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PWC National Racing Tour

PWC National Racing Tour

This year saw the revival of the National Watercraft Racing Tour in Australia. Personal watercraft racing has long been etched into the Australian water sport calendar, producing some world champion Australian riders. The 2015 Yamaha Australia Jetcross Championships toured the country aiming to prove who would take out the title.

Personal watercraft racing is a series of closed circuit and endurance style races with many different classes to accommodate a broad spectrum of racers. There are two distinct styles of watercraft that are raced in the championship. A stand-up watercraft is an older style where the rider manoeuvres a long handle pole and is in a standing position. Conversely, the runabout is a more modern style of watercraft with much more horsepower, and where the rider is seated.

2015 Yamaha Australia Jetcross Tour

The 2015 Yamaha Australia Jetcross Tour, held by the Australian Jet Sports Boating Association (AJSBA), began on the west coast of Australia in Perth on January 31 and February 1. Racing in the premier location of Burswood on Swan, in front of the Crown Casino, racers started gaining much needed points to prepare for a hopeful domination. A double-round race weekend format meant that every tour stop was vital to remain a contender for the title. A large east coast contingent travelled over to state their mark on the competition.

Rounds 3 and 4, scheduled in Redcliffe Queensland in late February, were cancelled due to Cyclone Marcia. The rescheduled rounds 3 and 4 were instead held in Sydney on March 28 and 29. This was the first opportunity for the high achievers from Rounds 1 and 2 to prove their consistency. Continuing in Sydney were rounds 5 and 6 on May 2 and 3. With a few key competitors lost to injury and mechanical issues, those who attended were able to either cement their position in the overall tour or take advantage of those unable to race, and earn some valuable points.

Recently, on May 23, the AJSBA held their final round in Redcliffe. This final round was the last chance for riders to strengthen their winning lead or in many cases determine an overall championship winner. With testing conditions of huge swell and a strong onshore wind of 15 knots, riding ability and sheer fitness often determined a clear winner, in some cases seriously upsetting the championship contention.

Competition in all of the classes was fierce, with many old friends battling it out. The three prominent manufacturers of Kawasaki, Yamaha Waverunner, and Sea-Doo were also equally represented in runabout classes with a winner from each taking out a championship: Kawasaki in Showroom Stock Runabout, Yamaha Waverunner in Stock Runabout, and Sea-Doo in Pro Open Runabout.

Yamaha Superjet Cup

This year’s naming sponsor, Yamaha Australia, developed a new class with a very exciting prize. The championship winner of the Superjet Cup won a brand new 2014 Superjet for the effort. Rounds 1 and 2 in Perth saw a huge number of entries, all battling it out to gain the first points. However, it was Sea World (Gold Coast) Jet Stunt Extreme stuntman, Ryan O’Keefe, who took out the final prize and a shiny new Superjet. Upon being presented the Superjet, Ryan said, “It was great to see Australia’s best racing for one of the biggest prizes the sport has ever seen.“

Superjet Cup Winner

 

Up And Coming Riders

This year’s national tour saw some legends of the sport return, but more noticeably saw a large number of new riders demonstrating huge potential. Once such rider is Frank Waite from the Gold Coast. He has been racing in Queensland state series from 2012, and competed in his first national tour this year. Frank, who is a marine mechanic at JSW Powersports in Arundel, placed third in Pro/Am Stock Runabout this year. With Frank’s class being one of the most competitive this year, it was difficult to gain consistent placings.

“In my class of stock runabout, the championship came down to the final round which showed how close we all were. There were only a few points separating the top four riders.” Frank said. “It definitely takes consistency to win over a tour, you need to be able to back up your results every round to stay ahead in points.” About his goals in racing, Frank said, “Next year, I would love to win more races and take out the title in Pro/Am Stock Runabout. That is what I want to win for now.”

For more information regarding the past national tour or results or upcoming events please head to www.ajsba.org.au or like AJSBA.org.au on Facebook.

 

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