Video: Brian Baldwin’s Big Peruvian Adventure (Gallery)


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“Yamaha Peru wanted a great racer, and an all-around good guy, and they had some recommendations from others in the racing community that I would be a candidate,” Brian shrugged humbly. The North Carolina native has an easy, self-deprecating way about him despite earning a several national and world titles in a variety of Pro Runabout classes. In recent years, Brian Baldwin has become a stalwart face on the Yamaha Motor Corp. USA roster, having placed the brand’s WaveRunners on the podium over the decade.

A week before Thanksgiving, Baldwin took his talents across the globe (laterally, that is), to the second-annual IJSBA Inka Jet Raid World Championship, one of the biggest offshore events on the South Pacific coast. Enrollment had increased by 50-percent coming up to November’s event (November 19-26), and offered some unusual variety to racing. Participants could tackle the whole event solo in the F1 class, or join up with a partner to split the riding duties in the F2 class.

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Equally, racers were split up into two categories: Amateur Stock (pilots with little experience and motorcycles stock) or Pro Open (experienced pilots and PWC free preparation). Yamaha Peru wanted to win this year, and do so badly so they reached out for a ringer. “Yamaha Peru sponsored me with a new 2017 FX SVHO and a team of mechanics and helpers,” Baldwin retold. Yamaha flew the American down, escorted him through the beachside town and prepped for the ride before him.

In addition to riding exclusively for Yamaha, Baldwin has been a sponsored by RIVA Racing for years. “This was a long grueling race that tested both man and machine,” RIVA’s Marcos Smith told The Watercraft Journal. “The parts list is essentially our Stage 2 Kit that we offer to the public for Yamaha FX, FZ and GP1800 applications.” Because of the 1,000KM (620-plus miles) approximate distance spread out over stages alternating between offshore and endurance, the Yamaha FX needed to hold together. Baldwin beamed, “[RIVA] built a package that no one at the event could come close to.”

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Together with his F2 class teammate Anibal Aliaga, Baldwin swept the Pro Open World Championship raking in an astounding 258 points over the second place winner (who was only 58 points ahead of third place. “[Brian’s] average top speed with the parts installed was 81 MPH. The reliability of the RIVA package was outstanding!” Smith concluded. The win not only secured Yamaha Peru its dominance over the event, but elevated Baldwin as a true worldwide presence in the sport. Together with RIVA Racing, Baldwin was able to fetch Yamaha yet another offshore title, which until recently was strictly Kawasaki territory.

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Kevin Shaw

Editor-in-Chief – kevin.shaw@shawgroupmedia.com Kevin Shaw is a decade-long powersports and automotive journalist whose love for things that go too fast has led him to launching The Watercraft Journal. Almost always found with stained hands and dirt under his fingernails, Kevin has an eye for the technical while keeping a eye out for beautiful photography and a great story.

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