Jet ski races on Lake Osoyoos this weekend

OROVILLE – Oroville is preparing for the first ever Lake Osoyoos Cup jet ski races this Saturday and Sunday, June 28 and 29, off the shores of Deep Bay Park.

Hosted by the Oroville Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by the International Jet Boat Sporting Association (IJBSA), the two-days of racing promises high performance action – including a nearly 10 mile endurance race and stunt riding.

The race is open to not only the experienced, but to first time racers as well. To participate would-be racers need to pay a fee of $105, which includes a $45 membership in the IJBSA, according to one of the race organizers Raleigh Chinn, with the Oroville Chamber.

“There will be buoy racing and stunts behind the water craft on wake boards,” said Chinn. “The race is truly international The endurance race goes from Deep Bay, south and around a buoy at Veteran’s Memorial Park, and then north again across the border to just south of Haynes Point Provincial Park… nearly 10 miles without touching land.”

Chinn said they expect between 70 and 80 teams, each with more than one jet ski, to be participating. Many will be Canadian teams returning from racing that has taken place at various locations in the U.S., according to Chinn.

Racing isn’t just adults, according to Roger Harnack, of the Northwest Jet Sports Association. He said he and his young daughter have been racing for several years. Harnack, a seasoned racer from Omak, has been promoting the race up and down the valley. He said that unlike the powerboat races, people in his sport race no matter the weather and choppy water just makes things more interesting.

“We understand there are a lot of local people who are interested in racing, but have never done so before,” Chinn said. “Many of those people will be able to participate in the beginners class.”

The Lake Osoyoos Cup will take place between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. There will be concessions available at the park. The Oroville Senior Center will be selling hot dogs, soft drinks and ice cream. There is a no host meet and greet schedule for Saturday night at the plaza where racers can meet and talk and that anyone is invited to stop by.

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