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Thailand World King's Cup 2010

At midnight on Sunday, November 28th Jettribe’s Team USA came together at the Bangkok International Airport for one more race of the 2010 season, and this race was bigger than anything the racers had seen before! We all piled in a large van that took us to a hotel about an hour away from the airport where we spent the first few nights of our trip. After getting a few hours of sleep the team gathered for breakfast on Monday morning and then headed over to the warehouse of Sam Chaisirivichiean, our Jettribe distributor in Thailand. We couldn’t have been more grateful to have Sam’s warehouse at our disposal. While some of our group worked on the boats to make sure that everything was running perfectly, the rest of us worked on sorting through the Jettribe merchandise so that it would be ready to be sold at the races that were just a few days away. Sam was even gracious enough to let us use his own private lake so that we could do some test riding with the runabouts!

While in Bangkok, when we weren’t in Sam’s warehouse working on boats and organizing merchandise, we were out doing site seeing at the Grand Temple Palace and eating authentic Thai food, which we couldn’t get enough of! But after a few days in Bangkok it was time to head to the city of Phitsanulok where the race site was located.

On Wednesday we ran into our first major headache of the trip. We were scheduled to make the 5 hour trip to Phitsanulok, but unfortunately the taxi van that was supposed to take our group (11 of us total) had no trunk space so we had to be separated from our luggage for about a day until we could pick it up at the race site when it finally arrived. During our 5 hour trip we had to make a stop to fuel up the van and this was also the first time that we had ever had to use a public bathroom; the girls weren’t very happy about the holes in the ground that were known as toilets. We also experienced Thailand’s version of KFC on our next stop of the trip; surprisingly it was very different from America’s KFC. After arriving in Phitsanulok we made our way over to the race site to scope things out and we liked what we saw: our own pit area, huge grand stands, and Thailand’s own version of Vendor Alley! What more could we have asked for?!

Thursday was a day of practicing for the racers so that the riders could get acclimated to the race course and unfortunately we experienced our second headache of the trip when one of the runabout’s motors blew; good thing one of Sam’s sisters was able to bring one from the warehouse so that Louis could begin working on the motor later that night. After a few hours of practice we headed back to our hotel to get cleaned up for the opening ceremony. The ceremony was absolutely amazing and we were so impressed with how much work the promoters put into making it an m emorable experience for all of the race teams. Our team was even able to meet some of the dignitaries that were at the ceremony.

Friday marked the first day of fiberglass warfare and our team of racers couldn’t be happier to experience the moment that they had all been waiting for: The chance to race on international waters for the first time and to be a part of one of the most prestigious races in the world! Derek, Christine, and Chelsea raced hard and put up a fight against the other international riders in their racing classes. Saturday and Sunday they, as well as Jeremy, continued to put up a fight during their remaining races. By the end of the race days our team was exhausted but they were glowing with excitement at the fact that they were racing in a foreign country with some of the best racers in the world! Although our team doesn’t always win their races, there couldn’t have been a better team to represent the United States of America in such a positive light.

On Sunday night after the races were over we had to pack up our equipment and get back to the hotel as fast as we could because the roads were going to be closed down for the arrival of the princess. When we finally got back to the hotel we barely had enough time to even change into a clean pair of clothes before we had to rush over to the neighboring building where the closing awards ceremony was to be held. Like the opening ceremony, they really hauled out the red carpet for this occasion…literally! After guards waved their security wands over each of us we were ushered into the beautiful room where we excitedly waited for the princess to arrive to present the King’s Cup awards to the racers who had won the Pro classes. Before the awards ceremony started Tony pulled a few strings and when the princess was done presenting the King’s Cup awards our team was quickly escorted outside where we waited alongside the red carpet near the princess’s car. While we waited for the princess to come out of the building there were photographers and camera crews with their cameras trained on us! When the princess came out we were able to personally present her with one of our team’s pit shirts and we were even able to talk to her for a minute before she left. We were the only team that was able to personally meet the princess and it was such a high honor for us to be presented with the opportunity!

Despite the fact that we ran into a few problems throughout the week (flat tires, blown motors, and broken steering cables) the trip was still amazing. We also made a ton of new friends and we were so impressed by how friendly and helpful everyone was. Thailand is definitely the “Land of Smiles”!


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