ZACHARY, LA.- On June 6, The LA Night Jam will be making a return to the Baton Rouge area. This event can be described as an extreme sports competition meets family festival. Set under a stadium lit lake, local vendors, musicians, athletes and fans gather for the most unique night out of the summer. The best waterski jumpers in the world will qualify for their chance to compete in the LA Night Jam finals held under the lights.
An estimated 4,000-6,000 spectator will see the top 6 women and 8 men in the world jumping death defying distances, all at night. Gates open at 5:00pm and the finals will start at 8:00pm and continue through the darkness. Event admission is $5 per person or $20 per carload. A new addition to this year’s event is the totally reconstructed VIP area. The VIP section has been moved and is going to be more exclusive and interactive with more perks than ever. Early bird tickets are on sale now until the end of April for a discounted price of $25. A corporate VIP package is also available and includes employee/client entertainment and company signage.
With lights provided by Turner Industries and Rockin’ sound and visuals by Custom Audio and Video the venue will be glowing! Corporate Sponsors so far include: 225 Magazine, Hancock Bank, Mockler Beverage, CocaCola, Sammy’s Grill, Domino’s Pizza, Tiki Tubes, and Dippin’ Dots. Many other local supporters and vendors will be will be onsite with products and displays, on and off the water.
Returning this year, U.S.A’s own Freddy Krueger, night jump record holder (230 feet) and reigning champion will be out fighting to hold on to the longest night jump in history. Following closely will be 08 runner up Canadian, Jaret Llewelyn. Also watch for local favorites Damien Sharman and Stephen Critchley. On the women’s side we have last year’s champion June Fladborg of Denmark. Also battling it out we will see Danyelle Bennett, of Bennett’s Waterski school, jumping on her home lake. Two rounds of qualifying will take place at 8:00am (open to press only) and the gates open to the public later that evening at 5:00pm.
Lake-One will be where the competition takes place but check out Lake-Two for a variety of floating displays and demonstrations. The center levee is reserved for general public viewing and vendors. Product booths, amusements, food and drink, live music, wakeboard exhibition, barefoot, show ski, freestyle jumping and other displays are only a few of the headlining events of the LA Night Jam. This adrenaline pumping show will demonstrate athletes hitting the ramp at around 70mph, before flying through the darkness reaching unbelievable distances.
“I’m really excited to be hosting this event in my own backyard. It will be a great opportunity for the community to experience our sport while having an entertaining night out,” Danyelle Bennett.
Waterskiing? A spectator sport?
Bigger and better? More crowd interaction, more excitement, more extreme, more danger!? How can we make waterskiing a spectator sport!? This is what three essential waterski industry guys sat down to ponder one evening by a beautiful lakeside sunset; Jay Bennett of Bennett’s Waterski and Wakeboard School, Aarne Clow of Matercraft Boats, and Chris Sullivan of Radar Skis. “How can we make this better?”
Professional Waterski Jumpers fly at a 6’ ramp at 70mph and soar through the air over 200’ in distance… How do make THAT more exciting!? Well, sitting there at sunset, the answer was simple. Turn out the lights! Lets host a competition at night! And thus, the LA Night Jam began to develop.
Only a handful of ski sites around the word have attempted such a setting. It is quite dangerous and a little difficult to persuade the athletes that this is actually GOOD for their sport. With the masterminds of Jay Bennett and professional extreme distance jumper Freddy Kruger, the lighting was tried, tested and strategically locked down into prime position. The skier comes flying out of the darkness, soars through the air and lands safely with out being blinded.
The crowds at the 2007 INT National Championships, hosted at Bennett’s Waterski and Wakeboard School would be the test group. Their Saturday night entertainment, little did they know, was just the teaser for the most successful stop on the MasterCraft Pro Tour the following season. With a captive audience already in place, we only had to invite potential future sponsors (or VIPs from town) to join in on the action.
The reaction was incredible as you can imagine. It was talked about and built upon and after months and months of blood sweat and tears the 2008 LA Night Jam came to be. With shorelines packed out full of vendors, live entertainers, professional athletes, music, drinks and food the legendary LA Night Jam was officially born. Media coverage came from 104X radio commercials and a live broad cast from the boat, WBRZ morning shows, Cox TV commercials, the advocate fun section, and 225 magazine.
After drawing a crowd of 4,000 general public spectators, and being the most successful stop on the MasterCraft Professional Waterski tour in 2008, the 2009 LA Night Jam is well on its way to making another huge hit in the Zachary and Greater Baton Rouge area. With a whole new show, new boats, more vendors, new bands, new amusements and even some surprise appearances, the 2009 LA Night Jam is scheduled to be, well… Bigger and Better!