Great racing, friendly people an enthusiastic crowd and a full itinerary of 9 races plus freestyle, that’s a role model for any event! This weekend I had an opportunity to shoot an entirely new sport for me, ‘Jet ski racing’ and ‘Jet ski Freestyle’. This was Round Two of the JSRA British Championships at Wyboston Lakes, a watersports centre located not so far from Bedford, and conveniently just off the A1.
This is quite a young sport and offers the chance for all spectators and photographers to get close to the action. Careful planning for the racing helps to sort out the optimum shooting positions and is well worth the effort. For the freestyle no such problem as they perform to the gallery and a regular zoom is more than enough. At the foot of the post are the 2018 dates, well worth a visit!
Jetsport Event Dates 2018
Round 6 British Championship 2018 Kingsbury Jetbike Centre, Sutton Coldfield. B76 0DY8th/9th Sep
Round 5 British Championship 2018 Avos Watersports Den, The Gravel, Mere Brow, Preston. PR4 6JX18th/19th Aug
Round 4 British Championship 2018 Crosby Lakeside Adventure, Liverpool, Merseyside L22 1RR21st/22nd Jul
Round 3 British Championship 2018 Clacton-on-Sea. CO15 1BW 16th/17th Jun
Round 2 British Championship 2018 Wyboston Watersports Centre, Bedfordshire MK44 3AL12th/13th May
Freestyle Event Dates 2018
8th/9th September Round 4 Kingsbury
18th/19th August Round 3 Avos
3rd June Round 2 Docklands
12th/13th May Round 1 Wyboston
Technical bits: My favourite Nikon 300mm this time armed with both x1.4 and x2.0 converters proved the right mix to catch competitors at the turn without too much background. When going long, a monopod for that extra support, especially as the field strings out, the action is relentless. Shooting at the turn (on the marker buoys) provided a huge variety of shots – I admit even at the end of a full day I still haven’t worked out the optimum capture balancing clarity of rider and maximum water spray. (maybe next visit?) Interestingly although I tried both this could be the first sport where there isn’t such an advantage in shooting from a low position (the low position helps place the foreground out of focus but often bring into play too much landscape and sky, and with that distracting contrasts.
For the freestyle the 70-200 f4 proved again that as long as you don’t need a fast aperture this lens works so well is every bit as sharp as the f2.8.