Great Lakes Watercross (GLW) is the premier closed course buoy racing and freestyle tour for personal watercraft in the Midwest. The GLW events are sanctioned by the IJSBA (International Jet Sports Boating Association), and require an IJSBA membership for individuals to participate. A closed-course event is a contest of speed and riding ability featuring multiple competitors negotiating multiple laps of a course consisting of left and/or right-hand turns. Obstacles (e.g., log jumps and/or ramps) may be present. GLW changed ownership in 2021, and is now being promoted by 2 Wicked Promotions. Brad and Jaymi Bohat own and operate 2 Wicked Promotions, LLC and as racers themselves, they make a great team to manage the tour and support fellow racers. Great Lakes Watercross represents the IJSBA’s Region 6 which is made up of the following states: Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and sometimes Minnesota. GLW hosts several rounds of weekend racing throughout the summer. We currently are running a 3 moto system, which means there will be 2 races for each class on Saturday and a 3rd race for each class on Sunday. Overall combination of finishing points for the 3 motos will determine the overall winner for the round. Personal watercraft racing is not your average day at the beach, it is an intense battle of very close racing where participants power through near white out conditions to make their way to the front of the class.
A typical race weekend will draw many racers and families to an event. Watercross is an exciting sport to see in action, and we often find local venues help market our events and they will draw many spectators to their location to watch the races. GLW is proud to recognize several racers who have won numerous regional and world titles that race on our tour. Racers travel with family and friends to support their needs throughout the weekend. In the Midwest, we enjoy nothing more than gathering with friends and family to have a some intense competition during the day and fun celebrations at night!
Participants are solely responsible for their safety at IJSBA-sanctioned races and should assess their own ability to negotiate each individual course. Participants who doubt the competence of course officials, have concerns about the safety of the course, or their own ability to negotiate the course, or are uncertain about the condition of their watercraft, or doubt the competence of fellow competitors, should not participate and should request the return of their entry fee before competitive activity begins. A personal flotation device, helmet, and back deflector (ski classes only) are required for racing. We also recommend wearing gloves, goggles, and a wetsuit for additional protection from the elements.
Race day begins with registration and check in! Often times race setup begins on Friday evening, and registration/check in will be open during this time. It is highly encouraged to check in early so you are not waiting in line Saturday morning while also trying to get all of your equipment prepared and ready to race! Check in includes verifying pre-registration information, or registering on site, signing liability waivers, consent forms and getting a wristband! Anyone who will be in the "pit area" or in the water during the event will also need to sign a liability waiver and obtain a wristband. Racers will have holders assisting with holding their machines on the starting line, and these individuals will need to check in as well.
All racers and watercrafts will need a technical inspection. A designated tech area will be assigned for racers to bring their watercraft and safety equipment. All rider equipment, including helmet and personal flotation device, must be available for technical inspection. Stickers will be given placed on watercrafts that pass tech, and these stickers must be displayed on all race machines. All racing watercraft is subject to technical inspection at any time throughout the event. Any violations discovered will result a disqualification (DQ) for the event and a forfeiture of any possible points.
After registration and check in, there will be a riders meeting which includes a comprehensive review of track rules and rider responsibilities. The practice order will be shared during the riders meeting. Immediately following the riders meeting, there will be a course demonstration by our course marshal. If there are any questions or concerns with the course for the weekend, please speak with a Great Lakes Watercross official during the riders meeting.
Practice will begin after the course demonstration is complete. Practice is not racing! Practice is an opportunity to learn the course and get comfortable with both inside and outside line starting procedures. Classes will be combined for practice and will be generic.
Racing will begin once practice is complete. The race order is generally posted on the pit board during the riders meeting and or practice. If there are only a few racers in a class, that class will likely be combined with another class. We will not schedule racers in back to back motos, but please understand there can and will be mistakes to this - especially if you are riding another persons watercraft. If you find you are in a back to back race, please see a registration official, and they will do their best to re-arrange the races for the day.
Race results will be posted throughout the day. Racers are responsible for reviewing their moto results and presenting any questions or concerns with the results to a race official before the next moto begins. After the final moto racers will have 1 hour to review the results and raise any questions. Any racer contesting their result will need to speak with the race director and/or a scoring official. If you and the other racers in your class collectively agree that the results were incorrect and need updating, please have all parties present to officials together to expedite any changes.
After racing is completed for the weekend, there will be an awards ceremony. Awards will be presented to the top 3 riders in each class. We ask our top 3 racers in each class to hang around after they receive their award for a photo on the podium! You must attend the awards ceremony to receive any awards or payouts granted for the class. Prior arrangements may be made for another person to pick up an award on your behalf, but please discuss this with staff prior to the awards ceremony. Awards can be shipped after the event, but this will be at your expense.