15th Annual Hot Products Mark Hahn Memorial 300 Mile PWC Race Created by former champion PWC Endurance racer Mike Follmer in 2003 this race is run in honor of the late Mark Hahn of Phoenix. He was a PWC endurance racer of note who died during a race at Parker of a non-race related circumstance. Mike dedicates the now famous race and the fabulous awards dinner he holds in honor of his late long time friend. In 2004 Mike joined with Jim Russell of DSM Events LLC (producer of the IJSBA World Finals) to take this race to the next level. Together Follmer & Russell have made this into the penultimate endurance race for personal watercraft anywhere in the world for the past 14 years. The addition of Ross Wallach as race director and the IJSBA as sanctioning body assured the continuing professionalism of the event.
This is the longest PWC (personal watercraft) race in the world, covering a total of 300 tough miles in 30 successive laps of a ten mile course, starting off the beach at Crazy Horse (famous for hosting the IJSBA World Finals). It runs north along the Arizona shoreline, turning towards Havasu Landing and running down the California shore nearly to Site Six, and back to Crazy Horse to complete a lap. The race features the only true Le Mans start currently in motorsports of any type. In this, the racers are lined up along the beach, holding up their safety “key” while their crew chief holds their PWC in the water with the engine off. At an undetermined time during a two minute window, a shotgun is fired and the riders run to the water, jump on their PWC, start their engine (hopefully quickly!) and race off toward the north turn, a few miles up course. This start not only adds excitement (the atmosphere is so heavy with adrenalin before the starting gun that you can cut it with a knife) it also provides a level of separation for the racers adding a safety factor.
Like the Baja 1000, this is a team competition unlike any other PWC race. You need a real pit crew here because akin to NASCAR, this is the only race where the boat is brought onto the shore and refueled during the race - multiple times in fact! One team will walk away with the coveted overall win in recognition of their efforts. This is the endurance race to end all endurance races and here the competitors earn the ultimate bragging rights. Most racers share the riding duties as it is terribly punishing for the five or so hours it takes for the first boat to complete the 300 miles of the race. School chums, father and son, and husband and wife teams abound.
If you like riding your PWC fast this may be the ultimate personal adventure for you! No special training or experience is required. And a factory stock PWC is still the best bet for racing. Stock reliability usually trumps the high horsepower custom hot rods in this race. You have to be still running 300 miles after the start to finish the race, let alone win.
This is a single-day event, running on the last Saturday in February (the 23 rd in 2019) and is in its 15th year. Just to sweeten the pot, there are great giveaways and even a cash purse courtesy of our long time title sponsor Hot Products for the winners to go with the biggest serving of bragging rights in “JetSki” racing world wide. Our typical field starts about 50 race teams, Stand Ups and Runabouts. And the event averages about 25 percent from foreign nations! These are people who left their home country to come to Lake Havasu and they come from the UK, Slovakia, Australia , Japan, France, Belgium and believe it or not Russia! How do you even get a ticket from Vladisvostok to Lake Havasu? We couldn’t produce this event without the valued help from Hot Products, Yamaha, IJSBA.Radio Central, Crazy Horse Campground & RV Park, Quality Inn Havasu and our other sponsors.