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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Over the next 2 days we will be highlighting the climbers and the fallers, and discovering if we have a new World No. 1.
Stay with us (scroll down) as we begin the top 50 countdown that will climax with Top 10 being announced on Saturday evening at the final event of the season - the P1 AquaX USA Awards Ceremony hosted at the Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida.
The AquaX World Rankings, launched in 2014 to identify the most consistent and talented AquaX riders in the world, continues to add another element to competition as racers battle it out for that coveted number one vest each year.
With over 250 riders now having made an appearance in the AquaX World Rankings, it has certainly become one of the series biggest talking points with the top 50 revealed every three months via the AquaX website and social media platforms.
The rankings are calculated using two years’ worth of results, with results from the last 12 months taking more precedence than those recorded between 12 and 24 months, to ensure those in form and still racing with the series are rightly the focus of the rankings. World Championship level events score double points. For more info on how the WR are calculated see the AquaX rulebook AquaX Rulebook
There are several factors that impact on your ranking points. These are as follows:
The newly crowned AquaX USA Pro Champion, Eric Francis, has kept his place as AquaX World #1 after a near perfect season on the waves.
Francis started this year with a win in Miami, followed by another in St Pete Beach. After losing out to Brian Baldwin in Sarasota, Francis white washed Chicago taking all 4 race wins and further extending his lead in the Championship. By Fort Lauderdale all Francis had to do was bring it home and yet despite a ropey start to the race weekend clinched the title on day one and finished second behind his Broward Motorsport team mate, Chris Macclugage, for the weekend.
Congratulations goes out to Eric for clinching the USA Pro Title for the second time, and continuing to own the AquaX World Ranking #1 position for a second consecutive term– roll on 2019
Our only climber in the Top 3 placings is the reigning World Champion, Brian Baldwin, who not only improved on his World Ranking this time around but also finished one place higher on this season's USA Pro Tour after going head to head with Chris Macclugage at the final round.
The 2 x time former AquaX Pro USA Champion, Chris MacClugage and previous holder of the #1 World Ranking falls one place to #3 after a mixed 2018 season on the Pro tour. The rider, from Jupiter, Florida endured a tough start to the season, but finished on a high when he won at the final round in Fort Lauderdale.
Sea-Doo racer Erminio Iantosca from Naples, Florida remains in #4 position in the AquaX World rankings despite a mixed season on the USA Pro Tour. However, Iantosca has been a regular on the tour for the past few years , which has allowed him to build up a solid point's base also helped by his #6 place finish in last year’s World Championships.
As we head into the Top #5 it’s no surprise to read Chris Saxon’s name at the top of the list. The seasoned rider from Orange Beach, Alabama has climbed another 3 positions in the rankings courtesy of his 4th place finish on the USA Pro Tour.
Coming in at #6 and the youngest rider in the Top 10 is Thomas Favolini from Sète, in the south of France. After completing a strong season on the Eurotour, the Frenchman walked away with the Pro title and climbed 3 positions in the World Rankings.
Sarasota racer Eric Lagopoulos climbs from 10th to 7th place in the rankings after a good year on the USA circuit saw him lift the Great Lakes Pro/Am Enduro title and improve on his overall position on the USA Pro Tour.
Next in the ranking and coming in at #8 is British racer Joe Harvey. Harvey missed out on attending the World Championships last year due to injury and spent most of 2018 working to find the form that won him the UK and EU titles in 2017. However, despite losing out on both titles this year to Phil Pope and Thomas Favolini and dropping a position in the World Rankings, Joe still remains a member of the exclusive Top 10 club.
Coming in at #9 is Frenchman and Lake Havasu resident Nicholas Rius, whom despite not competing in the 2018 championship still resides in the Top 10 courtesy of his strong finishes on last year’s USA tour and his 3rd place in the AquaX World Championships.
Canada's Mike Klippenstein comes in at #10 as we start the countdown to find out who will be the P1 AquaX World ranked Number 1 rider.
Klippenstein, a former AquaX Champion and holder of the #1 ranked vest back in 2016 has fallen 5 positions over the past few months after missing a couple of rounds of the USA Pro tour. However, a strong finish at last month’s finals in Fort Lauderdale ensured Klipper keeps his place amongst the sport’s elite at number 10 in the rankings.
There’s plenty to talk about in 20 -11 category.
After taking a year out and slipping down the World Rankings, Britain’s Phil Pope was back with vengeance in 2018 winning his fourth UK Pro title and competing in a round of the AquaX EuroTour. He also tried his luck in the Sarasota and Fort Lauderdale Pro Tour events, which has helped elevate his ranking by 21 positions stopping just short of the exclusive 10 top club in 11th place.
Pope’s not the only Brit making waves in this category as the diminutive Sophie Perrin-Francis is also on the move climbing 7 positions since stepping up to the Pro division at the beginning of the year. But don’t be fooled by her size as Sophie packs a powerful punch and is a force to be reckoned with. She is only female in the Top 50, and the only female that competes in the Pro division.
Pro Rookie of 2018, Christian Daly is the biggest mover in this edition of the World Rankings, climbing a staggering 43 positions. His brilliant 5th place finish in the USA Pro Tour has helped the youngster from Carmel, Indiana moved from 56th to 13th overall and looks set to be a star of the future.
Dave Davidson of Canada is the highest ranked Amateur racer in the World Rankings after a strong showing in AM300 class helped him climb 10 places to 19th overall.
Spain’s Jordi Tomas Jimenez just missed out of the Eurotour title to France's Thomas Favolini this year, but his high scores have helped him rise through the ranks to 15 place in the standings.
As the countdown continues the biggest points climber in the 30 – 21 category is a former World Ranked #1 racer, Aero Aswar from Indonesia. Aswar and his brother Aqsa are regular contenders on the USA Pro tour, though neither have completed an entire series for the past two years hence their lower than would be expected rankings. However, when they do compete they always score high, which has allowed Aero to climb 17 positions to the number 21 spot.
The newly crowned Am300 USA champion, Yaniel Fiallo from Homestead in Florida, has improved his ranking to climb 11 places to number 28 position in the rankings and the Italian Pro racer, Michelle Colasanto, improves his ranking by 7 points after competing in both the USA and European Pro tours.
The biggest faller in this category and dropping 17 points to number 30 is Tommy Olswang.
Dennis Mach makes his first appearance in the AquaX World Ranking coming straight in at number 31 after a strong performance on the USA Pro Tour which saw the 38 year old from Georgia, USA ride his RIVA Yamaha GP1800 into a solid 6th in the championship.
Frenchman Mickael Le Gall climbs 22 positions thanks to his Am200 Championship win in Europe this year. Whereas seasoned racer Victor Nolan drops 17 places to 40 after new born baby duties keep him away from the race track.
There have been some significant movers in the rankings and that has seen a number of new entries. The outstanding newcomer to the top 40 -50 category is Tim Ducat, who has risen an amazing 31 places since June and now sits in 41st place.
Ducat made a return to racing this year after a serious accident in closed course racing side-lined the 35-year-old at the beginning of the 2017 season. He has been racing in the Pro Enduro class since 2016 and impressive performances at the end of this season earnt him 13th overall in 2018 USA Championships.
Other notable performances include British riders Dean Harrison and Brad Rickaby who both make their first showing in the top 50 along with USA West Coast racer Tyler Hill.