While two-thirds of the country was locked in a deep-freeze with sub-zero temperatures, Southern California jet boaters were breaking out the sunblock for a day on Lake Elsinore at the annual Tom Papp Memorial Run. This semi-impromptu gathering of jet-setters is now a just-after New Year’s tradition, honoring the passing of one of the most popular and proficient jet boat guru’s of the high performance west coast scene. Papp was a master of all things jet boat related, including hull design, set-up, hardware, rigging, pump tricks and engines. An incredible number of river racers and dragsters flowed through his shop at one time or another seeking advice and expertise.
Over the years, the event has grown mainly through word-of-mouth. There are no sign-ups or entry fees, just show up, behave yourself and have a good time. It also doesn’t hurt that Southern California always seems to come through with incredible sunny skies and glass smooth water.
This year, somewhere on the plus side of eighty boats lined the launch ramp to remember and swap stories about Tom. The equipment came in all shapes and sizes from full-on race boats to bone-stock family cruisers….just the way Tom would have liked it.