After a rough start, efforts to build a monument to personal watercraft have started to gain speed in Lake Havasu City.
The project was announced last year, and organizers for the monument broke ground Wednesday near the intersection of McCulloch and Beachcomber Boulevards.
According to ProWatercraft founder and former Jet Ski world champion Chris Hagest, the hard part may be over as the project’s first phase now begins.
“We started this last year, and it has taken this long to organize the details with the city,” Hagest said this week. “We never stopped, but it did go very slow. Our goal for phase one is to have the concrete and steel monument with a paved walkway installed by the end of September.”
Hagest says the monument is intended to convey Havasu’s legacy in the personal watercraft community.
The first modern personal watercraft was created in Havasu almost 50 years ago, by American inventor Clayton Jacobson II. Since then, Havasu has become a popular venue for personal watercraft races and events – including the annual International Jet Sport Boating Association’s world finals.
“This town has been the hub for many decades,” Hagest said. “Innovation in the personal watercraft industry has mostly come from these waters. People from around the world have been coming to town and investing here for decades because of the PWC lifestyle.”
According to Hagest, however, the sport is little-represented in Havasu.
“Past-Mayor Mark Nexsen has proclaimed that Lake Havasu is the PWC capital of the world,” Hagest said. “Now with Mayor Cal Sheehy, we have worked together to create this city-approved monument of art to help celebrate and tell our story to the world.”
Hagest says he hopes the monument will bring more value to the Havasu community, and make personal watercraft recreation a more recognizable facet of the city’s appeal to visitors.
“The PWC community values Lake Havasu’s water access, businesses and conveniences,” Hagest said. “We hope our story can be an asset to the community.”
Hagest is raising donations for the ongoing project through his personal website, as well as a GoFundMe crowdsourcing campaign.
For more information, visit https://prowatercraftracing.com/lake-havasu-pwc-monument-project.