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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Leading personal watercraft riders from China have arrived in Florida to compete in the Rip It Fort Lauderdale Grand Prix this weekend (November 17-18).
A party of seven riders from across China will join around eighty other competitors from 12 different countries for the final race event of the P1 AquaX season. Among them is 21-year-old Wang Xiaowei, who represented China at this summer’s Asian Games in Indonesia and holds top spot in the country’s rankings of stand-up riders. Although disappointed not to win a medal in Jakarta, his teammate Wu Ronghua finished fourth and will be racing alongside him at Fort Lauderdale Beach.
Although riding a personal watercraft tends to be thought of as something fun to do on vacation, for a growing number of Chinese the high-speed activity is a much more serious pursuit. “I have been racing for 8 years and competing here in the United States will be an exciting and valuable experience for me” said Wang. “Our riders are very competitive compared with racers from other countries but, with the sport still in its infancy back home, overseas athletes have an advantage mainly because they benefit from training more on the sea as opposed to lakes and rivers” explained Wang.
An influx of ‘crossover’ athletes is helping China catch up with its rivals, together with the provision of good quality training equipment. Lisa Barsby, Global Head of P1 AquaX racing and herself a former world champion, commented: “I think the Chinese riders will be experiencing a mixture of excitement and nervousness. They are all talented racers, some of them with considerable experience and success in domestic racing, and a few of the party are looking forward to the new challenge of competing on the sea, in what may well be testing conditions. It’s great to have them joining us here in Florida for the finale to our P1 AquaX series and we wish them well.”
The racing will take place just north of the B Ocean Resort on Seabreeze Boulevard at Fort Lauderdale Beach, with the action starting at 9.00am on Saturday and 8.30am on Sunday.