The Lebanon Water Festival hosted the International Jet Ski Race on Saturday, August 30th at Hayali Bay. The race was scheduled for earlier this month, but had to be postponed due to high waves and wind conditions. The sea was calm which allowed for a smooth ride for all racers.
Co-founder of the Lebanon Water Festival, Annette Khoury said the race was to show how Jet Skiing is more than just a leisure activity done in open waters.
“Jet Skiing is a sport that requires speed and control. The participants had to maneuver around the buoy without hitting it, while also trying to complete the race with the fastest speed,” said Khoury. “Also, we wanted to conduct a race under the International Jet Ski rules and safety standards which require a helmet and life jacket.”
To kick off the race, there was a surprise from the sky! Paramotors flew over the course which left a trail of blue smoke that painted the sky.
There were a total of thirteen participants who competed in the race. Each machine was inspected before the race in order to ensure all participants started on an equal level.
Over one hundred people gathered at Hayali Bay to view each participant race around each of nine buoys. From the water, yachts, fishermen boats and other Jet skiers watched the action!
Race participant, Tony Angelil ,who came in first place felt that competiveness in the air.
“I am always on my Jet Ski, either in a race or just riding around on the sea for fun. It was nice to be in a race with other participants who were just as competitive. The race gave us the opportunity to show the competitive side of Jet Skiing,” said Angelil.
There were three judges who made sure all the technicalities were met and that the participants abided by the International Rules: Simon Khoury, Alexander Nasr and Eddy Nehme.
Eddy Nehme, from the Lebanese Motor Boat Federation, said it was great to be a part of an event that shows the sport side of Jet Skiing.
“Most of the participants respected the timing and rules we set before the race. All of the participants had a sportsmanship spirit, which is the most important characteristic to have in any sport,” said Nehme.
1st place: Tony Angelil, bib #3 Time-1.40.53
2nd place: Toufic Ziadeh, bib #8 Time- 1.41.35
3rd place: Amer Itani, bib #4 Time-1.46.90
4th place: Rabih Hammam, bib #9 Time-1.48.00
5th place: Arthur Aswad, bib #11 Time- 1.48.82
6th place: Housam Darwich, bib #1 Time-1.50.00
7th place: Jacques Oustakaryan, bib # 7, Time 1.59.06
8th place: Emile Hachmen, bib #12, Time- 2.00.02
9th place: Bob Dib, bib #2, Time- 2.02.00
10th place: Nadim Safwan, bib #10, Time-2.03.00
Two of the thirteen competitors were disqualified from the race.