Western Canadian Jet Ski Races to be Held at Crane Lake

The Western Canadian Watercross Association (WCWA) is hosting to sets of races at Crane Lake in August; including the WCWA Finals. Steve Chestolowski, with WCWA, says the crowd will be able to enjoy the adrenaline pumping races from the shorelines or in boats.

“As long as you’re not on our course, while we’re racing, that’s all we ask,” Chestolowski says they want spectators to enjoy, “we like having people on the back straight-away, watching out of their boats. We have course marshals out there and they do a really good job.” This’ll be the first time the races will be held on Crane Lake; lake is a natural fit for the sport.

The race course has different corners and shapes, where jet skiers race through the track, which includes a jump. It’s a split start, so racers are staggered, with about 6 racers per start and judges count laps. “We have a log jump, which is 20 quad tires, we have to jump over.” There are also the freestyle category, which is a lot of fun for the spectators.

The races are a four-part series, “we already had two weekends, one in Medicine Hat and one in Saskatoon, one the river,” explains Chestolowski, “this will be our last two weekends for the season.” Races on Crane Lake will be August 13-14 and 20-21. On the 21st the finals will be held, “we’ll crown our champion. The last weekend will be a little more points and everything is on the line. There will be some good battles out there.

“Most of us our older guys with kids, with a few pros in there.” Chestolowski says he fell in love with the sport when he was considered ‘older’, “I actually started a class, which is Novice Masters Open, it’s beginners 40 [years of age] or older. It’s to keep guys in shape, cause it’s a real workout to ride.” When Chestolowski started racing he was over 280 pounds and now he’s down to 207 pounds and contributes his fitness to jet skiing. “It helps people stay in shape and we’re helping keep the sport alive for out kids.” Chestolowski says his kids are not yet old enough to race, in Canada you must be 16 years old to race jet skis; a law Chestolowski hopes to change and has been lobbying Ottawa to change the regulations.

Races will be held August 13-14 and 20-21 with races 12:00-5:00 pm. Friday nights are practice run for the races, and Chestolowski has an open invitation to those looking to get into the sport, “if anyone wants to try a jet ski, I’ll be there and they can come try it out.” The races can be seen from the shorelines or in your boat, as long as you are anchored a safe distance from the races. For more information, pictures or videos, check out WCWA online. Should the races be successful, Chestolowski hopes to add Crane Lake to its regular race schedule.