Jet Boat Teams to Compete on North Idaho Rivers - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Jet Boat Teams to Compete on North Idaho Rivers

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Jet boat teams from around the world will come to North Idaho in April for the 2012 Toyota Weaver Seed World Jet Boat Marathon Championship.

About 40 teams from Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and the United States will race one four rivers in North Idaho. They will navigate rapids, rocks, sandbars and canyons at speeds up to 140 miles an hour. The race events take place on the St. Joe River at St. Maries, the Snake River at Lewiston, the Clearwater River at Orofino and the Salmon River at Riggins.

Below is the official press release from the Idaho Department of Commerce.

 

RIGGINS, Idaho—March 5, 2012—Jet boat teams from Canada, New Zealand, Mexico and the United States will race on four Idaho rivers to compete in the 2012 Toyota Weaver Seed World Jet Boat Marathon Championship April 13-21. Approximately 40 racing teams are expected to enter the world race with each team consisting of a driver, navigator and racing crews varying in size from four to 20 people per team.

"It's really inspiring to see how excited people in north central Idaho are about these races," said Kim Friend, U.S.A. World Race organizer. "Jet boat river racing fans are making plans to be here and view the race from start to finish."

Racers will navigate four rivers at speeds up to 140 miles per hour, punching through raging rapids and negotiating submerged rocks, sandbars, powerful currents and narrow canyons.

Race events, along with a variety of community celebrations, will take place over a nine day period from April 13-21, with river racing to take place on the St. Joe River at St. Maries, ID (April 13-15); the Snake River at Lewiston, ID/Clarkston, WA (April 16-17); the Clearwater River at Orofino, ID (April 18) and finishing on the Salmon River at Riggins, ID (April 20-21). Spectators may watch the race for free from the river banks with public access along each of the four rivers.

"It is fitting that a race of this caliber be held at the birthplace of the jet boat industry," said Jeffery Sayer, director of the Idaho Department of Commerce. "This industry cluster plays an important role in our state's economy not only through the business and jobs it has generated, but as a result of partnerships like this that will attract hundreds of visitors to Idaho."

In the mid-1960s, Norm Riddle and Darell Bentz of the Lewiston/Clarkston Valley set out to build a boat that could navigate the rugged Snake and Clearwater Rivers. Their success sparked an industry that today provides boats for many uses around the world including recreation, search and rescue, fish and wildlife management, and police and military operations. North central Idaho's jet boat manufacturers continue to foster innovation and are leaders in the industry, making Lewiston/Clarkston the self-proclaimed Jet Boat Capital of the World.

For further information regarding the Toyota Weaver Seed World Jet Boat Race, please see the attached official itinerary.

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