site is for adults and strictly the opinion of the writers on this site.  We are only PWC enthusiasts - please do your own research and make your own judgments regarding what products you purchase and how & where you ride your watercraft (PWC).  We are not certified mechanics nor are we certified mariners or certified maritime navigators.  Do not take anything you read on this site as guidance from a "professional."  By reading this site, you agree to take whatever information or input you receive on this site at your own risk.  If you are inexperienced or a beginner we recommend against riding in the open ocean.  We encourage you to take a boating safety course and consult with the Coast Guard regarding PWC, boating, rider safety and maritime navigation before you consider riding PWC offshore, in the ocean.  For more boating safety information, go to the Coast Guard's website at  or call the US Coast Guard at (310) 732-2042 for more information.  Have fun and be safe and never ride in the ocean unless you know what you are doing.