NQC Jet Ski® Program

2016 Never Quit Challenge 300

Never Quit Challenge 300 is a unique Phoenix Patriot Foundation program featuring and powerful outdoor adventures focused on elite team building, something veterans crave. The 2016 NQC took place in Lake Havasu City AZ on Feb 27th, and this is the second year that PPF veterans participated in the Mark Hahn 300 Memorial endurance race. Our veterans worked in groups with volunteers and former veterans of all commands during the grueling 300 mile race. This race used a dynamic pit crew strategy with support from industry leaders and partner companies. Thank you to our sponsors and supporters; K38, Gold Coast Skydivers, Hydro Turf, Kawasaki Motors Corporation USA providing Kawasaki Jet Skis, River Rat Racing, Liquid Militia Clothing, Romer Beverage, Schulte Family Foundation and our volunteer supporters. #PPFHelpsVets

2015 Never Quit Challenge 300 - Interview with Andrew Mellon

Andrew Mellon - NQC Ambassador

The Never Quit Challenge is a Jet Ski Program for combat wounded and veterans, Gold Star Family members of our Memorial Program and for volunteers to come together under challenging adventures that present hardships and teamwork as one unified front. 

The Never Quit Challenge 300 was held during the Hot Products Mark Hahn 300 Memorial PWC race held at Lake Havasu, Arizona. It is an extreme PWC team endurance race that allows for 2 racers, 1 boat and a fully loaded pit crew to assist the Veterans on their pit stops for refueling or rider exchange. 

The NQC serviced 7 race teams on board Kawasaki Ultra Jet Skis with the support of Liquid Militia Clothing, Hydro Turf and Kanalu K38

What was your Role in the Never Quit Challenge 300?

I was a primary ATV driver/ team leader

What was your expectation going into the NQC?

To have all of our NQC Veterans have a great time and earn some podium finishes!

Was the Food and Hospitality from PPF and Kawasaki adequate at the race site?

Excellent

Was there any significant moment that stood out where you believed something strong shifted for you?

Everything was prepared and properly done. Without any pre-training there was nothing else we could have done. I think that watching all of these men and women come together for one purpose is amazing. I didn’t know half the people in the crew but it felt as if we knew them all along. It was great to be able to watch these guys have a blast!

Was there a defining moment that you noticed where everything clicked?

2nd pit stop all of the rust was gone, everyone understood and the butterflies were gone.

What do you believe is unique about the Phoenix Patriot Foundation Jet Ski Program?

Everyone is brought together. It’s about the people involved from the Veterans, the sponsors and the volunteers!

How would you describe the NQC 300?

Awesome!

Did you feel you and your efforts were appreciated?

Definitely

Words for the organizer:

Excellent work, now take a break LOL

Dealer 54 Pit Crew: How would you define your team?

Fu’IN BADASS!

Any other comments?

We want to take care of our Veteran race teams, this means we put safety first in all our pre-preparations. The race promoters need to widen the ‘Hot Pit’ areas, making the ATVs leave constantly is a big safety concern, too much reduction of resources and time not managed well, there is no place to park the ATV’s while waiting, they should assign a secondary zone. We could have had 3 fully staffed and staged pit lanes ready at all times for our 7 race teams. Instead we have to drive slowly through the “HOT” pits, all the while there are spectators, and other pit staff standing in the middle of the drive isle.
That was the one thing that REALLY bothered me. Those people should not be standing in the middle, we as a pit crew are racing too! When I have to yell “excuse me” I am irritated and annoyed at the obvious problems. ‘Excuse me you’re standing in the middle of a drive aisle during a RACE!’ Safety is emphasized and talked about a lot but it’s achieved through the organization that hosts a ‘hot pit’ zone by managing their safety phrases through action; they first need to understand what that means and how it applies to the other side.

Thank you to Andrew Mellon and his family for volunteering not only his personal resources but his time on behalf of our PPF Jet Ski program. It’s not about thanking a veteran, it is all about what you do for a Veteran. Justin exemplifies that Patriotic response of gratitude through service. We truly appreciate your support – PPF

2015 Never Quit Challenge 300 - Interview with Mark Zambon

February 27-28th, 2015 Lake Havasu, Arizona, USA

The Never Quit Challenge is a Jet Ski Program for combat wounded and veterans, Gold Star Family members of our Memorial Program and for volunteers to come together under challenging adventures that present hardships and teamwork as one unified front. The Never Quit Challenge 300 was held during the Hot Products Mark Hahn 300 Memorial PWC race held at Lake Havasu, Arizona. It is an extreme PWC team endurance race that allows for 2 racers, 1 boat and a fully loaded pit crew to assist the Veterans on their pit stops for refueling or rider exchange.

Mark Zambon
Staff Sergeant USMC Ret. Explosive Ordnance Disposal-United States Marine Corps

Mark Zambon served 11 years in the U.S Marine Corps, deploying to combat on 6 occasions and surviving 5 enemy explosive blasts. In 2012, a year and a half after he lost his legs to buried Taliban bomb, he stood on top of Africa’s Mt Kilimanjaro and buried the dog tags of two fellow Marine EOD Technicians atop the mountain. After completing his recovery in April 2013 he reported for duty as a high risk instructor, Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal at Eglin AFB, FL. Here, he taught US and foreign military’s bomb technicians in the craft of bomb disposal and became the first EOD Technician to return to duty after losing both legs. Mark lives in San Diego with his wife Marta and is pursuing studies in the violin, piano and creative writing.

Your NQC 300 role defined

I fulfilled a pit crew role with the NQC at the Mark Hahn 300 memorial Personal Water Craft race. My scope of duties consisted of assisting in refueling, setting and maintaining the landing area, providing drink and food to the racers during pit stops and general motivation. 
I was expecting a team that had not had the chance to mesh to dial things up to the hot burner and commit their best to create a successful event. The team performed well beyond my expectations and operated as a well-oiled and grooved machine, providing pit support to many times more racers then pro pit-support team’s support. Consummately bad ass, served with a smile.

What fueled you?

As per pre-race instruction of "chow on ones' own" my teammate Dan Shankle and I brought our own food and beverages. That the team provided further made sure the pit support crew was not without proper sustenance.

Dealer 54 Pit Crew: How would you define your team?

No-nonsense, gung-ho--committed to seeing the event a success.

Was there any significant moment that stood out where you believed something strong shifted for you?

After the race start and first race boat of 7 arrived for refuel, the sense of duties and responsibilities seemed to gel. From this point improvements were made as needed.

Was there a defining moment that you noticed where everything clicked?

When multiple boats arrived at once for pit services. The neighboring pit team allowed use of their teams' services and expectations for highest pit crew service demands were fulfilled. At this point, the greatest pit service demands of the race occurred under normal conditions (save medical evacuation) were realized and things seemed to "click".

What do you believe is unique about the Phoenix Patriot Foundation Jet Ski Program?

That we race and succeed with beaten down and battered teams! Lol. We set an example of perseverance and resiliency for others. We demonstrated honor for those men that have given their last breath for our privilege to be alive and a citizen of our great nation.

How would you describe the NQC 300?

A chance to commit to a daring, exhausting challenge that may only be seen through by exemplary teamwork and selfless commitment. Also subscribing to commit one's best in-kind to the tireless and uncompromising work ethos of Ms. Shawn Alladio "Hellwoman". Which for most folk allows them to step out of their comfort zones, creating the opportunity for personal growth.

Did you feel you and your efforts were appreciated?

Yes, I saw direct cause and effect of my efforts even as a double amputee in the pit crew as lending effectiveness to the team's success. A badass assembly of a team that within its' self-recognized the importance of our respective individual contribution. All the love Kawasaki!! Phoenix Patriot Foundation-- thank you for paving the way for the NCQ to demonstrate the indomitable strength of our people.

Who We Are

Teamwork and competition are fundamentals of connecting to a greater purpose than one's own in life and also having a badass time. Super fun jumping on Shawn's PPF racing ship and letting it all hang out with the team. Thank you for your endurance effort to pull this off Shawn and biggest thanks to our good friends that gave their young lives in defense of our nation. It is our fierce pride to honor their lives through our own.

Phoenix Patriot Foundation NQC Jet Ski® Program

PHOENIX PATRIOT FOUNDATION www.PhoenixPatriotfoundation.org About K38: Shawn Alladio-Lead Instructor K38 Water Safety's training programs evolved over the past 24 years; and currently enjoy support with 9 International K38 affiliates. Along with a cadre of professional NSBC boating safety instructors, K38 teaches Personal Watercraft and Rescue Water Craft courses in swiftwater rescue, big wave safety, PWC competitions, flood, open water, surf and disaster management for occupational lifesavers.

2014 NQC Jet Ski® Challenge Promo Video

Phoenix Patriot Foundation's founder Jared Ogden leads us into the Never Quit Challenge ethos. PPF Ambassador Bo Reichenbach is featured. NEVER QUIT CHALLENGE A Personal Water Craft Adventure to benefit select Veteran supported Charities. The Never Quit Challenge is an Invitational Personal Water Craft Adventure vetted by Special Operations Military Veteran teams onboard Kawasaki Ultra LX JET SKI®.

Purple Heart Patriots 135 Mile Jet Ski® Challenge

Phoenix Patriot Foundation Phoenix Patriot Foundation's mission is to provide direct support to severely wounded veterans enabling them to fully recover, reintegrate and remain engaged in serving America. http://www.PhoenixPatriotFoundation.org David Pu'u was our camera and film expert. You are enjoying his imagery, please visit his homepage: http://www.DavidPuu.com