by Brad Wall
Jet boat teams hailing from Canada, New Zealand, Mexico, and the United States are set to compete in the 2012 Toyota Weaver Seed World Boat Jet Marathon Championship. The competition will span over nine days and run through four different rivers in Idaho, the first being St. Joe River in St. Maries.
A field of about 40 teams, each containing a driver, navigator and crew members will navigate through the four rivers and cruise up to speeds of 140 mph, splashing through rapids and maneuvering rocks, sandbars, strong currents, and narrow canyons. The teams will race approximately 500 total miles through the nine day event.
Aside from the race events there will also be numerous community celebrations at each river location containing food, music, and fireworks. Admission to watch the races is free with public access being available along all four river banks for spectators to enjoy.
The next three races will be held at Snake River in Lewiston, ID/Clarkston, WA (April 16-17), Clearwater River in Orofino, ID (April 18), and the Championship will conclude on the Salmon River in Riggins, ID (April 20-21).
Tonight at 6:30 at St. Joe River the weekend kicks off with a show and shine boat show with fireworks to follow at dusk at St. Maries Lower City Park and Cormana Building. The racing begins tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. where there will be four 25 mile segments ranging back and forth between Idaho Forest Industries Landing to Calder Bridge. The last race of the series in St. Maries will begin at 10 a.m. on Sunday the 15th.
The entire event's itinerary is available on the 2012 U.S.A. World Jet Boat River Marathon Championship Facebook page.