Speedboat Rider Killed in 110mph Crash During Competition in California Remembers ‘Awesome Guy On & Off Track’ – East Bay Times

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the speedboat racer died after crashing On a Sunday, Aug. 8, the competition was Jay Hart, 37, of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., according to event organizers, who are now preparing for city officials to assess the future of the Longs. Beach Sprint Nationals, 75.

Hart was fatally injured after his ship overturned at around 110 mph, ejecting him from his cockpit on the last day of the Southern California Speedboat Club event.

“He was just a great guy on and off the track,” said Ross Wallach, club president and friend of Hart, on Monday. “He was a very respected driver. He had done it most of his life. He grew up in a large family of runners. He comes from a large family of runners. And he was at the top of his game. He was a very, very good driver and unfortunately as we all know race incidents do happen sometimes. ”

  • After jumping last year due to COVID-19, Sprint Nationals speedboat races returned to Marine Stadium in Long Beach on Saturday, August 7, 2021. (Photo by Howard Freshman, Contributing Photographer)

  • Ross Wallach, president of the California Speedboat Club, chats with a colleague on Sunday afternoon, August 8, 2021 (Photo by Howard Freshman, Contributing Photographer)

  • Jay Hart, 37, of Lake Havasu, died Sunday August 8 while competing in the Long Beach National Sprint Championships at Marine Stadium. Hart came from a racing family and was known as “just a great guy on and off the track” ,? said race organizer and friend Ross Wallach. (Courtesy of Ross Wallach, President of the Southern California Speedboat Club.)

  • Ross Wallach, president of the California Speedboat Club, reflects on the tragedy of the day near the crash site on Sunday afternoon, August 8, 2021. (Photo by Howard Freshman, collaborating photographer)

  • Ross Wallach, president of the California Speedboat Club, reflects on the tragedy of the day near the crash site on Sunday afternoon, August 8, 2021. “I lost a great friend and a great guy,” Wallach said . (Photo by Howard Freshman, Contributing Photographer)

Hart was the second runner to die in recent years after crashing during the event; in 2018, a speedboat pilot died a week and a half later he was seriously injured during the race.

The two tragedies led City Councilor Suzie Price, whose third district includes Marine Stadium, say Sunday that “A full assessment of this activity and whether it is something that (the) City of Long Beach should continue to host” is now warranted.

Mayor Robert Garcia agreed in a statement Monday.

“I am saddened to learn of the horrific loss of life in the Sprint Nationals speedboat race over the weekend,” Garcia said. “My thoughts and love are with the family of the victim. The City will be giving this race a thorough review and making a decision that works best for everyone involved in the future, but I have very serious concerns about the future of this event. ”

Brian Fisk, spokesperson for the fire department, said it was still too early in the investigation to discuss what happened or how it might impact the future of the event.

Wallach, however, said he was “very concerned” that Hart’s death could spell the end of the event taking place in Long Beach.

“What you need to know is that the public was never in danger at any time during the incident,” said Wallach, “or prior to the incident throughout the weekend.”

The Southern California Speedboat Club, based in Redondo Beach, has been entertaining fans with the ARP Long Beach Sprint National Championships for 75 years. Racing teams from across the country gather in Long Beach, which promoters call the birthplace of powerboat racing on the West Coast.

But after the fatal crash of 2018, officials at Long Beach imposed new insurance and security requirements on the event before he issued another permit, although city officials said at the time that the new warrants were not directly related to the crash; they were just part of the annual license review process.

Some of the updates included more than double the required insurance, at $ 10 million, hiring a boat racing safety compliance manager, performing water sample analyzes and the hiring of two lifeguards, instead of the one who was previously mandated.

“They created all of these additional requirements and we were in compliance with all of them,” Wallach said. “In 2021, the public, throughout the weekend preceding and during this crash, was never in danger. And that should have been the only reason you closed an event. ”

The bottom line, Wallach said, is that the tragedy occurs in motorsport; it does not mean that there was negligence.

“This is exactly what it is,” he said. “This is 100% correct. It was a racing incident. Sometimes racing incidents happen. It is not that the operators of either boat did anything to cause the accident.

Editor Emily Rasmussen contributed to this report.


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