Volunteers and competitors in the 2015 Yamaha Australian Jetcross Championships were met with harsh and difficult conditions when they turned up to Bells Beach, Redcliffe for the final round. 54km/h (35mph) winds tore up the waterway and pushed rolling swell towards the beach, unlocking an opportunity for those experienced in surf conditions to power forward in the field and perhaps change what might have been previously assumed championship results.
As a pre-emptive strike against possibly worsening conditions the day started with the Enduro moto. Some fresh competitors from Liquid Industries as well as the highly experienced Guy Greenland and returnee Christian D’Agostin joined the committed tour field. The Showroom Stock Runabout class was jumbled in the swell and saw Daryl Bone take first place from Kawasaki Racing Team Australia’s (KRTA) Cameron Martin in second and Dane Alberti in third.
Waverunner Performance Centre’s (WPC) Mitch Wayt performed well in the conditions and solidified his dominance with his fourth first place finish for the tour in Stock Runabout. In second place was fellow team member Brett Douglas followed by Jet Ski World’s reliable racer Ben Mountford. The Open Runabout class saw Guy Greenland take first place in his first enduro entry in the tour, followed by enduro specialist Christian D’Agostin (KRTA) and QLD’s Sam Burkett-Barratt.
Without any improvement in conditions on the water, race officials aimed for short, sharp circuit motos to see out as much of the day’s racing as possible. Lites Ski prodigy Tom Aiken finished his tour strongly with another first place and another AJSP voucher, followed by Justin Windsor in a class of only two after the withdrawal of a few competitors.
Yamaha’s Superjet Cup class saw the same competitor numbers, with only the most committed in Worx Racing’s Ryan O’Keefe and Anglom Oil’s James Xuereb braving the surf-like conditions. World Champion Xuereb provided some stiff competition but couldn’t wrangle first place from the ever-consistent Ryan, securing the presentation of a very heavy and very expensive prize at the presentation function later that night.
The AJSP-supported Showroom Stock class tour results came down to this event and KRTA’s Cameron Martin showed steely determination to take out both motos to secure a first place finish for the day. Second place might have been NSW racer Corey Styles’ if it wasn’t for a wayward wave that threw his ski directly at the rock wall. Corey luckily bailed out just in time but his day of racing was over with a visit to the hospital and a fractured rib. KRTA’s Dane Alberti took the opportunity to rise to second place with WPC’s James Rice closing out the podium in third.
With the absence of JSW Powersports’ Frank Waite, the Stock Runabout podium was up for grabs. WPC’s Mitch Wayt managed his clean sweep of the tour with a seventh first place finish, fending off NSW newcomer Gary Zaradic who surprised all with a second place finish. After AJSBA President Justin Belczowski decided he was of a vintage not suited to the conditions, good mate and WPC’s Brett Douglas graciously took his third place position for the day.
With a Lites Ski championship secured NSW young gun Tom Aiken decided to try his hand at Open Ski with the big boys, borrowing a ski from our current Veteran’s World Champ. With freakish skills and confidence in the surf conditions he ended up with a first place finish, followed by Sea-Doo Centre’s Jake Barker who suffered a breakdown in Moto 2. Step Into Zero’s Michael Stevens bowed out of Moto 2 allowing James Xuereb to take third place for the day, with Michael in fourth.
JSW Powersports’ Anthony Antees committed his weekend to the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show but had performed so consistently well over the tour that there was only space left in the second and third podium spots in the Open Runabout class. Queenslander Brendan Boyd made his second appearance in the tour and demonstrated the kind of threat he will be next year, winning the battle with Guy Greenland for first place. Dan’s Jet Power’s quiet achiever Paul Leven secured a third place finish against some stiff competition from an experienced field.
Unfortunately the day was cut short at two motos with concerns from both officials and competitors about the safety of the conditions; there was much agreement that it was too dangerous to precede. The AJSBA appreciates the support from the Queensland Personal Watercraft Club (QPWC) and competitors on this decision. Queensland’s sometimes-cyclonic weather has proven an obstacle for this tour but with huge competitor numbers and fantastic venues we all hope to be racing there often and long in to the future.
The AJSBA would like to thank the QPWC for hosting the event at the premier location of Bells Beach and all the volunteers who make these events possible. To our competitors, thank you for your commitment in doing what it took to attend the tour rounds and we hope to continue to build on the achievements of this year moving forward.
Special thanks to Tessa Phipps for the story and Timbo Ryan for helping out with the photos.