Watercross returns to Tugaloo State Park

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They’ll be flying over the water and the water will be flying. The Pro Watercross Tour will return to Tugaloo State Park near Lavonia July 27-28. The Pro Watercross Tour stages personal watercraft lap races all over the country – from Florida to Texas to Wisconsin to Georgia – each summer....

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They’ll be flying over the water and the water will be flying.

The Pro Watercross Tour will return to Tugaloo State Park near Lavonia July 27-28.

The Pro Watercross Tour stages personal watercraft lap races all over the country – from Florida to Texas to Wisconsin to Georgia – each summer.

“Watercross can be simply put as motocross on Personal Watercraft (PWCs or jet skis),” the sport’s website, prowatercross.com, says. “The exception being, these athletes compete on unpredictable liquid track varying from oceans, lakes and rivers. Competitors challenge the notion of what is possible on a PWC; utilizing the most advanced equipment reaching speeds of over 85 mph against a full line of competitors to the extreme freestylist landing a double back-flip in surf. This sport is driven by their passion, creating a lifestyle that combines adrenaline and pure enjoyment of being on the water.”

The jet skis come in a number of different classes, with professional and amateur riders.

 

The freestyle event is always popular at Pro Watercross events. (File photo)
The Pro Watercross races begin with a gated start, pitting competitors against each other to race to the first turn. 

 

The freestyle event, in which competitors do flips and other tricks on their jet skis, is always popular.

The races themselves are also exciting.

Each race begins with a gated start with competitors lined up side-byside for a simultaneous takeoff to get to the first turn first.

“Surviving the first turn is just the beginning,” the sport’s website says.

“Speed, technique and racing ability will all come into play over the next 20 minutes, as the riders begin to negotiate a series of left and right hand turns.”

Lake Hartwell has been a stop on the tour for several years now.

This year’s stop at the megaramp at Tugaloo State Park will be the tour’s second ever. The park will host the tour for the next three years.

Racing is scheduled to begin midto-late morning on both days, with awards presented Sunday afternoon.

The Lake Hartwell stop will be the fifth for the tour and the final one before the National Championship Aug. 10-11 in College Station, Texas.

The tour leads up to the World Championship event Oct. 31 through Nov. 3 in Naples, Florida.