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Kotara, Holub families love racing their jet skis

Kotara, Holub families love racing their jet skis
Brothers Ty and Mason Kotara battle it out atop their jet skis in Lake Dallas.

LA VERNIA Although we were fortunate enough to enjoy a mild spring, one step outside these days will reveal that we are right back to a typical South Texas summer. It’s hot outside, and it’s only getting hotter.

When the weather heats up, many folks turn to water for relief. For some it’s as simple as a run through the sprinkler, while others go “all in” and head straight for a body of water.

For the Kotara and Holub families of La Vernia and Adkins, respectfully, they like to heat things up as they cool down, by racing jet skis on the lakes of Texas and beyond.

Billy Kotara of La Vernia, along with lifelong friend Paul Holub, his brother, Martin Holub, and their families, have been traveling across the state and beyond for several years now, competing in jet ski races. Billy and Paul started it all off, but have since been joined on the race courses by Billy’s sons; Ty, 16; Mason, 13; and Tanner, 10; along with Martin’s son, Cole, 15.

To make it a family event, the six racers pack not only their jet skis and gear, but their entire families and RVs and make a fun weekend out of every racing event.

“We have met a lot of wonderful people in the ’jet ski world,’ and we plan on keeping the sport alive as long as possible,” said Billy’s wife, Tracy.

Tracy said the family’s love affair with jet skis began in the mid ’80s with “wet bikes.” She said that when the stand-up jet ski came along, they “had to get one,” and joked that the one quickly “turned into four.” She said jet ski racing was quite popular in the ’90s, but opportunities in the area were limited. They eventually found a closed-course group in Texas, and the racing was on from there.

The Kotaras and Holubs joined the International Jet Ski and Boating Association as a requirement to race, and fell in love with the competition immediately after trying it. The family friends now travel monthly to areas like Baytown, Madisonville, and beyond, including destinations as far away as South Carolina and Nevada.

Billy and Paul started it all for the families, and they continue to lead the pack in the Pro class. Ty has recently moved up to the Pro class himself, and is looking to show his elders a thing or two.

Ty, Mason, and Cole had been racing in the same class together since 2010, and have had many good races together. Tracy summed it up quite easily saying, “Talk about brotherly competition!”

As Ty steps up to the Pro class, little brother Tanner is taking his spot, racing his hardest against Mason and Cole. There is no doubt he will be looking to prove he can run with the big guys.

The 2013 racing season is currently under way, and there is no slowing down these local fanatics. They will continue to race across Texas, and hopefully make a return trip to South Carolina. If things go well, they may even find themselves in the Nationals at Nevada’s Lake Havasu.

Good luck, guys!

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