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Moreton Bay Hosts Australian Jet Ski Titles

Moreton Bay Hosts Australian Jet Ski Titles

Redcliffe is located just north of Brisbane Queensland. It is a sleepy little town with a beautiful backdrop of Moreton Bay. It is also a marine park with a plethora of turtles, dolphins and dugongs. So organizing the Australian Jet Ski Titles 2017 race entailed some serious negotiations with the powers-that-be, but proved to be successful. The 2017 AJSP Australian Watercross Championships were held on 29-30 April as part of the Redcliffe Lifestyle on Water Festival.

 

Racing started early on the Saturday morning with everyone getting a few sighting laps before the race. The conditions were improving from Friday’s practice so the day was looking good.

 

With the introduction of the new SXR and Yamaha’s Ex,

the organisers, Australian Jet Sports Boating Association (AJSBA), decided that the SXR would run in GP as they could not make up the numbers to separate the classes. Moreover, the Rob White’s Yamaha Ex were put in with the Seadoo Sparks in Pro Am Lites Runabout, due to it being a heavier than the Spark.

 

This worked out well for both classes, with neither of the new boats dominating the race. Justin Winsor, the owner of Liquid Industries on the Gold Coast, had blistering speed on his Seadoo Trak 903. It was doing 75mph right up until it let go and the team had to throw a new motor in overnight. Winsor went on to take the overall win in GP Ski, and the Australian Title.

 

Pro Am Lites Ski was also closely contested, with Tom Akien, Michael Stevens and youngster Byron Lewis (from Western Australia). Akien was looking like he was going to take the title just ahead of Stevens. The boys were on the pace all weekend in perfect condition one day, and surf like conditions the next. At presentation, to the surprise of all – especially Stevens – Akien was penalized for missed buoys. This meant Stevens received the title, and bumping Lewis up into second place.

 

Vintage ski race is always great to watch. The beautifully turned out skis always impress. Tim Ryan and the boys always put on a great show. With two motors combined into one, it makes a fantastic show. Every heat, the boys have two starts. I am sure, though, that the guys do not take the race too seriously. (I noticed Ryan waiting for Jarrod Martin to catch up a bit so they could rub shoulders in the turns.) There was also a great Vintage display on show for all to see, with plenty of replicas and original skis.

 

It was good to see international rider Mohammed Burbayea at the titles. His Seadoo was a weapon on the track, dominating the first few laps on GP Runabout. Unfortunately, that did not last long with Burbayea dropping out of the first race with mechanical issues. Paul Leven and James Masterton took up the challenge. Actually, the entire field of GP had some great racing. At one stage or the other, I think, they were all in a podium position. Leven won the race. He is a great supporter of the sport and always makes a huge effort at every event. He rode consistently all weekend, and well deserving of the title Australian Champion. If you have never seen A GP class, make the effort to so. It is the F1 of our sport.

 

In the Enduro Open race, a one Moto a day consisting of a 35min + one lap race, Christian D’Agostin went on to take the title, the fifth Australian title for him and a great ride.

Brett Douglas took out Race One convincingly only to have electrical gremlins turn up in Race Two. This gave the opportunity for Guy Greenland and D’Agostin to give it a go. Race One offered glassy water conditions with the racers holding it wide open the whole half hour. But Race Two welcomed a two-foot swell, with a solid wind chop making things a bit more exiting. Mitch Casey and D’Agostin both went over the hangers in the chop. Unfortunately, Casey did not recover after corking his legs on the ski. He was rescued by the safety crew and brought ashore. He later made a full recovery with only minor injuries. D’Agostin, on the other hand, managed to remount his ski and continue on to take third in that moto.

 

Enduro Open was a mixed class race due to limited numbers, so another winner in Enduro Am Showroom Stock was Paul Bazely. His Kawasaki was at home in the rough conditions and deserved the win.

 

Mitch Wayt on his 2 Yamaha Gp1800 was consistently fast. The 2016 Australian champion showed us again why he was the champ. Taking the podium in three different classes, he is an outstanding rider and always keen to give it a go. Wayt took out Enduro Pro Am Stock, and placed second in Stock Spec Runabout. Pro Am Stock was a close contest with Wayt only just edging out Casey by one point. Casey is only a newcomer to the sport and with Wayt taking him under his wing. I expect to see a lot of good racing from these two in the future.

 

Australian Jet Ski Parts were on hand to give away some cool gear and prizes. Loco energy drinks kept everyone hydrated. Swiftco Trailer also donated an awesome trailer for the event. Justin Belczowski won the trailer with a bit of light-hearted backlash from the crowd.

 

The organisers put on an impressive event. It has been a long five years since the last Australian Titles held at the Spit on the Gold Coast. This year’s event has been the first national title race since the racing incident on the Gold Coast, where racer Joey Scaturchio died. At this year’s event in Redcliffe, Joey’s father, Tony, turned up and supported the event with the handing-over of the Joey Scaturchio Memorial Trophy to Mitch Wayt.

 

Looking forward to not having such a long wait between titles.

 

By Andrew Donovan

 

/Sep-Dec2017

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