Gardnerville brothers turn a dream into reality
For two Gardnerville Ranchos brothers, competing in the world championships of the sport they love is not just a dream but a reality.
The Prouty brothers, Wayne Jr., 18, and Shane, 21, recently completed a national competition tour and next month they will be going to the world championships – jet skiing.
Wayne Jr. and Shane placed seventh and eighth, respectively, in the International Jet Sports Boating Association (IJSBA) Budweiser Tour. The tour lasted five months and 11 races, taking them to Florida, Texas, California, Colorado, Iowa, Canada, Illinois and Pennsylvania.
“There’s a lot of effort that goes into it (competing in the tour): training, being on the road, maintaining the equipment, staying in condition for riding, practicing everyday,” said Wayne Sr., their father. “It’s a non-stop thing. It’s not just jump in a boat and ride.
“Usually guys that are 26 or 27 start getting their act together and partake in it. But my boys are young, so they’ve done real well.”
In water sport competitions, 20 racers compete in each event at different levels of skill such as beginner, novice, expert or pro. Also, they race by the class of water craft used. Wayne Jr. and Shane race Yamaha 1200 jet skis.
This was their first year competing as experts and the first year they did the whole Budweiser tour.
“We’ve raced locally before – regional races,” Shane said. “Going from a regional to a tour is a complete different level, of skill and equipment. Everyone is more serious about it. It’s more intense, definitely. It’s a lot of fun, though.”
Both brothers were pleased with how they performed on the tour.
“I wanted to do better, but I can’t really complain,” Wayne Jr. said. “There’s a lot of people who have been on the tour for about three to five years, and they placed behind us. So, we did pretty good.”
During the tour, the brothers enjoyed a great deal of support from their parents.
“Debbie and I are at every race,” Wayne Sr. said. “We fly into all the races. We are really proud of them.”
To train, they run almost every day, lift weights and, of course, ride their jet skis as much as possible. By placing in the top 10 on the Budweiser tour, they are automatically qualified for the world championships Oct. 5 through 13 at Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
Last year, in the class of novice, Wayne Jr. earned fifth place at the world championships.
Both brothers said they were optimistic about their chances this year. And after the competition, both intend to pursue lives revolving around water craft racing.
Shane, who has completed three years at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, plans to attend a mechanic school for water craft racing in Florida in November. Afterward, he will move to Laguna Niguel, Calif. and work for Mission Yamaha, the company sponsoring the brothers and providing them with jet skis now.
Wayne Jr. plans to go to Western Nevada Community College – and go pro.
Both the brothers and their father agree racing jet skis is an expensive undertaking. Wayne Sr. said he is very thankful to their sponsors at Mission Yamaha. Shane is very thankful to another group of people.
“I’d like to thank my parents for putting up with all the crap we have to go through. We deal with a lot of hard things,” he said. “But, it’s good for the family. We get to spend a lot of time together. I appreciate everything they’ve done.”