Endurance Racing & Pit Crew

PWC OFFSHORE & ENDURANCE RACING AND PIT CREW PROCEDURES  
Disclaimer:  Any kind of racing AND Involvement in Pit Crews can and has resulted in serious injury and / or death.  No equipment can insure you remain safe.  Be a Pit Crew member at your risk. Race at your own risk.  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. PWCOffshore.com, 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 safety expert, 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 http://www.uscg.mil/  or call the US Coast Guard at  (310) 732-2042  (310) 732-2042 for more information.  Have fun and be safe and never ride in the ocean unless you know what you are doing.     

The intent of this page is to focus on specific endurance racing related issues and items.  Although most of the other pages on this site can be applied to racing, this page focuses exclusively on race related items.  These are Tips from a Team that has been ding this race for a decade   

You will find the following on this page (make sure to scroll and see all of the pictures for tips):

1.  Offshore PWC Racing defined
2   Pictures of the Long Beach to Catalina and back race course (approximate) 
3.  Pit Crew Process For Endurace Races on Lakes (Such as the Mark Hahn 300 Mile Endurance Race) 
4.  Pit Crew Process For Ocean Races Such as The LB2CAT and Back Race  
5.  Training for PWC Endurance Racing
6.  Suggestions for Safety Gear for Racers

PWC (Watercraft) Offshore Racing & Riding Defined:

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. The offshore racer must be able to 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 (minimum of 35 miles) and straight lines that involves some navigation skill.

Currently there are three true offshore PWC race in the United States every year, the Long Beach to Catalina PWC Offshore National Championship Race, the Dana Point to Avalon Offshore Sprint and the Dana Point to Oceanside and Back Offshore Race.  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!


Our perspective on PWC Endurance Racing Pit Crew Processes and Practices For Endurance Races on Lakes like The Mark Hahn 300 Mile Race in Lake Havasu, Az USA   

 THE THREE "B's" MUST BE RIGHT FOR SUCCESS IN OFFSHORE & ENDURANCE RACING: BODY, BRAIN, BOAT

Video of the PWCOFFSHORE.COM Racing Pit Crew in action CLICK HERE

A successful race can't be achieved without an effective pit plan and teamwork in the pits.  Effective pitting will result in more laps and a better race time.  It could mean the difference between a win or a loss.  There are many different methods of pitting and processes that will enable effective pitting, please consider the following information as a general guideline.  Also note that this Pit Procedure is focused on endurance races on lakes such as the Mark Hahn Memorial 300 Mile Race.  As always, PWCOFFSHORE.com wants YOUR feedback regarding lessons learned and ways we can improve pit process and share best practices.  Your input and feedback is appreciated.  


Pit Crew Team:
1.  Ensure the Pit Team is informed regarding roles and task organized prior to the race.  
2.  Most PWC endurance races allow for multiple Pit Crew members  
3.  Suggest each team member wears an identical shirt, this helps the team look and feel like a team and enables the Crew Chief to better observe where his/her crew is at all times in the Pits.  Consider NOMEX materials for fuelers.   
4.  Do multiple dry runs well in advance of the race.  Identify processes that can change and cuts seconds.  There is only one way to accomplish this - practice.  
"YES, YOU CAN......."

PWC Fuel:
1.  Understand the fuel consumption of your craft prior to race day.  How many gallons of fuel are you burning per hour at full throttle?  Can you do four laps or five or even six?  Don't wing it on race day.  How many hours is the race?  Do the math and ensure you have adequate quantities of fuel.   
2.  Plan accordingly, bring sufficient fuel and always have an extra ten gallons of fuel - go above and beyond what you think you'll need & consume.
3.  By fuel bulk or bring your own?  Most pre-purchase their fuel from one of the race fuel providers.  It is more convenient but usually a little more expensive.  Note that you will still need your own quick fill gas cans, the pre-purchased fuel usually comes in large 50 gallon drums and is delivered directly to the pits by the race fuel provider. 
4.  Should you choose not to pre-purchase fuel, purchase all of your fuel the day before the race and show up a little early to the Hot Pits to drop off your fuel.  Note that 5 gallon fuel containers can be purchased at Wal-Mart for 8.00 each.  They are not pretty but they work to act as fuel repositories only (not direct fueling on the craft).  Use the 5 or 11 gallon container to refuel the quick-fill fuel cans.  Mark your 5 gallon cans with something that distinguishes your cans from others.   

Race fuels:
Torco
F and L Fuel

Quick-fill Fuel Jugs (make sure your race class allows for dry break quick filling systems):
Hunsaker
Quick-fill Systems / IMS  

(If you don't go with a full quick fill system, ensure you cut off the top of the jug and place the appropriate plumbing on the top of the jug to accommodate the appropriate speed of fuel flow).   Do not spill fuel

"IT'S ALL ABOUT ME" ATTITUDES ARE NOT WELCOME IN OFFSHORE PWC RACING, NO DRAMA....

Roles and Task Organization of Pit Crew:

Pit Crew Chief
1.  The Crew Chief is ultimately responsible for his/her craft and is the person in charge of the Pit.
2.  Other pit team members should follow the direction of the Crew Chief.  
3.  Ensures he/she has a game-plan and all team members are informed regarding the pit plan prior to the start of the race.   Practice prior to the race. 
4.  Primary fuel person must be strong.  Most quick fill fuel systems with 10 to 11 gallons in the fuel container are heavy - it will take two people to transport the fuel to the craft   
5.  Ensures all pit gear is in good order and accessible.  Test it weeks before the race and replace what looks like it could break.
6.  Ensure fueling area is clear of rocks, walk the area you intend to use as a fueling area and ensure rocks are removed.  Designate the best fueling area.   
7.  Designate a location and trailer outside of the hot pits for you to wrench on your craft should that need present itself.  Reminder that most hot pits do not allow wrenching in the pits, they are for fueling only.   Have your tools staged accordingly outside of the pit area.
8.  If out of the water fueling is required (required in the United States), place an orange cone 20 feet from water line so you know where to stop -  align the cone with the aft end of the craft at 20 feet. Aft end of the craft should be at the 20 foot mark.  
9.  Remember, if you are the Crew Chief, you are in control and you must lead.  Train your people prior to the race and take control.  Take charge and be a leader.  Focus on safety.  You are accountable for effective pitting. 

Quad Driver
1.  Responsible for getting craft in and out of water, safely.
2.  The driver should practice backing up with the craft on the trailer.  This can get tricky in the sand - practice.
3.  Most US races mandate that the aft end of the craft is 20 feet from the water when fueling.    
4.  Pay attention, be careful not to hit anyone in the hectic Pits.
 
"LEAD, FOLLOW, OR GET OUT OF THE WAY" 

Pit Crew Member Two
1.  Primary fueler and assist in transporting fuel to craft
2.  Carry Zuck up bibs to the craft (Zuck up bibs are cloth that absorb spilled fuel).  
3.  Rider should remove and replaces gas cap back on craft after fueling and close hood (if necessary)
4.  Between pits, refuels quick fill fuel system or fuel jugs

"NO DRAMA" IN OFFSHORE RACING PLEASE, TALK IS CHEAP, WIN AND LOSE WITH CLASS AND DIGNITY. 

Pit Crew Member Three
1.  If using a quick fill system - he or she is the vent person.  
2.  Brings water stand to the water as the rider pits and places in the water at the appropriate depth (Should be done quickly). 


Pit Crew Member Four
1.  "Hooker" Hook the craft and assist in guiding the craft up onto the water-stand / trailer and assists in redeploying the craft.
2.  Brings fuel and water to the rider / could be second fueler if a second jug of fuel is required.  
3.  Assist in steadying the craft during fueling.
4.  Have extra set of goggles ready for rider (ask if he/she needs them)
5.  When fueling is complete, push craft to deeper water if shallow fueling area (to ensure no rocks are sucked into craft).  
6.  Records rider's lap-time and communicates average lap-times to the rider during Pit stops   
7.  Between pits, Assist in refueling quick fill system.
8.  Hold or be in close proximity to the fire extinguisher while the team is refueling
  

9.  All Pit Crew members should wear eye protection to protect against fuel splashes that could get in their eyes and result in potentially serious injury.  
Pitting Gear and Supplies:
1.  If out of water fueling is required, a four wheel drive ATV or Rhino is required.
2.  Should you bring an ATV, ensure it is a four wheel drive ATV (With differential lock / preferred).
3.  If out of the water fueling is required, consider a beach trailer (Attached to ATV or Rhino - see below for ATV - the Mark Hahn race mandates that the aft end of the craft is 20 feet from the shore line).  
a.  Aquacarts  b.  Atlanticjetsports c. Big-Foot
4. Many of the beach carts float - consider finding a way to weigh them down.  Many crews put water in the tires.  If you have a small, regular single trailer, you can use that trailer also.  Make sure it is not too tall for the fuelers.  
5.  Zuck up bibs for wiping up fuel spills - DON'T SPILL FUEL 
6.  Have an extra set of goggles with lenses treated with Rainx or ZWAX    
7.  Clipboard to record lap-times
8.  A timepiece with stop watch function to track lap times and Pit times 
9.  Aluminum PWC stand for refueling in the water (if in water fueling is authorized / does not happen in US).  Riva's Option
10. Extra oil (ensure it matches the oil and weight currently in the PWC).
11. Cold weather gear for the rider prepared in case the weather turns - focus on keeping his/her hands head and feet warm.
12.  All of the appropriate tools for hasty repairs of the craft. (most hot pits do not allow wrenching in the hot pit so be prepared to displace the craft and tools to a location outside of the hot pits) 
13.  Extra set of spark plugs     
14.  Extra Pump and Prop if you have it 
15.  Extra sponsons, ride plate and intake grate f you have it

16.  Water pack for the rider (like mountain bikers wear, should the weather get warm, you may need this).
17.  Access to an extra PWC available to tow your craft should your race craft have a mechanical or run out of fuel on the craft.  This tow craft must be docked or stowed somewhere outside the hot-pits (remember to have a tow line in the craft and a fresh battery). 
18.  Cell phone in the race craft and a cell phone on the crew chief.  This enables the rider to communicate with the crew chief should he/she have a mechanical on the course.   
19.  Ensure you have adequate food and water in the pits for the pit crew.    
20.  Extra Z-wax, Rain-X spray for your goggles (Z-wax preferred)
21.  Large funnel for refueling quick-fill cans
22.  **If you are pitting in loose sand with an ATV and the race requires the craft to be fueled out of the water, we highly recommen purchasing 7ft x 50ft of chain link fence (80.00).  The fence will provide a stable surface to pull your craft in and out of the water & your quad is significantly less likely to get stuck .  Stales and rebar can be used to tack it down (bring tie-ties also)
23.  Spare goggles for the riders.  Consider recycling clean Rainxed goggles to the rider during each pit.

24.  Consider DEWALT protective goggles for the Pit Crew (pictured above) 
25.  Shovel to move sand on to your fence 
26.  Buckets to move the sand on your fence 
27.  Stakes to hold your fence in the sand 
28.  A mouthpiece for the racer (has saved us a few times)  
29.  Eye rinse 
30.  Fire and first aid blanket
31.  Fire extinguishers 
32.  For the Mark Hahn race, Pit crew and racers should come prepared for it to be 90 degrees or 40 degrees and windy.  Arizona is unpredictable in February

"NO GUTS, NO GLORY" PUSH THE ENVELOPE 

PWC Parts Available In The Pit:
(Remember, no wrenching in the pits so be prepared to displace to a predesignated location outside of the hot-pits). 
1.  Consider an extra impeller, intake grate, pump, ride plate, sponsons                                                                            
2.  Extra Spark Plugs
3.  Extra oil
4.  Rags
5.  If you think it might go bad during the race, bring another one......
6.  Hose clamps, every size

Safety In The Pits:
1.  Pits are dangerous
2.  Situational awareness at all times!!!  Watch your back. 
3.  Watch your back for moving ATVs and Rhinos 
4.  Note that most ATV's and trucks pulling their craft out of the water are focused backward! Ensure you stay out of their way. 
5.  No smoking
6.  Have a fire extinguisher at the ready during the refueling process 
7.  Have a fire blanket (see below) 
8.  Have eye rinse (see below) 
9.  Consider NOMEX materials for fuelers & Pit Crew - ALWAYS WEAR EYE PROTECTION WHEN HANDLING FUEL
10.  If you are the quad driver, be extremely careful, especially during the first two hours of the race when most craft are still running and the Pits are full with incoming and outgoing race craft.   
 
Food For The Rider
1.  Bananas
2.  Gatorade / water / make sure he / she is hydrating properly 
3.  Consider having a pain reliever available such as Tylenol or whatever your Doctor recommends (do not take any supplement or pain reliever such as Tylenol without consulting with your doctor first) 
4.  Special attention should be give to Iron-man riders, they must stay hydrated
5.  Consider a water pack for Iron-man riders 
6.  Note that Iron Man riders should wear a water pack (like mountain bikers wear).  They will need the fluid. 
7.  Not food, but reminder - a mouthpiece has saved us a few times, consider one 

"EVERY SECOND COUNTS" 

Practice Pit Procedures Prior To The Race:
 
1.  "Poor prior practice results in piss-poor performance"
2.  Don't wing it on race day
3.  Ensure every Pit Team member understands the craft, where the gas cap is and how to access it, where the various latches are etc.  PRACTICE! Train the crew!
4.  Go through a dry run with the craft out of the water
5.  If there is a new team member, ensure the pit team member is informed regarding what is expected of him/her via email or phone call prior to the race - this is if you can't practice (you really mist practice) 
6.  We suggest you practice pitting procedures at least one week before the race.   Professional Teams will practice multiple times before the race. 

"YOU ARE ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR LAST RACE"

ATV/Tow Vehicle
1.  You will need an ATV or a Rhino to pull your craft out of the water to fuel out of the water (10 feet from the water line).
2.  The quad should be a 4x4 quad, a large Utility quad is recommended (sport ATVs do not work). 
3.  Consider upgrading your tires to a mud tire such as Mudlites.
4.  Ensure you have 50 feet of fence as a ride strip for your quad.  

PWCOFFSHORE Racing Pit Crew Practice Agenda / Objective:  In and out of the Pits in one minute or less safely

"THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH BUTTERFLYS, AS LONG AS YOU CAN GET THEM TO FLY IN FORMATION"  

Agenda for kicking off your first Pit Crew meeting - SAFETY IS PARAMOUNT AND OUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY

1.       What did we do well last year?

2.       What can we do better this year?

3.       Individual task review (analysis of what can be done better per individual Pit Crew role)

4.       What safety items can be improved upon?

5.       Eye protection review

6.       How can we improve overall?

7.       Define current roles, task organize by individual

8.       Gear review

9.       What additional gear does the crew need?

10.   Gear transportation review / accountabilities (trailer, craft, ATV, 50 gallon fuel containers, fuel pump, fence)

11.   ATV plan

12.   Fence plan  

13.   Uniform review (in Pits and at the Awards Ceremony)

14.   Code of conduct while wearing PWCOFFSHORE Jersey

15.   Gear inspection

16.   Fuel venting review  

17.  Communications plan / radios

18.  Who is staying where and when is everyone arriving?  

19.   Craft review (rough / flat water)

20.  Fuel consumption review based on targeted craft we will run - how much fuel do we need?

21.   Release of liability review

22.   Dry runs (multiple) / Practice

23.   Determine date of next practice

Mark Hahn 300 Race Checklist (Read above first)
  1. Purchased your fence at your home state and bring with you to Havasu (Highly recommend purchasing in your home state and transporting out to the race - Havasu will be sold out / don't wait until the last minute).
  2. Reminder, craft have to be 20 feet out of the water for refueling.
  3. Have enough fuel cans based on your craft's fuel consumption?  Bring an extra 10 gallons above and beyond what you think you need.  (Stock Kawi ULTRA will require 120 Gallons)
  4. Are your fuel cans clean and have you inspected them for water in them i.e. completely clean?
  5. Have all of your fuel cans been inspected for cracks?
  6. Pit Crew identified?
  7. Is your Pit Crew Trained?  Are they efficient? Have you practiced?  Wing it on race day and you will lose valuable time. 
  8. Is the small metal line connecting the fuel cap removed to avoid inhibiting the male end of the fuel job from going into the tank?  
  9. Got zuck up bibs for avoiding fuel spills? 
  10. Got extra plugs to bring with you?  
  11. New oil and oil filter installed in your craft for the race?
  12. Has your designated race mechanic inspected your craft with enough advance notice to take corrective action if he/she identifies an issue?
  13. All your hose clamps tight?  (Do not over tighten!)
  14. If you have a new craft, is your seat good to go i.e. do you need hydro turf seat covers?.
  15. Do you have your HYDRO-TURF Lifter Wedges installed?
  16. Have your ATV and trailer plan in place? 
  17. Is the battery charged on the ATV?
  18. Have you inspected the ATV and trailer?  ATV need oil or an oil change?  Tires in good shape / no air leaks?  
  19. Have the correct size tow ball on the ATV to match the trailer?  Have you inspected to ensure that the towing height of the ATV is correct?
  20. What's your food and drink plan for the race?  The racer is going to need energy. 
  21. Have a hydro pack for water while riding and a few bananas on shore?   
  22. Z-Wax on your goggles? 
  23. Have all of your gear staged and ready to go? 
  24. If its cold, do you have gear ready and staged for cold weather?  Emphasis placed on hands, feet and head. 
  25. If its hot, do you have a wetsuit ready for hot weather? 
  26. Have you inspected all of your gear to ensure its serviceable and ready to roll?  
  27. Have a pair of the tight under armor underwear to wear under your wetsuit?  
  28. Eye rinse
  29. Fire and First Aid Blanket (scroll down for picture)  
"Last minute planning and corrective action usually results in substandard performance" 
"Piss poor planning results in piss poor performance"  

We highly encourage you to buy a new pair of dive like gloves prior to the Mark Hahn Race - 3 to 3.2 mil.  We purchase ours at Sport Chalet for approximately 30.00.  The Hahn 300 mile race is in February and can produce cold water and therefore cold hands.  Keep your hands and head warm:
   

"NEVER ATTEMPT TO PREDICT THE WEATHER FOR RACE DAY, BE PREPARED FOR ROUGH AND FLAT WATER" 

If you drop a bolt in the engine compartment, this mirror is invaluable

Keep scrolling down for pictures of the Mark Hahn Race Pit Crew Gear and process!

2.  Pit Procedures For The Long Beach To Catalina and Back Race

The good news here is that there is very little need for a pit crew for the Long Beach to Catalina and back race.  There is no refueling so the only assistance the racer may need is being towed to the start line to preserve fuel and trailer support i.e. helping get the craft into and out of the water.   Technically, unlike the Mark Hahn race where you must have and need a pit crew, you can get by without a pit crew for the LB2CAT race.  

"PAIN IS WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY, WILL POWER" 

Burping Your Craft's Fuel Tank:  You will need a completely full gas tank for the LB2CAT Race.  If you're not familiar with the concept of "burping" your PWC's gas tank to ensure you utilize as much of the gas tank as possible, here it is:         

1.  Back your truck onto the launch ramp so that your craft is at an angle with the bow of the craft in the up position on the trailer.
2.  Remove your craft's gas cap and add fuel to the rim (don't spill).
3.  Gently move the craft back and forth with your hand by gently sharing the craft from left to right.
4.  Add fuel again, and go through the shaking process again.  You will notice that you are removing air and allowing for more surface area for the fuel.  
5.  Continue this process until you can no longer add fuel (don't spill).

"IF YOU TRAIN LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, YOU WILL BE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE"

3.  Navigation:

1.  Make sure your lat and longs are accurate!
2.  Many use two GPS systems per craft (recommended) - if your GPS is on "Route" function snd you don't reach your destination exactly or the turn boat has moved or drifted, the route function doesn't register that you "arrived" and continues to point at the primary (first) lat and long.  If you have two GPS systems, you don't have to worry about this, especially for the LB2CAT race as you have only two destinations - they are the turn boat and the finish line. 
3. If you are racing a longer course like the Hahn, it is recommended that you input the two turns that are the longest and most critical for navigational accuracy.   You do not want to stop at a destination to input a new GPS destination during a race, you lose too much time.    

4.  There are multiple ways of mounting your GPS.  The picture below is the $5.00 method using a sponge and duct tape.
5.  The logic behind the sponge is to use it as a shock absorber from the pounding that your craft will take when the seas are up. 
6.  Allow the duct tape to dry in the sun for 24 hours for best performance.

 
Pic below: Top mounted GPS - note that the positioning of the GPS forward enables the standing rider to effectively stand and also see GPS without compromising riding position when looking down at the GPS    

Double (Two) mounted GPS:

(Below) Picture of the Lobster GPS Mount:


"NO SURRENDER" NEVER.........

4.  Training (Consult with your doctor prior to starting any training regime, we are not doctors nor do we have any training in nutrition consult with a nutritionist prior to taking any Supplements or changing your diet):

1.  The primary areas of your body you need to train are your legs, glutes, lower back,, lats, forearms and hands.  Sounds like your entire body, the priority is your legs, lats and hands.
2.  Buy a mountain bike and hit the trails, go long and hard.  Work up to at least fifty miles prior to a race.  What is climbing on a mountain bike?  Click here for a video
3.  Hit the gym and work hard, minimum four days a week.  
4.  Legs:  Squats, extensions, deep knee bends, cav extensions and multipe good old deep knee bends, yes deep knee bends - they work.  Go all the way down, and all the way up.  Hold the position at 90 degrees after 100. Hang from a pullup bar as long as you can, it will assist with your grip.
5.  Lats:  Pull downs, bent over rows, pull ups.  HANG from the pull-up bar for as long as you can as a final burn.
7.  Hydrate!  Drink water! This is critical.  Drink plenty of water and consider wearing a waterpack when your're riding or training.   
8.  Nutrition:  What we do - if you smoke, quit.  If you drink alcohol heavy, quit.  If you drink in moderation, don't drink for 48 hours prior to the endurance race.  If you eat fast food, quit.  Consider lean meats, lots of fruit and vegetables, complex carbs such as brown rice.  Use common sense.  Consult with a nutritionist and have them address your diet and possible supplements prior to making any changes to your diet.
9.  Supplements one of our racer takes (We are not nutritionists, consult with your doctor prior to taking any supplements):  Creatine, Protein Powder with Glutamine, MultiVitamin, B-Vitamins, Alpha Leupaic Acid (Anti-oxidant). Glucosamine with Chondroitin and MSM for the joints and Omega 3 Fatty Acids.   
10.  CLICK HERE for nutrition information for endurance athletes.


Training for your throttle finger and hands/forearms: Below is a picture of a hand strengthening device that you can purchase at most Sportsmart Stores:  



Picture below is of the hand and finger strengthening device - a great buy

Below is another type of hand strengthening device that also works more aggressively on your forearms:

"Cut and Turns"
Safety - Always ensure you check your shoulder and the proximity of other racers prior to making a turn described here / do this at your own risk.  When the ocean is flat and the ability for you to get a good day of training in the ocean is in question due to the smooth conditions, we have been engaging in “cut and turns.”  Cut and turns are when the rider has his backside up off of his / her seat and your legs at a 90 degree angle (racer’s body position), check the shoulder that you are about to turn into for other craft or objects, then lean into the turn and take a turn to that direction then check your other shoulder and take another turn to the opposite direction while at throttle.  Do this multiple times back and forth. The G’s you pull while doing this maneuver will give you a workout, especially your legs.  Slowly work up the throttle as your skills improve and use your judgment regarding what speed you take when you take these turns.  ALWAYS CHECK YOUR SHOULDER AND LOOK FOR OTHER CRAFT OR OBJECTS PRIOR TO MAKING A TURN - SAFETY FIRST.        

Pit Procedures for the LB2CAT:
  1. The good news here is that there is very little need for a pit crew for the Long Beach to Catalina and back race. 
  2. There is no refueling so the only assistance the racer may need is being towed to the start line to preserve fuel and trailer support i.e. helping get the craft into and out of the water.  
  3. Technically, unlike the Mark Hahn race where you must have and need a pit crew, you can get by without a pit crew for the LB2CAT race.   
  4. You will need a completely full gas tank for the LB2CAT Race.  If you're not familiar with the concept of "burping" your PWC's gas tank to ensure you utilize as much of the gas tank as possible, here it is:        
  5.  Back your truck onto the launch ramp so that your craft is at an angle with the bow of the craft in the up position on the trailer.
  6. Remove your craft's gas cap and add fuel to the rim (don't spill).
  7. Gently move the craft back and forth with your hand by gently sharing the craft from left to right.
    Add fuel again, and go through the shaking process again. 
  8. You will notice that you are removing air and allowing for more surface area for the fuel.  5.  Continue this process until you can no longer add fuel (don't spill).
  9. Make sure your lat and longs are accurate!
  10. Many use two GPS systems per craft (recommended) - if your GPS is on "Route" function and you don't reach your destination exactly or the turn boat has moved/drifted, the route function doesn't register that you "arrived" and continues to point at the lat and long. 
  11. If you have two GPS systems, you don't have to worry about this, especially for the LB2CAT race as you have only two destinations - they are the turn boat and the finish line. 
  12. If you are racing a longer course like the Hahn, it is recommended that you input the two turns that are the longest and most critical for navigational accuracy.   You do not want to stop at a destination to input a new GPS destination during a race, you lose too much time.    
  13. There are multiple ways of mounting your GPS. 
  14. The $5.00 method using a sponge and duct tape.
  15. The logic behind the sponge is to use it as a shock absorber from the pounding that your craft will take when the seas are up.  
  16. Allow the duct tape to dry in the sun for 24 hours for best performance.     

Safety Gear for Racers
1.  In addition to the safety equipment listed on the other pages on this site, I am using the following  neck collar,
click here for the SPARCO version 
Disclaimer:  To date I have used this and a few other less aggressive products, I have not tried ALL products and am testing a number of them, I am fairly tall, this Sparco brand is the one I am currently riding with for offshore, in the rough, my boat is specifically set up for my race or offshore practice program, yours may be entirely different - do your own research and make your own decision. Neck braces are not guaranteed to prevent injury.  Helmets are not guaranteed to prevent injury.   

2.  Do not go cheap on your helmet, buy a quality helmet

3.  Purchase High Quality Gloves
4.  Purchase riding boots that offer ankle stability like OTB Boots


Disclaimer:  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. PWCOffshore.com, 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 safety expert, 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 http://www.uscg.mil/  or call the US Coast Guard at  (310) 732-2042  (310) 732-2042 for more information.  Have fun and be safe and never ride in the ocean unless you know what you are doing.      

 THE THREE "B's" BODY BRAIN BOAT MUST BE RIGHT TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS

Above, Redhead quick fill
Above, every bit of safety gear in he Pits can help...

Pit Gear


Do what you can to protect your fuelers in the Pits (no gear can offer complete protection...)

















Above PWCOFFSHORE.com Racing's 2010 setup for flat water at the Mark Hahn 300 Mile Race








 














Mark Hahn Race Logistics:
Pictured below, prior to going quickfill Redhead 

Quick Fill Containers:

2012 Mark Hahn Race Start:

1000's of Pictures from many years of racing the Mark Hahn 300 Mile race, click HERE