March 13, 2006 – Making Waves

U.S. National Tour returns with seven-event series
With the exception of the once-a-year World Finals in Lake Havasu, it’s been a long time since PWC fans in the United States have been able to see Chris MacClugage slash a buoy or Nicolas Rius power down the back straight. Thankfully, that all appears about to change.
In mid-February, the American PowerBoat Association announced the return of a U.S. National Tour, a four-weekend, seven-event series that will be open to racers in 10 Pro-Am and Expert classes. The first three weekends of the tour will be “double” rounds, with the final event being the APBA Watercross Nationals in Nashville, Tenn. The prize purse for the series will reportedly total $50,000 in cash, prizes and contingency awards. APBA National Tour championship titles also will be awarded.
To ensure credibility and consistency to the series, key officials will reportedly be the same at all seven events.
Just like “in the day,” each round of the National Tour will be televised, this time on the newly created Water Channel. Coverage of the events also is being planned outside the realm of television, including same-day coverage via Video Podcast. Whether that’s enough enticement to get the sport’s remaining stars back on the water remains to be seen, but the prospect of national racing should at least satisfy the hunger for national-level racing in the United States. Hopefully, it just might produce the next crop of racing superstars along the way.
Currently, the tour is scheduled to kick off at the Bluewater Casino in Parker, Ariz., the weekend of May 6-7, followed by stops in Mooresville, N.C., Rochester, N.Y., and concluding the first weekend of September at the Watercross Nationals in Nashville. To maximize exposure, most rounds will be held in conjunction with existing waterfront festivals.
More information on the APBA Watercross National Tour can be found at the APBA’s Web site, www.apbaracing.com, or by contacting APBA National Headquarters at 586/773-9700.
A major sponsor is still being sought.
Water Channel to offer PWC programming on TV
Ever wish there was a television network designed just for watersports enthusiasts like yourself? The recently launched Water Channel just may be the answer to your prayers.
Currently available to 12 million satellite subscribers on the DISH Network, the Water Channel’s audience will expand to 34 million homes by the summer with the addition of the country’s largest cable providers. The Water Channel promises to offer up a veritable smorgasbord of water-related programming, including wakeboarding, water skiing, boating, diving, fishing, and yes race fans, even personal watercraft racing.
Look for the Water Channel on DISH Network channel 216, or call your local cable provider to ask about adding the channel to your current programming lineup. Then visit the channel’s Web site at www.waterchannel.com to find out exactly what’s on that’s wet.
BRP Quadruples Bounty For Sea-Doo Racers
Bombardier Recreational Products is once again offering up a Bounty for personal watercraft racers. A long-running program that provides contingency payouts to racers on the company’s product line, the Bounty will reward racers who make the podium in APBA-sanctioned races.
This year, however, that reward has the chance to quadruple should the racer be aboard a four-stroke powered craft.
“This program exemplifies BRP’s commitment to its customers that place a premium on performance while striving to be the best,” the company’s recent press release said. “The 4X aspect of the 2006 Bounty program is structured to offer extra incentives and rewards for those who compete on the most current Sea-Doo musclecraft.”
Racing already has begun, and will continue through the World Finals in October. To get your share of the booty, check out the Sea-Doo Today link at www.sea-doo.com. psb

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