Race the Joe! draws crows, praise

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The fifth annual “Race the Joe!” Jet Boat Races concluded Sunday, May 21, leaving residents and racers with good memories – and a promise of more to come.

Fifteen racers from the U.S. and Canada registered to compete in the annual event. The local race took place over two days – and both spectators and racers said the event was a success.

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“We received great feedback from the racers,” Shirley Ackerman, the director of the race committee, said. “They were really appreciative of the race committee and the community as a whole. They love coming to St. Maries.”

The annual kick-off to festivities, the Show and Shine, also showed a significant turnout. The public mixed with race teams to collect autographs and photos, and businesses from around the area set up kiosks selling food, refreshments, souvenirs and more.

“The Show and Shine was phenomenal this year,” Ms. Ackerman said. “We had a great turnout from our community as well as our visitors. Our goal is to continue holding it on Main Ave. in the future.”

The races themselves started at 10 a.m. May 20. All fifteen racers took their positions and rallied from St. Maries to Calder along the winding St. Joe. While several boats showed mechanical issues that prevented them from finishing, there were no reports of major issues at any point.

In the UL-Class, perennial contender “Bad Habit” of Canada, captained by Chad Burns, took the top spot with a combined time of 1:55.43. “Pure Insanity,” captained by Ryan Rogers, took second with 1:59:43, and Ross Schlotthauer in “Bat Outta Hell” took third after penalties and DNS results increased his overall time to 2:32:10.

In the A-Class, Dale Whiteside took first place in “A Bad Bird,” putting up a time of 2:32:13. Second place went to “Top Gun,” captained by Ryan Hudson, with 2:30:00. Jeff Edwardsen placed third in “Fast Times Maniac” with 2:55:44, while “High Tailin,” captained by Darren Arave, recorded 3:29:08 after penalties.

“Preventing Insanity” returned to compete in the CX-Class, with captain Leighton Lillie posting the first-place time of 2:19:45. Jake Barney in “Never Satisfied” posted 2:29:11, while Jared Satterlund in “A Boat” clocked in at 2:32:51. Rick Serhan of “High IV” claimed fourth place with 2:45:49.

Finally, in the FX-Class, “Know Idea” captained by Adam Steffes placed first with 2:34:58. Chuck Thompson claimed second in “Rump Shaker” with a time of 2:35:33. A boat from Geis Racing Team captained by Mark Miran took third with 2:49:07, and “Better Idea” by Chris Barger claimed fourth with 3:24:39 after penalties.

After another successful event, Ms. Ackerman thanked the community members and sponsors who made the race possible. She said that the race committee is already planning to return jet boat races to St. Maries for a sixth time.

“Special thanks to everyone who supported the event,” she said. “We look forward to doing this next year.”

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