Havasu isn’t the mecca of personal watercraft racing for just any reason. Dreams are made and crushed all in one week’s time. Nothing can compare to a year’s worth of work that leads to the jubilation of a world title for anyone in the personal watercraft racing community, but there also many fires fueled for the next season by missed opportunities. If there was one word to describe the racing in the past week at the 35th annual IJSBA World Finals in Lake Havasu City, Arizona it would be “electric.” Electric because of the importance placed on a one weekend shot at a world title.
In the ski classes there was a triple log jump to navigate which humbled many competitors. In Pro-Am Ski Stock, a familiar face stood on the top after Moto 1: Mike Klippenstein from Canada. He has been a staple at World Finals for much of its 35 year history. Marten Manni Saku from Estonia took second in the first moto and looked to keep Klippenstein honest in Moto 2 on his quest for a world title. But it wasn’t enough, because in Moto 2 Saku finished third and Klippenstein got the win. This gave Klippenstein another world tile to add to his mantle with Saku in second. Rounding out the top three and playing spoiler in Moto 2 was Bousselmon LLias Brueller from Belgium making it an all-international top three.
Sport GP – a class that was for the most part dominated throughout the year by Broward Motorsport’s Sam Nehme – turned into one of the best battles of the week. After being T-boned earlier in the week in Sport Spec, Nehme shook off some injuries to put in a flawless Moto 1 and grab the victory. Moto one had a three-way battle all along that went back and forth between Andrew Bezan, Tyler Hill and Denny Janeway. After a big battle, Moto 1 ended up with Bezan, Hill, and then Janeway, respectively.
The finishing sequence was very important because in Moto 2, Nehme once again pulled the holeshot but as the race went on, his injuries caused him to fade allowing Hill to make the first pass and grab the Moto 2 victory. Bezan also got by Nehme and grabbed second. Janeway, in a mad dash to secure a podium spot, got by Nehme at the end but it wasn’t enough to get him on the podium. Hill’s big time performance landed him on the top spot and secured the world championship. In second it was Bezan and third was Nehme.
Pro-Am Runabout Stock turned into a Yamaha display of power. The Top 6 spots all went to Yamaha watercraft but that didn’t mean there wasn’t some drama in finding out who finished where. All-time watercraft legend Monster Energy rider Chris MacClugage out of Naples, Florida, decided this is the class that he would make his mark on for the week. In Moto 1, after a bad start, Macc moved through the pack methodically on his way to a huge win. Just behind him was young superstar and fellow Dean’s Team rider Aero Aswar out of Indonesia; following him was another Dean’s Team rider Abdullah Al-Fadel from Kuwait.
In Moto 2 things would shake up a bit and add some intrigue to the podium for the overall. Al-Fadel grabbed a big Moto 2 win beating a second place Macc in a upset with Yamaha rider Brian Baldwin playing a bit of a spoiler finishing third. In a bit of strategy to oust Macc from a first overall, Al-Fadel attempted to slow him enough to permit Baldwin to pass, giving the Kuwaiti the win. The plan failed, and after tallying the finishing scores, Macc stood on top and added another world title to his resume, with Al-Fadel falling just short in second place. Aswar finished up the podium with a very respectable third place finish.
In what was widely regarded the most exciting class of the week, Pro Ski put on a show. The triple log jump crushed some championship dreams for more than one rider in this class. Last year’s champ Jeremy Poret out of France had one thing on his mind and that was to repeat. He came out of the gates in a fury and grabbed two early moto wins to start his weekend off quickly. His consistency was not mirrored by the rest of the class which led to some serious battles. Moto 1 log jump victim was Hidden Trails/Judge Motorsports rider Jimmy Wilson, who broke all three motor mounts after a tough hit on one of the log jumps.
After that bad luck, Wilson used the log jumps to his advantage passing multiple people and looking like he was the only that had seen a log jump before. This lead the way to a Moto 2 and 3 third place overall but wasn’t enough to compensate for the bad luck in Moto 1 to get Wilson on the podium. Shotaro Kokumun from Osaka, Japan was the only other rider to have two Top 3’s in the three moto format, with a second in Moto 1 and a huge Moto 3 win. Quinten Bossche from Belgium turned in a seventh, second, fourth on his quest for a podium. After some big time moto math, Poret once again reigned supreme with Kokubun in second and Bossche in third overall.
As for the indisputably fastest class of the weekend – Pro Runabout Open – a repeat championship was once again on one rider’s mind. Gyorgy Kasza out of Hungary looked to repeat and continue the Sea-Doo domination of this class. Kasza did things that were almost superhuman while making more than one outside pass on the famous front straight horseshoe turn and that ignited the crowd into a frenzy. Kasza did not disappoint on his way to two moto wins and another championship. After a solid Moto 1 for class favorites James Bushell and Dustin Farthing, ski issues removed them for the running in a podium spot.
As for the Sea-Doo domination of the class it was in full effect in Moto 1 with two Kawasaki’s and one Yamaha rounding out the last three spots. Mohammed Burbayea out of Kuwait had some amazing holeshots on his was to a third and second place finish respectively in the two motos giving him second overall. Jun Ikoma from Japan used consistency to earn himself a third place finish in the prestigious class.
Upsets abounded in Runabout GP, as a world championship was just out of reach for Dustin Farthing, who merely needed to finish Moto 2 mid-pack to best UK’s James Bushell. His and several other breakdowns (including Gyorgy Kasza) rearranged the podium with Waleen Alsharshani in first, James Bushell, and Erminio Iantosca rounding out in third. Pro Freestyle was a sight to behold with tricks never before seen on flat water being dished out by surf rider Mark Gomez, and the UK’s Jonathan Kavanagh filling his entire routine in nearly one single unbroken procession of tricks. Fatefully, the title went to Lee Stone for a third time, with Japan’s Taiji Yamamoto in second and Kavanagh in third.
Overall, the week was a success for many riders while others look towards next year. We look forward to a great 2017 and cant wait to see what that brings.
35th annual quakysense IJSBA World Finals results (Top 10 per class):
Novice Women Ski LTD: 1. Thidapach Srivaurai, 2. Anna Glennon, 3. Morgan Jones, 4. Camilla Herfindal, 5. Casey Leech, 6. Trinity Klecker, 7. Meg Conroy, 8. Laura Trevizo, 9. Reanna Wilson, 10. Kori Zabala; Expert Vets Runabout: 1. Pancho Marjak, 2. Antonio Claros, 3. Chris Saxon, 4. Adrian Wilson, 5. Leonel Morelli, 6. Enrique Chia, 7. Eidner Rainer, 8. Anthony Radetic, 9. Eric Senko, 10. Pichet Settura; Masters Ski Stock: 1. Yukiko Kume, 2. Deri Attica, 3. Alejandro Playan, 4. Gerry Wong, 5. Marshall Brown, 6. Scott Benson, 7. Michael Prodanovich, 8. Robert Hyde, 9. Aaron Sanchez, 10. Take Ohara; R/A Naturally Asp Stock: 1. Tyler Hill, 2. Abdulrahman Al Omar, 3. Eduardo Lopez, 4. Nawaf Al Farhan, 5. Dylan Puglisi, 6. James Alamillo, 7. Zaid Al Zaidi, 8. Brad Rickaby, 9. Barak Al Qabandi, 10. Bill Wilson; Novice Ski Stock: 1. Kadidit Teeraprateep, 2. Salman Alawadhi, 3. Chaudic Rivarola, 4. Paul Harding, 5. Colin Raisig, 6. Kyle Disney, 7. Davi Prado, 8. Preston Matzdorff, 9. Harry Robinson, 10. Trinity Klecker; Amateur Runabout 800 LTD: 1. Thipmongkol Khemart, 2. Abdulrahman Al Omar, 3. Tapatarawat Josannusont, 4. Kevin Nitschke, 5. James Alamillo, 6. Bart Muerrens, 7. Jonathan Rivera, 8. Nawaf Al Farhan, 9. Larry Letke, 10. Ryan Willows; Novice Runabout Stock: 1. Feetu Rajajarvi, 2. Ali Allanjawi, 3. Pichet Settura, 4. Enrique Chia, 5. Kelly Church, 6. Jason Lester, 7. Jonathan Ariel, 8. Bendrioch Badr, 9. Kristiyan Kirov, 10. Thanarit Sathauorn; Novice Ski LTD: 1. Theo Beaumer, 2. Kadidit Teeraprateep, 3. Christopher Steenbock, 4. John Gasperone, 5. Pasha Kolotovkin, 6. Duane Bascom, 7. Laura Milone; Novice Runabout LTD: 1. Abdulrahman Al Omar, 2. Zaid Al Zaidi, 3. Kristiyan Kirov, 4. Feetu Rajajarvi, 5. Antonio Claros, 6. Jonathan Ariel, 7. Jason Lester, 8. Jordan Lilley, 9. Kevin Sullivan, 10. Raymund Dela Vega; Classic Ski 2 Stroke LTD: 1. Anna Glennon, 2. Ryan Mifflin, 3. Scott Benson, 4. Branden Edwards, 5. Todd Valentino, 6. Jeff Wright, 7. Lauren Conroy, 8. Billy Shaw, 9. Tyler Riibe, 10. Lauren Jones; Am Runabout 1000 SS: 1. Attapon Kunsa, 2. Ekachon Kinachansjlp, 3. Teerapong Khunjeng, 4. Jonathan Rivera, 5. Tanapat Thipprapai, 6. Larry Letke, 7. Kevin Sullivan, 8. Permpon Teerapatpanich, 9. Robert Clowe, 10. Cory Dickson; Expert Ski LTD: 1. Jesper Hermansen, 2. Dardillat Valentin, 3. Maximiand Martinelli, 4. Bousselmon Ilias, 5. Deri Attica, 6. Tasahong Saenguthai, 7. Robert Langley; Expert Runabout LTD: 1. Marcus Jorgensen, 2. Supak Settura, 3. Teera Settura, 4. Matt Brunt, 5. Eidner Rainer, 6. Jonathan Ariel, 7. Holdin Stockman, 8. Ian Jensen, 9. Thaweephol, 10. Gergely Jaranyi; Masters Ski Open: 1. William Haig, 2. Daniel Martinelli, 3. Troy Armstrong, 4. Dave Davidson, 5. Matt Legerski, 6. Shigeharu Yamamoto, 7. Yuji Shiroki, 8. Graham Leeh, 9. Steven Chestolowski, 10. Aaron Sanchez; Amateur Runabout Spec: 1. Travis Zielasko, 2. Ali Allanjawi, 3. Daniell Wagner, 4. Pancho Marjak, 5. Biondi Sebastien, 6. Abdulrahman Al Omar, 7. Yahya Rammah, 8. Zaid Al Zaidi, 9. Jason Lester, 10. Holdin Stockman; Amateur Ski Lites: 1. Kole Cramer, 2. Sultan Alhammadi, 3. Vegard Liseth, 4. Goncalo Rodrigues, 5. Viljar Berntsen, 6. Phil Segers, 7. Gabe Hooper, 8. Oliver Liseth, 9. Colin Raisig, 10. Salman Alawadhi; R/A Naturally Asp Limited: 1. Nawaf Al Farhan, 2. Zaid Al Zaidi, 3. Renee Hill, 4. James Alamillo, 5. Jasem Alrujaib, 6. Eduardo Lopez, 7. Barak Al Qabandi, 8. Gergely Jaranyi, 9. Fabio Incorvaia, 10. Robert Gladecki; Amateur Vets Ski LTD: 1. Gerry Wong, 2. Billy Shaw, 3. Steven Chestolowski, 4. Kim Richardson, 5. Flyin Brian Smith, 6. Vesa Salonen, 7. David Fekete; Pro Am Ski LTD: 1. Mike Klippenstein, 2. Curtis Pitman, 3. Kacper Kania, 4. Tim Ottesen, 5. Jesper Hermansen, 6. Bousselmon Ilias, 7. Glenn Powell, 8. Marten Manni; Junior Ski 13-15 Stock: 1. Marten Manni, 2. Kadidit Teeraprateep, 3. Theo Beaumer, 4. Davi Prado, 5. Viljar Berntsen, 6. Gabe Hooper, 7. Ben Morris, 8. Aj Luinstra, 9. Brady Courson, 10. Harry Robinson; Amateur Vets Ski Open: 1. Peter Zernik, 2. Daniel Martinelli, 3. Rick Trevizo, 4. Troy Armstrong, 5. Shigeharu Yamamoto, 6. John Gasperone, 7. Jeremy Poper, 8. Ian Benson, 9. Jason Carlton, 10. Matt Legerski; Pro Am Ski 2 Stroke Lites: 1. Tayne Lemon, 2. Phil Segers, 3. Mike Klippenstein, 4. Mike Wendricks, 5. Vegard Liseth, 6. Goncalo Rodrigues, 7. Quinten Bossche, 8. Ulrik Berntsen, 9. Benjamin Scharff, 10. Curtis Pitman; Pro Am Runabout Spec: 1. Abdullah Alfadhel, 2. Teera Settura, 3. Aero Aswar, 4. Chris Saxon, 5. Aqsa Aswar, 6. Waleed Alsharshani, 7. Mohammad Al Baz, 8. Supak Settura, 9. Yahya Rammah, 10. Roland Soos; Amateur Freestyle: 1. Justin Sylvain, 2. Evan Krefski, 3. Vaclav Zacek, 4. Hassan Abudawood, 5. Luke Stocks, 6. Taylor Kress, 7. Albert Van Heijningen, 8. Michael Demauro, 9. Kelsey Albert, 10. Michael Bevacqua; Expert Runabout Open: 1. Mohammad Al Baz, 2. Jonathan Ariel, 3. Marcus Jorgensen, 4. Adrian Wilson, 5. Dan Silva, 6. Leonel Morelli, 7. Ryan Smith, 8. Roland Soos, 9. Andros Lutt; Amateur Ski Open: 1. Kole Cramer, 2. Daniel Martinelli, 3. Yoann Tollemer, 4. Kacper Kania, 5. Maurin Raphael, 6. Mateo Juarez, 7. Nuttakorn Pupakdee, 8. Blake Wicklund, 9. Curtis Pitman, 10. Jeremiah Marino; Amateur Rec Lites: 1. Jon Hoffer, 2. Tapatarawat Josannusont, 3. Tanapat Thipprapai, 4. Andrew Bezan, 5. Abdulrahman Al Omar, 6. Bart Muerrens, 7. Vandersteegen Dennis, 8. Bendrioch Badr, 9. Pasi Vuorela, 10. Attapon Kunsa; Junior Ski 13-15 Lites: 1. Theo Beaumer, 2. Kole Cramer, 3. Salman Al Awadhi, 4. Gabe Hooper, 5. Sultan Alhammadi, 6. Davi Prado, 7. Viljar Berntsen, 8. Oliver Liseth, 9. Carson Hughes, 10. Preston Matzdorff; R/A Naturally Asp Open: 1. Brandon Warner, 2. Tapatarawat Josannusont, 3. Fabio Incorvaia, 4. Josh Janeway, 5. Jon Hoffer, 6. Nawaf Al Farhan, 7. Zaid Al Zaidi, 8. Abdulrahman Al Omar, 9. Barak Al Qabandi, 10. Robert Gladecki; Pro-Am Runabout LTD: 1. Mohammed Burbayea, 2. Eric Francis, 3. Mohammad Al Baz, 4. Marcus Jorgensen, 5. Waleed Alsharshani, 6. Leonel Morelli, 7. Ian Jensen, 8. Jonathan Ariel, 9. Cory Rarick; Junior Ski 10-12 Lites: 1. Mattias Reinaas, 2. Julien Beaumer, 3. Corban Farnley, 4. Nantawat Singurai, 5. Abdalla Alhammadi, 6. Dag Martin, 7. Jake Pearce, 8. Revin Harris, 9. Haden Skellett, 10. Dominic Cannady; Pro-Am Ski Stock: 1. Mike Klippenstein, 2. Marten Manni, 3. Bousselmon Ilias, 4. Claudio Rivarola, 5. Alejandro Playan, 6. Steven Chestolowski, 7. Justin Treder, 8. Vegard Liseth, 9. Tim Warner, 10. Jesper Hermansen; Ski Open Slalom: 1. Shotaro Kokubun, 2. Toshi Ohara, 3. Rui Sousa, 4. Tera Laho, 5. James Wilson, 6. Tiago Sousa, 7. Jeremy Poret, 8. Ulrik Berntsen, 9. Brock Austin, 10. Villat Vincent; Sport Spec Slalom: 1. Thipmongkol Khemart, 2. Tapatarawat Josannusont, 3. Ekachon Kinachansjlp, 4. Abdulrahman Al Omar, 5. Mohammed Burbayea, 6. Hunter Dunn, 7. Kelly Stone, 8. Derek Lofftus; Runabout Open Slalom: 1. Gyorgy Kasza, 2. James Bushell, 3. Jun Ikoma, 4. Dustin Farthing, 5. Mohammed Burbayea, 6. Erminio Iantosca, 7. Mohammad Al Baz, 8. Waleed Alsharshani, 9. Marcus Jorgensen, 10. Permpon Teerapatpanich; Ski Stock Junior 10-15 Slalom: 1. Salman Al Awadhi, 2. Viljar Berntsen, 3. Kadidit Teeraprateep, 4. Dag Martin, 5. Julien Beaumer, 6. Nantawat Singurai, 7. Theo Beaumer, 8. Mattias Reinaas, 9. Tallon Chambers, 10. Mitchell Farnley; Pro Am Runabout 1000 SS: 1. Nopphadon Sapmunsaem, 2. Teerapong Khunjeng, 3. Jayme Cheney, 4. Danai Viviyasahakit, 5. Larry Letke, 6. Eric Lagopoulos, 7. Permpon Teerapatpanich, 8. Cory Dickson, 9. Attapon Kunsa, 10. Robert Clowe; Sport GP: 1. Tyler Hill, 2. Andrew Bezan, 3. Sam Nehme, 4. Denny Janeway, 5. Aaron Dellinger, 6. Glen Jung, 7. Johnny Smith, 8. Justin Laczynshi, 9. Tony Martinez, 10. Tommy Bonacci; Vintage Ski: 1. Michael Prodanovich, 2. Tommy Bonacci, 3. Mark Gomez, 4. Wyland Reden, 5. Michael Demauro, 6. Jason Tebbutt, 7. Cory Vancleave, 8. Chad Zeman, 9. Aaron Sanchez, 10. Becky Cooper-Powell; Pro Freestyle: 1. Lee Stone, 2. Taiji Yamamoto, 3. Jonathan Kavanagh, 4. Mark Gomez, 5. Jace Forest, 6. Tanner Thomas, 7. Justin Sylvain, 8. Jason Widdes, 9. Chris Anyzeski, 10. Jason Bleasdale; Junior Ski 13-15 LTD: 1. Salman Al Awadhi, 2. Marten Manni, 3. Theo Beaumer, 4. Carson Hughes, 5. Brent Disney, 6. Oliver Liseth, 7. Troy Van Niekerk, 8. Reanna Wilson, 9. Harry Robinson, 10. Aj Luinstra; Pro-Am Runabout Stock: 1. Chris MacClugage, 2. Abdullah Alfadhel, 3. Aero Aswar, 4. Brian Baldwin, 5. Pancho Marjak, 6. Yahya Rammah, 7. Brad Rickaby, 8. Teera Settura, 9. Phil Pope, 10. Travis Zielasko; Junior Ski 10-12 Stock: 1. Tallon Chambers, 2. Julien Beaumer, 3. Peyton Chestolowski, 4. Abdalla Alhammadi, 5. Corban Farnley, 6. Mattias Reinaas, 7. Nantawat Singurai, 8. Dag Martin, 9. Haden Skellett, 10. Stevie Bascom; Vintage X2: 1. Daniel Ortega, 2. Masao Ikeda, 3. Greg Sommers, 4. Doug Wolff, 5. Charles Sims, 6. Steven Girling, 7. Jackson Rod, 8. Brian Toline, 9. Lauri Ortega, 10. James Gagnon; Women Runabout: 1. Shante Bukes, 2. Tammy Rarick, 3. Renee Hill, 4. Ildiko Vasari, 5. Evelyn Managan, 6. Leslie Nadeker-Adams; Pro-Am Women Ski LTD: 1. Julie Bulteau-Poret, 2. Kazuko Mukai, 3. Thidapach Srivaurai, 4. Yukiko Kume, 5. Lauren Conroy, 6. Tracey Lathwood, 7. Morgan Jones, 8. Anna Glennon, 9. Sophie Perrin; Pro Runabout: 1. Gyorgy Kasza, 2. Mohammed Burbayea, 3. Jun Ikoma Funabashi, 4. Waleed Alsharshani, 5. Eric Francis, 6. Craig Warner, 7. Phil Pope, 8. James Bushell, 9. Dustin Farthing; Pro Ski: 1. Jeremy Poret, 2. Shotaro Kokubun, 3. Quinten Bossche, 4. Toshi Ohara, 5. Brock Austin, 6. Villat Vincent, 7. James Wilson, 8. Tiago Sousa, 9. Tera Laho, 10. Yoann Tollemer; Endurance: 1. Mike Klippenstein, 2. Aero Aswar, 3. Yahya Rammah, 4. Ali Mohammad, 5. Aqsa Aswar, 6. Ahmed Al Dawas, 7. Dean Harrison, 8. Zaid Al Zaidi, 9. Filipe Filipe, 10. Barak Al Qabandi