Flashback: Jeff “The Jammer” Jacobs, Legendary PWC Racer

Jeff Jacobs was one of the most dominant racers in PWC racing history. Includes video highlights...

8th July 2010.
By Jeff Hemmel

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…

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About the author:

Jeff Hemmel

Jeff Hemmel writes for boats.com, Boating, PersonalWatercraft.com, and Powersports Business. The former Senior Editor at Watercraft World, Jeff is a multi-time award winner as well as a 2008 inductee into the IJSBA Hall of Fame. His first book, "The Anti-Pirate Potato Cannon...and 101 Other Things For Young Mariners To Try, Do, & Build On the Water," received a bronze medal in the 2010 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards. For more info, visit Jeff Hemmel's website.

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