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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More than fifty leading European jet ski riders will be heading to Port Balis, some 20 miles north-east of Barcelona, this week for the final round of the P1 AquaX Euro Tour.
The two-day event (October 19-20) will be the third time that the Tour has visited the Spanish coast and the impressive El Balis marina will welcome the best Enduro and Sprint racers from across Western Europe to decide who will be crowned champions on the final weekend of the European season. A short drive from the hustle and bustle of Barcelona, the Port Balis area boasts fine beaches, the opportunity to engage in both aquatic and mountain sports and to enjoy the excellent local food and wines.
“Racers will be battling for titles in seven individual classes and the number of riders and countries who will be represented in Spain reflects the growing interest in P1 AquaX racing across Europe” said Lisa Barsby, Global Head of the race series. “Presented by Experience Kissimmee – the world class tourism destination in Central Florida - the launch of the Euro Tour in 2017 followed on from establishing successful AquaX series in the UK and United States, and this year’s championship has been hugely competitive with the French riders dominating all 3 Enduro classes” added Barsby.
This season’s four-venue European series kicked off in La Seyne-sur-Mer on the Mediterranean in early May and then headed to the West Flanders seaside resort of Ostend and back to France in Cavalaire-sur-Mer on the Cote d’Azur. The championship features both amateur and professional riders competing over 10-minute Sprint and 30-minute Enduro courses.
Fran Ripoll, President of Club Nautico El Balis, is looking forward to welcoming back the P1 AquaX racing to Catalonia and said: “Situated on the picturesque Mediterranean Sea, we have sandy beaches either side of the harbour, excellent marina facilities, shops and restaurants, and great viewing from the pier and beach. The thousands of visitors expected will enjoy a weekend of outstanding marine motorsport in a superb setting, and if you love German food and beers with great music our Oktoberfest event will delight you.”
On the water, the highlight of the high-speed action will be the battle for the title in the Enduro Pro class between French riders Thomas Favolini on his Yamaha and Kawasaki racer Alexandre Barret (pictured). Just 14 points separate them with 75 points to be won this weekend and Barret commented: “I’ve won all but 2 races this season – one because the sea was so flat and the other with a mechanical failure – and I’ll be hoping for rough conditions to help me clinch the championship title. I’m confident.”
Britain’s Carl Lofthouse took a surprise podium in the last round in Cavalaire-sur-Mer ahead of his fellow countryman Joe Harvey, who is currently in third place overall behind Favolini. Joe Harvey has battled back to full fitness after serious injury in Port Balis two years ago and has been training very hard for this final round. He is still within touching distance of the two leaders and will travel to Spain this week believing that he still has an outside chance of snatching the crown. Both Favolini and Harvey will be flying the flag for Europe next month when they compete in the P1 AquaX Bahamas World Championship at the Atlantis, Paradise Island.
Mike Testa has dominated the AM 300 class this season on his Kawasaki, winning all three rounds and only losing one race to newly-crowned UK champion Ethan Winchester, and he is the champion elect with a lead of 86 points over his closet rival, Welshman James Roberts.
Yannick Berthelot joined AquaX last year and won the Kawasaki 15F Cup. This season he has moved to the AM 200 class and is leading Tony Pellegrino by 39 pts, with Fred Delmas a further 2 points behind. With 75 points up for grabs this weekend Berthelot can’t afford to relax.
In Pro Sprint, French rider Jeremy Dubosc leads Englishman Harry Robinson by 20 points. Another young English racer enjoying a successful season is Team Kissimmee rider Elliot Cable, who has won six of the seven Yamaha EX/EXR Cup events and also leads the Sprint SE class by a considerable margin.
The race schedule this weekend will also include Junior Sprint for riders aged 10 to 14.