Wisbech jet ski ace James Bushell shrugs off horrific 75mph crash to retain European titles
WISBECH jet ski supremo James Bushell has been crowned king of Europe again - just weeks after his machine was written off in a horrific 75mph crash.
The 28-year-old, who also holds world and British titles, was left battered and bruised after his high-speed smash but battled on to defend his two titles at the International Jet Sport Boating Association (ISJBA) European Championship in Austria.
Although still recovering from his injuries, Bushell won all three of his final races to be crowned winner in the Run Stock Pro-Am and Pro Run GP classes.
His father Steve said: “It’s an absolutely amazing achievement. I’m so proud of James, particularly for coming back so strongly after such a nasty crash and injury.
“It was sheer grit and determination that got him through. He got straight back on another ski after his smash and with a damaged knee ligament and severe bruising finished 19th in the super stock race. The next day he came second in another race.
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“At the last racing weekend he won all three of his races against a very tough European line-up. We couldn’t be prouder.
“In this Olympic year he’s really flying the flag for British jet-skiing. Now we can’t wait for him to retain his title at the World Championships.”
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Bushell, a partner at Tallington and Tattershall-based 158 Performance Ltd, was lucky to escape even more serious injury when the steering cable snapped on his ski during a training run in Portugal.
As the machine careered out of control, the sport’s brightest star jumped clear seconds before the machine hit a tree at the edge of the lake and sunk to the bottom.
He had to race on a replacement ski in order to accumulate points and stand any chance of retaining his titles.
He finished 13 points ahead of Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Botti to lift the Pro Run GP crown and 21 points ahead of Belgium’s Benny Grieten to walk away with the Run Stock Pro-Am title.
Bushell said: “It’s been an incredible racing season in the Europeans for me, despite my accident, and I’m so pleased to have brought the titles home to Britain.
“Now I can’t wait to race in the World Championships. Bring it on!”