The P1 AquaX Tour had their fourth round of their race series arrived into the beautiful city of Sarasota, Florida. This was the third year of the series coming into town to kick off the 4th of July festivities and as with the past two years, it was going to be an exciting weekend. This round would only have the Professional racers joining the boat series that would adorn Lido Beach. The entire weekend would sponsor a great cause the Suncoast Charities for Children.
The weekend started off with the AquaX riders kicking off the event with their first race, but first the riders briefing needed to be done. As many of the racers had raced Sarasota the previous years, it was mainly a time to go over some particulars. Sarasota is unique because the launch of the skis was a short distance from the actual race course and many racers were wondering if their skis would have enough gas to complete a moto. Due to this, it was determined by Race Director Lisa Barsby that instead of the normal 30 minute moto that it would be dropped down to a 25 minute moto, plus one lap. This would definitely allow all racers to complete the moto plus the parade laps and the traveling to the race course.
The riders launched their craft and headed out to the course and it was deemed that the course was ready to race. As the green flag dropped, the racers took off and it was, as in the past that Chris Macclugage took the hole shot. Chris started to gain a really nice lead and completed two laps but then his ski had mechanical issues causing him to stop racing. It turned out that his timing chain had snapped. The bad luck of Sarasota had come upon him for the second year in a row. This opened the door for the other racers to claim the top spot for the first moto.
Sea-Doo team rider Erminio Iantosca now took the lead on his Sea-Doo RXP and it was looking like a Sea-Doo was on the hunt for it’s first top spot for the year. Iantosca was chased by RIVA racer Brian Baldwin on his Yamaha GP1800 and then followed by Canadian rider Jay Edworthy, who was also on a Sea-Doo RXP. These three racers kept this up for the majority of the race. Suddenly, Baldwin was in the lead followed by Eric Lagopoulos and Cyrille Lemoine. These three finished the race in that order. The question that then emerged was what happened to the Sea-Doo riders? Did they break down or did they run out of gas?
Upon returning to the ramp, it was revealed that the race was timed an extra few minutes past the 25 minutes that was told to the riders in their briefing, which caused a lot of the Sea-Doo riders to run out of gas on the second to last and final laps. The race directors had to go back to their time keeping sheets to determine where each racer was at the 25-minute mark. After further review it was determined that Iantosca won the first moto followed by Baldwin and the Edworthy. This was absolutely the right call to make and the most fair.
With the first moto in the books, the racers prepped for the second moto later in the day. Unfortunately, this would not happen. While the racers were prepping and the powerboats were racing there was a marine hold for all racing due to wildlife on the course. That coupled with an incoming storm determined that racing would have to be put on hold until the next day and the second moto would be made up. The second day of racing was going to be a long one for all the racers – including the powerboats. At the briefing, it was discovered by the racers that they would only be competing in one moto instead of two due to the tight schedule and that the third moto scheduled would be made up in the next round in Islamorada, Florida.
The racers took to the course and it was Chris MacClugage who yet again, took the hole shot after getting his ski in order. Macc raced a flawless moto this time and it appeared that the gremlins that had plagued him in the past were definitely behind him. Eric Francis, who had gotten a DNF in the first moto, also looked like he had gotten past the mechanical issues of the first moto and was battling with Brian Baldwin. Marcus Jorgensen of Denmark who also had a DNF in the first moto started in the last race position for moto. Jorgensen traversed the field on the hunt for one of the top three positions. It came down to the white flag lap where Jorgensen passed Francis to take the second place finish. The final results would be MacClugage for the Moto 2 win followed by Jorgensen and Francis rounding out the top three.
The weekend was a success and the final results ended with RIVA racer Brian Baldwin coming out with the overall win, followed by Iantosca in second place garnering Sea-Doo’s first podium finish in the professional class for the year. The third spot on the podium was to be won by MacClugage. He tied French rider Cyrille Lemoine for the weekend, but due to Macc having a better finish in the last moto, the scoring deemed Macc the podium winner. The weekend was officially over after two races and the racers are now set to continue racing next month in Islamorada, Florida.