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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The event opened with a welcome party for the racers, hosted by the LaPorte County Convention Center and Visitors Bureau. There to greet the riders and officials were State Senators and Tom Dermody, the Mayor of LaPorte. The Grand Prix was part of the inaugural City of LaPorte LakeFest. Running July 30 through August 1, the festival boasted three days of music, art, food and fun for the whole family on Pine, Stone and Clear lakes and the Mayor said the event was the perfect opportunity to showcase the city’s lakes and natural resources as well as show neighboring communities what it means to be ‘Livin’ the Lake Life’ in the City of LaPorte.
Closed course racing took place on Stone Lake and the action kicked off round 1 of the Great Lakes AquaX Pro / Am Championships featuring some of the best talent in the sport. The weekend also drew some of the top riders in closed course racing.
Racing started with the Sport Spec class. Mike Hamaker came out blazing with two wins in the first two motos on Saturday, but unfortunately, Sunday did not bring further success for Hamaker. Ultimately, it was Tyler Conant who would dominate the weekend with an overall win followed by Craig Bowen and Joe Clark to complete the top three in Sport Spec. Conant would also take home the hardware in the stacked Am Ski Lites, followed by Eric Rouse with Craig Bowen in 3rd place.
Kirsten Hasty, the only lady on the start-line, recorded an impressive 2nd place in the X2 class, close behind Ryan Waldo. Arnold Martinez took home the 1st place trophy in runabout stock and Brady Schadt secured top spot in Vintage Ski. Jason Lester put on a textbook performance in the AquaX enduro 200 class to take the overall win. Errol Lange challenged Lester all the way but ended in 2nd place. Kyle Hafeli, a newer face on the AquaX scene, finished with a very respectable 3rd place.
300 class AquaX Enduro was extremely competitive with Sport class rider, Jake Zier trying his hand at AquaX enduro for the first time along with current National Amateur enduro Graham Hunt and longtime AquaX competitor, Mike Arcamone. At the end of the weekend, it was Hunt who topped the podium with a solid win in each race. Arcamone finished in 2nd place and Connor Morrison rounded out the top three.
The next round of P1 AquaX racing will be this coming weekend (August 7th/8th) in Michigan City, IN.
Photos © Ronny Mac