Exclusive interview with James Bushell for PBR Magazine
1. Tell us about your background and history with watersports James..
I have been riding Jet skis since I was 4 years old. My dad used to have jet skis and we used to take it to Hunstanton and that’s where I did most my practising in the early days. I turned PRO in 2007, I did this for 2 years and in 2009, at the age of 25 I opened my own business selling and fixing jet skis ‘158 Performance’.
2. How did you come to be involved with watersports and Aquabiking?
I went to watch a race at Tattershall Lakes in 2000 and loved the look. After that I was hooked and I knew I wanted to go racing.
Now I practice at Tattershall lakes and my company 158 Performance runs the lake there.
3. What in particular draws you to this particular sport?
The close racing.
The immense acceleration of 600HP 0-60mph in 2 seconds. Top speeds of 100mph.
The adrenaline kick.
The super quick turning is like nothing you can experience anywhere else!
The friendly Jet Ski family.
I get to race all over the world.
4. What have been some of the rewards you’ve personally derived from the sport?
From the sport I have gained a high respectable business which is now the number 1 dealer in the UK for BRP Products. We are the only Super centre in the UK. I have also made some lifelong friends all over the world and earnt some good prize money along the way! I’ve been to some of the most amazing locations and countries. For 32 years old I consider myself pretty lucky to have been to so many places.
5. Describe some of your most satisfying achievements?
Winning World Finals in Havasu, USA in Pro Open and GP in 2011 was my first major success. Then I went back again in 2012 and won both classes again.
One really satisfying win has to be winning The King’s Cup in Thailand in 2014 and then to win it again in 2015 was a great achievement for me and my team.
6. What other top riders do you most admire and for what reasons?
I admire many riders, when I was younger my biggest inspirations were Nicholas Rius and Chris MacClugage.
Now the one to keep an eye of for is Gyorgy Kasza….and myself obviously!
7. How competitive is Aquabiking and is there also a strong camaraderie amongst the racers?
Aquabike is very competitive which is why I have moved to this series. H20 Racing take us to some amazing locations all over the world. All the contracted racers have become like a family as we all get on and help each other.
8. Is it a difficult sport to get into and is it very costly to get on the circuit?
No it is a very easy sport to get into, contact your national governing body to get a race license and then you can start in the lower classes. In the UK you can go and race with the ‘JSRA’. It is a very cheap sport at the lower levels obviously when you get to top level like me it is very expensive and you need some good sponsors.
9. What advice would you give to others seeking to take up the sport?
Train hard, practice hard and never give up!
10. What other goals would you like to fulfil when it comes to on water pursuits?
This year I would like to win the Aquabike World Championship as this is the only title I have not won!
11. For those wishing to follow in your footsteps, what advice can you give with regard to securing and maintain sponsorship interest?
Make sure you actually use the products that you are trying to secure sponsorship from. Your sponsors will be expecting your feedback. It is very rare to get financial sponsorship these days so do not turn your nose up at a product based sponsorship, it all helps!
I try to promote my sponsors where ever possible, their logos are on my team clothing and jet skis. Social media plays a big part these days and I am finally getting with the times and have set up my own racing page. ‘James Bushell #158 Racing’.
12. What are you looking for forward to in terms of the 2017 season ahead?
Great races around the world with the hopes of winning the Aquabike World Championship. I would also like to win The King’s Cup again for a 3rd time.