Ride by Day, Wrench by Night, presented by VintageJetSki, has great stories, modification tips and amazing insight into the world of jetski racing from the glory days right through to today. Cam Wise brings you in-depth, personal conversations with the biggest names in the sport, from the legendary racers of the 80s and 90s to today's industry leaders.
Chris 'The Flying Fish' Fischetti
This episode is with one of the industry’s most colorful characters - 1991 World Champion, Chris 'the Flyin Fish' Fischetti
The Fish was one of the rock stars of the early 90s and was always easy to spot, even amongst the bright colors, due to his signature shark fin that he wore on his back.
Not only was the Fish a weapon in the water, but he was a great leader in the community out of it, starting the Fish Syndicate.
His dad, affectionately known as Pops, was his leading mechanic and between them they had some amazing machines, at times having an edge over their rivals at PJS.
Listen in for not only some amazing set up tips, but some crazy stories from the scene in the 90s with all your favorite legends
You’re loved in the community, you started the Fish Syndicate, tell us about that Everyone who ran the show for the jet skis went straight to X Games You guys were rock stars back then, it was a beach party with a jet ski event Running into Troy Lee It must have been so much fun to be on a tour like this Fish’s Adventure - tell us about that Scott Watkins was the best rider who did Jet Dreams and then moved to Jet Pilot - he was the guy The jet ski tour really blew up after the big jetski videos Tell us about the Paris indoor race series in Bercey, that must have been great! What do you remember about the Australian Surf Series racing against Todd Ross and Scott Miller? How did you all go over to race in Japan? Jet skis were manufactured in Nebraska and distributed from there Where did your shark fin come from? Your business Hole Shot Engineering and the X2 650 Supercharger The supercharger giving you the edge against the PJS riders You had fierce rivalries but were great friends off the track, what trouble did you guys cause back in the day? Fort Worth, Texas race in 1990 and you have a throttle linkage issue and ended 15th You’re always doing R&D, everything you needed you had to bring with you You had good support from a bunch of sponsors: Hole Shot, Mariner, Sano Pads, Solas Impellers, Jet Pilot, Oakley, Arai Helmets, Graydon Proline and Gold’s Gym to name a few I started off racing for Fun Tech who made “The Wedge” What’s the story with Bum Bum? Tell us about the 1990 World Finals 1991 you became World Champion, but you got badly injured in a car accident! Two weeks after the crash was the first of the Hot Water Tour, I hit someone's ski and I fractured my arm Your dad was a monster engine builder involved with Indycar His race savvy was a huge advantage 1991 was the pinnacle for the 550 engines with an engine your dad made for you It forced us to run a stock flywheel Explain the water cooling system for the bearing Was that your favourite 550 engine? How did you modify the pump? We built the pump, bent and tuned the props, lightened drive line, worked on the steering and intake, dad build the cranks, pistons and the carbs My dad hand built all of this in our garage What was it like competing against a factory backed rider using your own parts? Secrecy in the pits Jeff Jacobs used lead on his ski to keep the nose down, did you do that too? Scoop grates and the ride plate length are important What did it feel like winning the World Championship in 1991? There was no social media, you had to attend events Handling: Fish Sticks - Rhaas Five5Zero Sponsons: tell us about them! This is the first mod that you should do to your ski Having the handle pull height right and having a short steering plate, to make the steering Wedge some foam under the handle pull to stop it dropping too low Engine setup: Have a good set of carbs that you can tune well Your best racing memory: Famous desert parties and the World Finals How many “real” world champions are there on pure jet ski hulls? The journey is more important than the race results
Rob 'SPLASH' Hallstrom - Editor of the Infamous SPLASH Magazine
Today’s episode is with Rob Hallstrom, former editor of SPLASH magazine! He was definitely a lucky man in the right place at the right time to ride the wave of the golden era of the Jet Ski world. Get an insight into the inner workings of SPLASH Magazine, what it took to put together, some of the challenges they faced and some of the unreal perks he got as an editor covering a sport that he loved! We hope you enjoy this interview with a man at the forefront of the Jet Ski world!
01:20 Hello and welcome Rob
01:40 How did you get involved in the world of Jet Skis?
04:15 What work did you do outside of Jet Skis? VW Trends Magazine
06:20 The perks of being editor means you always have a great ski
07:55 What does an editor actually do?
10:00 How did you start at Splash Magazine?
13:45 How did the interviews work back then? Technology has changed!
16:00 Splash Magazine’s had the best colour
17:20 What makes a good interview?
18:30 In Your Face
20:25 Bad interviews
21:45 Getting onto the cover of the magazine
25:40 Getting to test Jet Skis
26:35 New model releases
29:50 We always got to test the latest tech
32:45 Trips to Australia with Jet Pilot
36:20 Yamaha special testing with new Jet Skis getting to ride 120 miles
37:55 The right time at the right place
39:00 Big money changed the industry
42:15 Ed Miller’s PJS Ski the VHP
44:40 The Fish Report
47:55 Custom Corner
49:40 Custom of the Month
52:05 What was your favourite part of the magazine?
53:10 Splash Bash and the Mex Rager
57:00 Riding motorcycles on Route 66 with Spat
01:01:30 The infamous riot
01:03:30 The end of your Splash Magazine career and starting with European Car Magazine
01:06:25 The demise of the magazine as a concept
01:09:00 What are you doing these days? 714 Media
01:10:15 What does your Splash collection look like?
01:12:15 Thank you so much for your time!
'Dangerous' Dan Fitzgerald - 2021 Vintage Class World Champion
Today’s episode is with the 2021 Vintage Class Jet Ski World Champion, ‘Dangerous’ Dan Fitzgerald! Coming up through the ranks from the early 90’s, he is still riding, racing and winning! Join us as we go down memory lane and relive his early races, the fierce battles he was in, tech innovations like EFI systems, balancing a career being an accountant with wrenching, starting a business and what competing in the 2021 World Finals was like. Dan has a wealth of knowledge about Jet Ski racing, you’re in for a treat with this one!
Dan’s career has spanned for over 30 years and has seen him regularly earning top 5 positions against the big names of the sport in the ProMod class during the early 90s before he went on to even bigger heights.
We cover an incredible play by play race recap of when Dan took out the last race of the 1995 national tour in Dallas in the 1200 runabout class We ‘Nerd out’ on the differences between MRD mechanical fuel injection and the Triton EFI system, Dan has run them both How he managed a full time accounting career whilst balancing his ambitions to become a pro jetskier as a privateer with only minimal sponsorship support And how his grit and determination paid dividends when Factory Yamaha, Team RIVA, came knocking on his door with an opportunity he couldn’t refuse We finish with some in depth advice from Dan on how to modify your 550 for the best performance possible plus so many more interesting insights along the way. Dan found a way to build his passion into a business with the launch of Jet World Power Sports. If you’d like to find out more about what products Dan has to offer then head to his website at JetWorldPowerSports.com
00:13 Intro 01:47 Hello and welcome! How did you get started in Jet Ski racing? 03:50 How and when did you get into wrenching? 07:30 Your dad’s role in your wrenching and your first race 11:20 Regional races with worn out motors 13:00 How did you become friends with Jeff Jacobs with the age difference? 16:55 Senators Wash 18:25 Australian Pursuit and the value of riding with better riders 21:30 Funny story about Jeff Jacobs 23:40 What racing memories do you have with Jeff? 26:00 The 750’s equalized the racing 27:30 My gear wasn’t as fast but it was very reliable 28:35 The beginnings of business 29:45 Finding performance in reliability meant focusing more on the bottom end 31:55 Did you ever train with Jeff? Did you ever get to ride his race skis? 33:50 You had a big list of sponsors in your pro years then none in your expert years 37:30 A story about L&S 40:50 It was inspiring to see you out there financing yourself 43:50 1991 tour you ended 5th place, what was that like? 45:50 White Brothers and Good Time Racing 47:50 Riding 650’s 50:00 I switched to a 750 with MRD fuel injection for the World Finals and getting injured 51:50 What is your professional opinion of MRD fuel injection? 54:15 I had a 750 with a Triton EFI as well 56:10 How engine tuning worked 01:01:40 How did you measure performance? 01:05:40 Did you ever see Victor Sheldon or Jeff Jacobs EFI? 01:08:25 Standups to Runabouts and a very tough 1993 01:14:02 This is what dreams and legends are made of 01:22:05 I made over $100 000 just racing jet skis! 01:23:48 What was it like having a professional career while racing? 01:30:15 Starting your own business 01:33:35 The hulls flexed so much that it wrecked the drive coupler 01:35:35 Last round of the national tour 01:44:00 Big battles in the World Finals 01:49:30 You haven’t stopped racing but now you had a business: Jet World Powersports 01:52:40 Mike Cohen from PJS came to work with me 01:53:05 We do Sea Doo Watercraft, CanAm Spyder, Beta and Husqvarna Motorcycles, Polaris, Yamaha and Kawasaki, Torrot Electric Motorcycles and Electric Motion 01:55:20 You are the current World Vintage Class Champion taking it away from Wyland Redon, what’s it like racing today vs the old days? 01:57:50 Walk us through you
Wyland Reden: Race Ready for World Finals
Today’s episode is a special one, we are focusing on getting the most performance out of your jet ski using tricks and tips from one of the best in the business, 2020 Vintage Class World Champion Wyland Reden! We’ve saved some of his top engine
and handling tips for this episode to help you get ready for the World Finals! If you want to race with the best in the sport or just enjoy riding with your friends more, this episode is for you!
YOUR JET SKI
01:00 So tell us about your ski: dual 46 carbs, reverse jets that’s tuned well, west
coast cylinder with hand done porting, Kaufmann full pipe, for a good top and bottom
end. Full length, hand ported intake manifold. 03:15 What head do you use and under what compression? West Coast head at 195
compression, 200 and over just damaged the engine. 04:40 We use a normal but lightweight crank. 04:50 We replace the PJS pistons every 6 months of racing. 05:30 Waterbox and exhaust. 06:24 Pump: I use a Rhaas 750 conversion kit bored to almost 800 with a big swirl
prop, impellers at a high angle as well as an 800 pump nozzle that automatically
drops as you turn. 07:17 We have settled on a flat ride plate extended 3 inches out and size 21 rings. 08:10 Top end vs low end performance. 08:44 Advice for people getting into the 550 class. 09:21 It has become necessary to have a 750 pump to be competitive. 10:36 What did you use before the 750 pump? 12:00 It’s very difficult to weld anything onto a ride plate. 13:08 We use 2 washers on the ride plate to angle it slightly down. 14:25 How do you fill the gaps between the ride plate and the hull?. 15:14 That’s a good way to stop the ski from bouncing around too much. TOP SPEED
15:43 They used to use a radar gun on the back straight to measure top speed, how
do you measure it today? We use the GPS data from a GoPro, a phone as well as
using a radar gun. 17:09 Your highest ever speed on a 550: 56mph. 18:24 You have to choose between acceleration and top speed. 19:12 Picture of Jeff Jacobs going 57mph. 20:15 Top speed run:what intake grate do you use? Rhaas top loader. FUEL
22:02 How much do you put in? ¾ tank. 23:43 Which fuel do you use? VP 110 Racing Fuel that is kept super cold. PREP FOR RACE
24:30 What is your process of prep to get ready for the start line with your holder? 26:43 What do you do on the line to get your jet ski ready for the race? 30:48 How do you prepare yourself for the start of the race? 30:39 Reading the conditions and mentally preparing. 34:38 Troubles in the season: narrowly avoiding a fire. 36:26 I turn on the bilge pump at the last minute because it uses battery power. 38:13 Ignition system and flywheels, don’t play with reverse magnets. GET READY TO RACE
39:48 Why do you rev before the race? To clear the water. 40:47 How to time the start. 42:26 I prefer the inside split, it’s tighter and shorter. My ski turns sharply or not at all. PRIZE MONEY IN RACING
44:05 No money in the US but some good cash prizes overseas like in Thailand. 45:08 My team is a big part of my racing. 47:00 Did you see Harry Goatcher and Jeff Jacobs? PLANS FOR NEXT YEAR
47:57 I won’t leave the 550’s but I’m moving to the Pro Class. 49:42 We are trying to start a stock spec class, no modifications and far cheaper. 53:31 There’s something special when you go back to how things used to be.
'Fly N Ty' McFarland: Finding Legendary Vintage JetSkis
Ty McFarland is best known for having a garage full of amazing skis and bringing some great products to the market.
Over the years, Ty has built one of the most impressive vintage jetski collections in the industry, including v-hull 400s and has owned numerous Jeff Jacobs’ race skis including the most legendary of them all, Jeff’s 1991 World Finals winning Electronic Fuel Injected PJS 550. Listen in for a great story about how he also owned a race boat belonging to the Flyin Fish, Chris Fischetti for just one day.
In recent years, Ty started Fly-N-Ty JetSki Products and has been creating OEM Reproduction Tanks for the 550s. Plus, there are now brand new tanks available for all those X2 fans out there! I know right, these have been in hot demand in recent years and they’re finally here. Now if you want to freshen up your ski ready for the water you can find all these tanks as well as difference variations and colors by heading straight to vintagejetski.com/fuel
00:17 Introduction 01:42 Hello and welcome to Fly-n-Ty! How did you get involved in the sport? 04:38 The police didn’t mind me, the regular boats were mad at us 06:02 Meeting Bruce Phelped and the fasted jet ski ever, he used a custom ride plate to get to top speed 10:18 Pushing the limits of what is technically a Jetski 12:45 You did a lot of freestyle riding, did you race too? I liked tricks more than racing 16:03 Your ski inspired mine, how did you design your ski? 20:36 Tell us about your freestyle career, you have some very cool tricks. How do you do underwater tricks? 25:00 Entering your first freestyle events, they were strict with where you can practice 30:05 Tips for new riders, tow your ski backwards 32:50 What’s your favourite part of a vintage jetski? 35:13 Confusion with warning lights, red for off or red for warning. 36:39 Difference between 4 stroke SuperJet vs old school 550 40:57 You have the biggest collection of vintage jet skis. Tell us about the A and B version of the V-hull 400’s 45:06 How to read the VIN number 50:02 What else is unique about the 400’s 52:44 White and silver SX skis from Japan 53:20 What prices are we talking about these days? All based on supply and demand, people these days buy multiple skis at once 56:15 How does colour influence the price 59:16 Interchangeability is a huge advantage on a vintage jetski 01:01:48 Using a 440 pump that's tuned well will get a higher top speed than a bigger pump 01:04:45 You have several Vintage racing JetSkis How have you managed to find and budget for them? Save a little every month and use UShip.com 01:09:19 How to tell if you have a real authentic racing jet ski. Match up the scratches and dents 01:11:55 How to get these great skis: Act fast, have the money ready and use UShip.com (or take vacation time to travel to the seller) 01:13:36 You owned Fischetti’s ski for 1 day? 01:16:41 Buying Jeff Jacob’s ski from PJS Man’s brother - from the Du Pont’s, fuel injection came in a box - the batteries don't last, 44mm carbs to replace the fuel injection - PJS said please don’t contact us anymore, it’s a one off race ski and we can’t keep fixing it up for you 01:24:00 Touching up vintage jet skis: I don’t touch up race boats 01:26:40 Tell us about the Indycar styled fuel injection 01:27:43 Jeff Jacobs did his own undercover mods, his dad developed their own pump and used other parts he didn’t tell anyone about, he would take them off before end of the season 01:32:47 Any other secrets you stumbled across? 91 Reed engine and how Jeff beat 700’s on his 550 01:39:52 Jeff comes out of retirement and rides in boardshorts and absolutely smashes the competition, did you own that SuperJet? 01:43:42 The Vintage Jetski museum, the history and where it went wrong, plans for the future 01:49:49 Meeting the Godfather of Jetskis: Clayton Jacobs Snr 01:53:29 You also met Fred Tunstall 01:57:13 You make reproduction tanks, tell us about how that came about? 02:00:42 What is the
Rachel Cummings: How Wrenching on JetSkis Can Make You a Better Racer
This week we chat with Rachel Cummings, one of the rising stars of the sport, on racing, wrenching and getting started in Vintage Jetskis.
Rachel has motorsport in her blood with years of experience riding enduro motorbikes with her dad, but it wasn’t until she was 20 years old that Rachel was introduced to the sport by her boyfriend, Andrew.
Between them they’ve racked up countless hours of wrenching and admit their passion for the sport has driven them to build race skis faster than they were designed to go.
Join us as we go into detail about those modifications, setup and engine tips that Rachel uses to get the best out of her ski.
Checkout all this and more on the Ride by Day, Wrench by Night podcast.
00:15 Introduction. 01:52 How did you get into jet skiing? 04:24 You have a boyfriend who loves jet skis too. 07:30 You started on an X2, when did you get a superjet? 09:50 Innovation is great, it leads to the whole industry going forward. 10:27 Finding your SuperJet just before spring break. 12:12 How we converted the ski for the surf. 14:02 Disappointed with the performance at first. 15:35 Chasing whaleboats at Pismo. 20:20 Your first real jet ski event at Huntington Beach. 22:34 Andrew’s family has a house at Lake Havasu. 24:09 I was racing just to finish. 25:20 How did your first race go? 26:58 Scrambling to get gear last minute. 27:39 I was the only girl who signed up. 29:04 We realized we were actually competitive. 29:41 We pitted next to Michael Prodanovich. 31:04 So you ride dirt bikes too? Tell us about that. 36:58 Risk vs reward became more important. 37:31 How did you go from your SuperJet to a vintage ski? 40:28 Andrew has been collecting parts for years. 43:20 Mark Gomez riding without a hood. 44:07 Your ski in particular is really nice, tell us about where that started. 46:21 How did you budget and plan for your ski? 47:49 Wrenching is the fun part, it gives you a greater connection to your gear. 51:46 Mod parts do change your style, it really is personal preference. 53:37 What’s your preference on steering? She prefers a slower turn to combat over-adjusting. Steering takes priority over the engine when upgrading. 56:32 Tell us about your 750 pump, what difference could you feel compared to a 550? 59:20 What is your recommendation on impeller pitch? We bend them ourselves and test. 01:00:20 Tell us about your intake, they are very aggressive. 01:01:14 Tell us about your ride plate, what adjustments have you made? Cut holes into it. 01:02:42 We are all here to help each other, Andrew is very open with what he does. 01:03:41 Engine bay: 550 Reed engine, RC520 Cylinders, custom porting. 01:04:14 Compression: Over 200 psi. 01:06:37 Intake: Dual carburettor setup, the rest is custom and secret, but it is tuned well. 01:07:17 Ignition: Lightened flywheel with MSD Ignition using the older analog chips, The downsides of Total Loss Ignition. 01:10:14 Batteries: We always buy good batteries, I get a whole day out of a charge, you can use a lightened charging flywheel for a compromise between stock and full mod. 01:11:57 What are your best memories of that build? 01:13:49 Why do you use a halfpipe in your engine? We just tried it and liked it. 01:14:30 What about the waterbox? It is custom made as well. 01:14:52 What are your goals for 2021 and the World Finals? 01:15:42 2020 World Finals goal was to finish in the top 10 01:18:04 How are you preparing differently this year vs last year? Skills vs fitness? Signing up for more races. 01:24:01 Tell us about women's racing and your experience of it. 01:27:17 What is your favourite part about the Vintage Jetski community? Why would someone want to join? Final Questions 01:30:10 Handling setup: Sand the grooves in your hull to make them even and a bit deeper, use bed liner to keep it safe and strong. 01:32:24 Engine tips: Put duel carburettors in it, high compression head, make it tunable. 1:34:01 Favourite races: Mark Gomez GoPro footage of Rachel (https:
Loved every minute of the interview Cam. , could have listened to Harry all day , what a great insight to a legend, I followed Harry through his career.
What a fantastic episode team.. and that introduction! Wowee.. love the synthwave vibe! Great work, keep it up. Looking forward to the next epsiode!