BY SHAIN GILLET
Clipper Sports Editor
WOODS CROSS — Two years ago, Brock Austin was one of the best junior-class jet ski racers around.
Now, at 18, Austin has gone from a junior champion to a national champion as he makes his way through a professional career. He is sponsored by as many as 10 companies worldwide.
Austin, who attended Woods Cross High School and now has a home in Bountiful, was recently crowned a national champion and will be taking part in several professional races in the future.
Those upcoming jet ski races will be held in several different locations including Canada, Arizona, and even Thailand. However, Brock’s family support is unlike any other kind of recognition for the local jet skier.
“His biggest sponsor are his parents,” said Kary Austin, Brock’s mother. “We work 60-80 hours a week and are part of his pit crew. We go all across the country every other week or so until the World Finals are held.”
Brock’s title this year came at the 2012 World Champion Expert Ski Limited event. Last year at the World Finals, he took home two third-place finishes in the Pro Am Ski Stock and Expert Ski Limited events.
Among his sponsors are Queen Racing, Weberpower, Oakley-Goggles/Sunglasses, Liquid Militia Clothing, DK1 designs Hydro Turf and Hot Products.
All will be watching in the near future, when the 18-year-old will head to events in Thailand later this year.
“We are hoping to get five or 10 more sponsors for next year,” said Austin. “When he goes to Thailand, one of his sponsors helps get the jet ski there, then pays for the three of us to go.”
For this season, which starts on April 20 at an event in Arizona, Brock will race in three classes. To make the world finals in October, he’ll have to be in the top three positions.
At the world finals, only 16 riders get a chance to start, so winning won’t hurt his chances either.
This year, Brock will race for the International Jet Sports Boating Association National Tour covering races held in Florida, Georgia and Nevada.
The season’s first race will take place on Saturday, April 20 in Parker, Ariz.
Austin will use up to three jet skis through the season, one of which he had to purchase in Austria called the Hydro Space. He also rides a Polaris Octane for ocean races.
As part of being a professional in racing, Austin has also learned how to paint and fix his jet skis, said Kary Austin.
“His biggest sponsor and mechanic, Mark Queen, has taught him to work on his skis while he’s at races,” Austin said. “He’s done very well in that regard.”
The World Finals, dubbed the “Super Bowl” of jet skiing, will be held this year in Lake Havasu, Ariz. from Oct. 9-13. Brock’s race in Thailand is scheduled for Dec. 9.
For more information about the IJSBA, visit ijsba.com.