Sprint Boats to Hit 100 MPH at Brick's This Weekend

Aug 15, 2014

You know them for mud, but did you know that Brick’s Offroad Park built the largest jet sprint boat track in the world?  They are getting ready to take the extreme sports world by storm with water.

The USSBA Jet Sprint World Series comes to Brick’s this weekend, August 15-17, with over 30 sprint boat teams from all over the world coming to southeast Missouri.

“We’ll have boats from New Zealand, Australia, and Canada, as well as from all over the U.S.,” explained Jay Brickell, owner of Brick’s Offroad Park.

Jet Sprint racing is fast becoming one of the world’s fastest growing motorsports in the country.

It’s a sport that gets the heart racing, whether racer or spectator, where 15-foot boats with 1200HP motors glide over the water at breath-taking speeds.

“These boats take off. They go 0 to 100 mph in just three seconds,” said Brickell.  They take 180-degree turns at high speeds.

With that kind of speed and hairpin turns, it’s not uncommon to see a crash. Brickell says that spectators are kept well behind a protective fence built 100 feet from the

“That’s a lot of money to flow into this area and good for the entire region.”
Owner of Brick’s Offroad Park
Brickell said that the organization for this event actually goes back three years.

“I received a call from one of the organizers of these races who had seen our park on television. He asked if he could come visit and take a look at our property,” said Brickell. After seeing the property, he felt it was perfect for developing the sprint boat racing tracks.

“So….we started building them. And we’ve even had several boats in to run them and try them out. Then in January, I got a call asking if we would be interested in hosting the Jet Sprint World Series this year. Of course I said ‘yes!’” said Brickell.

Rick Harris, the promoter of this event from the United States Sprint Boats Association, said he is looking forward to having this event in Poplar Bluff.

“We expect a great crowd because this is such a natural event for this area. People in this region of the country love motorsports. Basically, they love anything that moves. I’ve even seen lawn mower races down there, so I know people are going to love these boats!” said Harris.

When asked for an estimate of what kind of crowd he expects, he laughed, “It could be anywhere between 3,000 and 20,000. People are becoming aware of the event
because our website has been lighting up.”

Harris said as soon as he visited the Brick’s site, he knew he wanted to have an event there.

”The park itself is set up perfectly for this, and Poplar Bluff is like a gateway to the South. And the South loves water sports….actually any kind of motorsports. I think this will be a perfect fit,” said Harris.

Brickell said this is a totally different event than the mudding events they have hosted in the past.

“Trucks Gone Wild and mudding events are basically free-range  events,” he said. “This is very organized. It is a timed event, so the drivers are really racing
against the clock.”

Because of the nature of the event, it is non-stop action. “Basically, we will have boats racing about every two to three minutes,” he said.

Brickell explained that this sport originated in Australia in 1983, and continues to gain in popularity every year. It’s a regulated sport, with an officiating group based in France, the UIM (Union Internationale Motionautique).

When asked if this event should create any sort of problems with area law enforcement, he explained that there has been no real reason for law enforcement concerns. “Basically area law enforcement had some incorrect perceptions about Trucks Gone Wild and the people who attend. But in addition to that, this event is likely to draw a different type of spectator and participant.

“It’s not going to be a ‘hold my beer and watch this’ kind of event. It’s going to be fun, but it is very organized,” said Brickell.

Brickell compared the event to NASCAR, “It will draw NASCAR type fans, the fans who really love speed and non-stop, wall-to-wall excitement.”

He is hoping to host several Jet Sprint events in the future, “There is actually a Jet Sprint circuit, kind of like a racing circuit. We would like to become a regular stop on
that circuit.” He even has hopes that Brick’s can again sponsor the World Series in three years.

“They move the site for the World Series around. This sport has been in the U.S. since 2004 and is rapidly developing into a very popular sport. We definitely want
to be a part of that growth. It is one of the most exciting sports around, and we are very proud to be a part of it,” he said.

Brickell said this is not just an important event for his offroad park, but it has a huge positive economic impact on this area.

“Many of these racers will be staying in this area for two to three weeks before they move on to their next race.  That’s a lot of money to flow into this area and good for the entire region.”

Brick’s Media Day Included Councilmen Tinsley and Mayor Pro Tem Rushin. Photos courtesy of Jack Rushin.

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