What do you get when you combine a lake, some buoys and a fish?
Well, you’ve got the first-ever Aqua Moto Global Grand Prix Championships put on by none other than the world-renowned Chris “the Flying Fish” Fischetti, that’s what! Who would be crowned champion and become “King of Body Beach” was the question on everybody’s mind as they stepped onto the sandy, pebbled beaches of Lake Havasu.
Held only two weeks before the annual IJSBA World Finals at famous Lake Havasu party spot, “Body Beach,” Fischetti’s event drew in some serious names – both new and old – to the starting lines, including Rob Flores, Mike Yellich, Nicolas Rius, Chris MacClugage, Josh Block, Tommy Bonnacci, and Brian O’Rourke just to name a few.
An exciting day awaited as classes – Standup 800 and Standup GP, Sport and 2-Stroke Runabout, 550/650 Vintage and Junior Standup, 4-Stroke Runabout, X2 and Beginner 800 Standup – were set before an Arizona backdrop, not to mention the DCB Boat Regatta taking place for an added extra bit of scenery. The field was broken up in to multiple divisions with each race being either a 15 or 20 minute countdown with either an extra 1 or 2 laps. Following the closed course races was a timed Slalom course where each rider entered getting the best of their two passes recorded.
The closed course was tight and the water a bit choppy, leading to several riders exiting their skis premature of the finish line. Standford riding his #52 found this out when his X2 rounded a corner without him, consequently landing him a free ride to the EMTs to be checked out. Riders dug in and held tight lap after lap, taking whatever punishment was thrown at them. Even when fatigue started to set in, it was a push on every turn.
Little Wylan Reden on his newly purchased 550 (picked up just that morning) showed even the pros that you didn’t need years of practice to drag that ski around the course! Jonathan Mangan thought the course was spacious for the runabouts and the “back stretch was awesome.”
And what a finish in the Junior Stand up class with Braden Wickland breezing passed most of the field until he went down on the last lap, letting the #202 ski – ridden by Kole Cramer – fly by and take the checkered flag. Braden’s older brother, Blake, rode flawlessly in his Standup 800 class and even kept up with the top Pro GPs!
When asked how he felt about his race, Blake responded, “I felt like I rode pretty good. My ski was running amazing, the handling was on-point and the power was wicked!” Blake also gave a shout out to Fischetti, by saying he “thought the race was a blast” and “really enjoyed the laid back feeling of the racing format.”
“Flyin’ Brian” Smith may of taken a third place in the 800 class but it was the experience he’ll most remember. “Today was one of the best races I’ve been to in a long while! I have had fun at a few but nothing like today! To be able to line up with some of the best in the world is like nothing you could describe,” beamed Brian. Brian stated that his “DC Lites Racing/Macc Racing ski was running flawlessly today and hung with the best of them,” even while dropping a few spots but regaining them in the end. Brian also came in second to Josh Block in the timed slalom course! He felt the added event was “very exciting” and really liked the tight slalom style runs.
Right out of the chute was a battle royale between Mike Klippenstein and Chris MacClugage in the Standup GP class. Klipper took a weekend away from his wicked turbo-powered Yamaha FX SVHO as Macc prepared to fly out to China for another round of the Aquabike series. But it was Klippenstein who pulled ahead, taking full advantage of Chris’ mistakes, earning him a win in the end. Mike in return, was crowned “King of Body Beach” and enjoyed a little competition leading up to the World Finals.
Patrick Goldsworthy said, “The Aqua Moto definitely had a strong turnout on Saturday. It’s awesome to see the sport building back up one race at a time and to see some of the racing legends coming together to make it all happen. Fish had an awesome vision of making these races different from the norm and more of what the racing community wanted. And now here we are with the successful second Aqua Moto race in the books. Working closely with the Vintage Ski community, I plan to continue helping Fish load up the line with the future events to come.”
All in all, the race was a success and was a fresh event for Havasu. With such an amazing venue, we aren’t sure why more of these do not take place. Mr. Fischetti, we think you get thumbs up for your Aqua Moto, and to the riders; we’ll see you at The World Finals!
King of Body Beach Aqua Moto Grand Prix
9/27/2014 – Overall Race Results
Stand Up 800: 1. Blake Wicklund, 2. Guy Vinatieri, 3. Cory Rarick, 4. Kyle Araiza, 5. Todd Valentino, 6. Bob Hyde, 7. Brian Smith; Stand Up GP: 1. Mike Klippstein, 2. Chris MacClugage, 3. Tera Laho, 4. Bill Pointer, 5. Rob Flores, 6. Ryan Decker, 7. Josh Block, 8. Jeff Troegner, 9. Tony Beck; Vintage: 1. Chris Hagest, 2. Michael Demauro, 3. Russel Rusch, 4. David Dawes, 5. Cory Vancleave; Junior Stand Up: 1. Kole Cramer, 2. Braden Wickland, 3. Joshua Schul, 4. Theo Beaumer, 5. Brandon Edwards, 6. Preston Matzdorff, 7. Spencer Hill, 8. Wyland Reden; Sport: 1. Tommy Bunacci, 2. Tim Shanklin, 3. Brian O’Rourke, 4. Brandi Rademaker, 5. Kelly Stone, 6. Andy Runkel; 2 Stroke Runabout: 1. Nicholas Ruis, 2. Kelly Church, 3. Dan Schroepfer; 4 Stroke Runabout N/A: 1. Evelyn Morgan, 2. Tony Beck; 4 Stroke Runabout Open: 1. Tim Neff, 2. Jonathan Morgan; Beginner Standup: 1. Theo Beaumer, 2. Julien Beaumer, 3. Austin Sweet, 4. James Hendry; X2 Open: 1. Danny Oretega, 2. Peter Neumann, 3. Joshua Schul, 4. Dan Standiford, 5. Lauri Ortega