Jet ski racing coming to new Orange home next week

Published 12:20 am Thursday, March 9, 2023

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Fun, intense and talented jet ski racing is coming to Orange next week, and it’s free for spectators.

Explore Orange and Nauti Water Racing are bringing the Jettribe Mid America WaterX Championship tour through the area from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 17 and 18 at the City of Orange Boat Ramp, located at 1000 Simmons Drive.

The races kick off Nauti Water Racing’s 2023 competition season.

Orange Events Manager Leigh Anne Harrell said the race organizer is based out of Austin and includes racers from California to the Gulf Coast.

“We are really excited,” she told Orange Newsmedia. “We spoke to the race director the other day, and he said it looks like they have 120 participants, so that is a pretty good number. Spectators are welcome to come. The races go all day long and just don’t stop.”

Dubbed locally, “Spring Break Shootout,” the family fun includes concessions, children’s activities and food trucks. There is NO admission for the races or children’s activities.

Please note no dogs and no pets are allowed at the City of Orange Boat Ramp or Riverside Pavilion. Coolers are welcome.

This first-time local event began when Nauti Water Racing contacted Orange.

“They were looking for a good boat ramp on the water, a location they had not been to before and something centrally located between their racers to start out,” Harrell said.

“One of their sponsors had been to an event here and said the city was easy to work with. They gave us a call to feel it out. The race director flew in from Austin to check it out and liked it.”

The race organization has booked numerous hotels in Orange, which is important, Harrell said, because her department functions off hotel occupancy tax.

“They have local catering for the teams,” she said. “Their host party is going to be in Orange. They wanted Shangri La information. They wanted to know what they could only find in Orange, Texas. We said we were absolutely interested in hosting them and have been working with them for eight or nine months.”

As an event manager, Harrell works to create the opportunity for tourists to come to Orange.

“We’re a small town, but for as long as our department is able to handle it financially, we will offer free and diverse events for different activities,” she said.

“We have a beautiful view right there on the venue, and that is something that sets us apart. You can’t go to any town in Texas and try to get on the river. It is very unique to here to have water activities for the waterways. We want to utilize what we can to get people down here to visit. When they visit, they stay in our hotels, eat at our restaurants and shop at our local stores. That is what we want.”

For additional information, contact the Orange Convention and Visitors Bureau at 409-883-1011 or online at