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 todays 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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Big seas and high winds made it a hugely testing two days for the thirty plus racers who were setting out on their bid to become UK champions.
With the race series now in its eight year, the appetite for AquaX racing has not diminished. “The combination of human and mechanical endurance is a powerful one and those bitten by the bug tend to thrive on the pain and sign up for the long run” explained Lisa Barsby, Global Head of P1 AquaX. “Out of our six series, the UK is the most challenging when it comes to the conditions the riders encounter.”
The most anticipated race of the weekend would be the battle for the Pro Enduro title, but after a freak accident at the final event of the 2017 European season it was uncertain whether reigning champion Joe Harvey would be signed off as fit enough to compete in the opening round of the new season. “It was touch and go” said Harvey “but I’m here and I want to race. I’m not expecting to win; I just want to test my fitness and understand what I need to do to prepare for the European series.”
Harvey went on to complete all three races and finish joint fourth with Richard Cable. “I’m happy with my result” he commented. “It was a big sea out there and my ankle felt good, although I don’t have the flexibility that I had before so I will need to work on changing my riding style to compensate for that”.
Former two-time AquaX champion, Phil Pope, was a late and surprise entry in the Pro Enduro class, but he was quick to show he’d lost none of the skill that won him back-to-back Enduro titles in 2015 and 2016 before taking a year out from competitive racing. When asked before the race what his expectations were, the former champion responded: “Well, it’s not to come second”. The 40-year-old from Clowne near Chesterfield did not disappoint by not only winning all 3 races but also lapping the field in the process. Russell Marmon and Khris Leach finished second and third respectively.
Reigning Sprint Champion, Simon Gill also shone brightly in the gloomy conditions by winning three of the four races in the new 4-stroke Ski category ahead of rising stars 17-year-old Harry Robinson and 16-year-old Mollie Fearn. He went on to take victory in the 2-stroke category, pushing 2015 champion Cameron Green into second place.
Reigning Am 200hp champion Carl Lofthouse successfully made the transition to the 300hp class and, despite losing the first race to local rider Dennis Taylor, he got to grips with the extra 100hp to take the overall win. The flying Scotsman, Duncan Johnstone beat Welshmen Nigel Williams and James Taylor to win the 200hp class.
Ryan Willows, Elliot Cable and Aaron Rowe shared the race wins in the newly introduced Spark/EX class for single-seater watercraft. But when the spray settled it was Elliot Cable who landed the win in his first ever AquaX race with consistent and impressive rides in tough conditions. 16-year-old Aaron Rowe tied on points with Willows, but his higher place finish in the last race of the day gave him second overall.
The series will head to Porthcawl in South Wales in early July.