P1 AquaX

AquaX is the fastest growing personal watercraft championship in the world. Its rapid growth is owed to a simple, yet challenging race format that appeals to today’s personal watercraft users.

This year the program will include the unveiling of a professional level race series and expansion of two further championships in the Great Lakes region of the USA and in Southeast Asia.

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Date: Tue 29 Nov 2016

2016 P1 AquaX USA Season Review

Re-live the 2016 P1 AquaX USA season and find out where the titles were won and lost!

It’s been one hell of a year as the USA played host to the first ever P1 AquaX Pro Series featuring many of the world’s best personal watercraft racers and the series didn’t disappoint, producing five rounds of exceptional jet ski racing.

There was also some exceptional racing in the amateur classes which saw three different 300 class winners from three championships: Florida Series, Great Lakes Series and International Cup.

It all started back at the start of April for the amateurs as they hit Lake Dora in Tavares for the opening round of the Florida Series. It was Yamaha FX SVHO rider Chris Saxon who took the initiative in the 300 class with first and second in the two races to take the overall victory ahead of Enrique Chia and Cody Tetreault. Tommy Olswang and Daniel Steele both recorded clean sweeps in the 250 and 200 class.

A personal best result for Colley in Fort Lauderdale

A personal best result for Colley in Fort Lauderdale

The tour moved to Daytona where the amateurs were joined by a 24 strong field of pro racers. There were three different victors in the opening three races of the season, Chris MacClugage, Craig Warner and Aero Aswar, a clear indication of just how strong the competition would be this season. It was MacClugage who took the overall victory ahead of Aswar, whilst Baldwin took third just three points ahead of world number one ranked rider Eric Francis.

The weekend was marred by a spectacular crash from Frenchman Cyrille Lemoine that would see him miss the rest of the season with a leg injury.

The Chicago skyline was a perfect backdrop for racing

The Chicago skyline was a perfect backdrop for racing

Saxon continued his dominance in the 300 class winning three of three, once again ahead of Enrique Chia, whilst Canadian raider Jay Edworthy took third. There were also clean sweeps for Olswang and Chad Saxon, who got on top of Daniel Steele after his round one victory in what would prove a ding-dong battle all season long.

A trip to Lake Tohopekaliga for the amateurs brought about a change at the top of the 300 class with Sea-Doo rider Richard Lopez announced himself on the scene with the overall weekend victory ahead of the consistent Enrique Chia and Jeff Thornton. Sadly, that would be Lopez’s last race of the year. Olswang lost his unbeaten record but clung on to an overall weekend victory from Kevin Sullivan despite finishing tied on 34 points, whilst Steele made amends for a slip up in Daytona with two victories to move back ahead of Saxon by a point heading into the final round in Sarasota.

The Pro Series began back in Daytona Beach

The Pro Series began back in Daytona Beach

The return of the pros in Sarasota saw a significant move in the championship title race as MacClugage suffered two DNFs before landing victory in the final race of the weekend, handing the initiative to Aswar who clinched the weekend victory and with it the championship lead after two race wins. Eric Francis finished second and Brian Baldwin third to move both riders up the standings heading north to Chicago for round three.

Saxon returned to winning ways in the Am 300 class to clinch the Florida Series in style, whilst Enrique Chia claimed second in the championship despite being beaten into second by Domenico Barilla. Olswang made it four weekend victories from four and with it took the 250 class title. Jennifer Nolan dominated the 200 class with three straight victories and Daniel Steele took the championship title despite finishing third as Saxon suffered a torrid weekend in which he started just two races. Steele had briefly dropped behind Saxon in the title race after race one.

Aero Aswar dominated in Sarasota

Aero Aswar dominated in Sarasota

The first ever Great Lakes event took place in Whiting at the beginning of August as the amateurs sampled the water of Lake Michigan before the pros and put on an exhibition of racing on a tight, technical course. Jay Edworthy made the trip just south of the Canadian border and was rewarded as he grabbed top spot from Olswang, who stepped up into the 300 class, with Florida champ Saxon back in third. There was controversy as regular pro rider Eric Lagopolous was disqualified for racing a ski that breached the rules having won two of the three races.

Chicago made for a perfect setting as the Pro Series’ moved away from Florida for the first time and the racing didn’t disappoint. MacClugage was plagued by mechanical issues again in race one before coming off his ski whilst leading in race two. He then passed Baldwin on the last lap who was forced to take the penalty buoy and grabbed a breath-taking win. However, a penalty for switching ski saw him drop to third before he claimed the final victory of the weekend fair and square. Baldwin took the weekend victory to close the gap to Aswar at the top to a single point with Craig Warner finishing ahead of the Indonesian for the weekend in second.

Edworthy followed his victory in Whiting with a narrow one-point victory over Olswang in Chicago, whilst Daniel Steele finished back in third. This meant Edworthy took the overall Great Lakes Series ahead of Florida Series champions Olswang and Saxon, whilst Sullivan was crowned 250 champ and Nolan 200 champ.

After yet another slight break the Pro Series returned for a huge double header, first at Lake Worth before moving just south to Fort Lauderdale for the season finale. The Pro Series would also be joined by the Am International Cup which featured a host of great riders from the UK series, all of them hoping to beat the Americans on their home turf.

MacClugage headed into the weekend knowing he would need a flawless performance to put him in with a chance of the title and he gave just that, winning all three races has his rivals all struggled in behind. Aswar suffered his worst result of the season after falling off his ski and colliding with Francis in a dramatic incident in front of the Lake Worth pier in race one. He recovered to finish second in race two but mechanical issues saw him drop to 12th for the final race of the weekend. Francis could have had a race win under his belt had he not come off his ski on the final lap of race two and he eventually finished second on the weekend ahead of Klippenstein in third.

Joe Harvey, runner-up in the 2016 P1 AquaX UK series, gave a strong account to finish second behind Florida Series 300 champion Saxon in the International Cup after mechanical issues left him agonisingly short of top spot. Gary Shrigley rounded off the top three. The 250 class was won by an unbeaten Lester, whilst Nolan was also unbeaten in the 200 class with Scottish rider Duncan Johnstone back in third behind Eric Diaz.

The finale promised a straight battle between MacClugage and Aswar for the title and it was the former who carried his momentum forward to land a second straight weekend victory and the championship title following dropped points. MacClugage made it five straight wins on the bounce before Francis nabbed victory in the final race of the season – his first of the year – to take second on the podium ahead of eventual championship runner up Aswar. The only female rider in the Pro Series, Anya Colley, put up her best performance of the year to finish fourth.

A disappointing weekend for Saxon in the International Cup handed Harvey the title despite marine activity reducing the schedule to just two races. Harvey claimed second in both as it was Olswang who claimed victory on the weekend, ruing three no scores in round one at Lake Worth that took him out of contention for the overall championship. Anthony Radetic recorded his best result of the season to claim third, although it was Shrigley who claimed third in the International Cup standings. Lester and Nolan remained perfect to clinch their respective titles, whilst Brits Johnstone and Dave Lee picked up second and third in the 200 class.

An unbelievable year of highs and lows has proved once again that AquaX is the biggest, baddest jet ski series on the planet. It’s only going to get better from here…