There have been a lot of great stand-up PWC riders over the years, but most would agree the most gifted, most naturally talented pilot was Jeff “The Jammer” Jacobs, a guy who won his first title at only 15 years of age, then went on to become one of, if not the most dominant racer in IJSBA history.
Although I’m sure he doesn’t remember it, I first met Jacobs at my very first race, a World Cup event in Ft. Myers, Florida. He was a skinny, 14-year-old kid, but one that I soon learned was dominating the Expert ranks. I then remember his first year as a pro, when he rode what looked like a homemade-painted ski for Performance Jet Ski with the #51 on the side. That year he upset all the favorites, like Larry Rippenkroeger and Dave Gordon. Later, he’d go on to battle the sport’s next generation of stars, like Chris Fischetti, Harry Goatcher, Victor Sheldon, and Chris MacClugage.
I stumbled across this Jacobs tribute video on YouTube. The quality is lousy, but it offers a cool reminder of the sport’s early years…and the man who undoubtedly was its king. Right behind it I’ve got a classic Jacobs World Finals victory in its entirety, in all its neon ’80’s glory.
Enjoy them both…
Tags: Chris FIschetti, Chris MacClugage, Dave Gordon, Harry Goatcher, Jammer, Jeff Jacobs, Jet Ski, jet ski racing, Kawasaki, Kawasaki 440, Kawasaki 550, Larry Rippenkroeger, People, Performance Jet Ski, personal watercraft, PWC, Sea-Doo, Victor Sheldon, Video, vintage PWC racing, WaveRunner, Yamaha