"No ticket required."
Those are the big red words splashed across the flier for the 2012 World Jet Boat Marathon Championship. For the first time ever, Idaho hosts the races in April.
It's a really big deal, especially for fans like Gary Labrum, who lives in the Boise area.
In 1995, Labrum and his brother obtained an aluminum hull that had been used as a 1988 Weldcraft-sponsored Jet River Racer. They converted it into the family fishing boat—a metal bass boat.
In 2003, that boat's life changed.
The Salmon River race needed boats, so Labrum and his brother stripped down their fishing boat, put in a roll bar and seat belts, and went racing.
They were hooked.
Labrum is now the U.S. race director for the World Jet Boat Marathon. In an upcoming article for Boise Weekly, Labrum and others talk about their love of jet boat racing and why the marathon coming to Idaho in April is such a big deal.
The races will be held on the St. Joe, Snake, Clearwater and Salmon rivers. Competitors come from the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Mexico—the only four countries that jet boat river race.
"No ticket required." In other words, bring your own chair and you, too, can watch jet boats speeding down the river at more than 100 mph.