The King’s Cup – Jet Ski World Cup 2014 took place in Pattaya City, Thailand, December 4th to the 7th. The first King’s Cup – Jet Ski World Cup was held in 1996 and hosted competitors from Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. In 1997 and 1998, the event expanded to hosting riders from the Asia Pacific region, and then moved on to hosting riders from all over the world in 1999. Today, riders from over 30 countries around the globe competed at this year’s King’s Cup – Jet Ski World Cup.
The five main Jet Ski World Cup categories which receive the highly acclaimed King’s Cups are Pro Runabout Open, Pro Ski, Pro Freestyle, Pro Sport GP and Pro Runabout 800 Open. This year was also the first time that there was an Endurance category at The King’s Cup – Jet Ski World Cup, consisting of 2 motos, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Other classes welcomed Novices, Amateurs, Womens, Experts and even a Spark class.
Some of the biggest names in jet ski racing swarmed the southern Bangkok beaches, many looking to repeat their previous wins from the IJSBA World Finals in Lake Havasu City, Arizona let than two months earlier, the American Pro Watercross Tour and the Aquabike World Tour. Unfortunately, a seemingly never-ending sequences of misfortune, back luck and mechanical troubles upset the field and provided spectators with a whole new set of champions.
Qualifying rounds took place in the morning for the Novice classes, Friday 5th December. The event made short time of Motos 1 and 2 for the Novice, Junior, Expert, Amateur and Pro-Am Spark stock classes. Moto 3 for these categories took place on Saturday, 6th of December, with their fourth and final motos on Sunday.
The excitement started early on Saturday, in Moto 1 of the Pro Ski class. Rockstar/Kommander South African rider Dustin Motzouris got the holeshot and led the race until he dislocated his shoulder, causing him to fall off his ski. Luckily, his shoulder popped back in but not before Chris MacClugage managed to take the lead. MacClugage took first in Moto 1 followed by Dustin Motzouris in second, Nacho Gucudiola from Spain in third.
Fellow South African and Dustin’s brother, Tyron Motzouris followed the podium in fourth as reigning World Champion Kevin Reiterer experienced technical problems and rounded out the pack in 12th position. Moto 2 of Pro Ski started with Valentin Dardillat with the holeshot, MacClugage in a close second, and Kevin Reiterer in third. Chris MacClugage managed to take the lead from Dardillat. Kevin Reiterer closed in on Dardillat and passed him through the split, ending with Macc winning in moto 2, Reiterer second, and Dardillat third. Dustin Motzouris got a good start but the ski kept cutting out which knocked him backto 6th place.
Saturday’s Pro Runabout Open Moto 1 began with World Pro Runabout GP champion James Bushell grabbing the holeshot and leading from start to finish. Chaowalit Kuajaroon from Thailand took second, and Yosef al abdulrazzaq took 3rd. In Moto 2, George Kasza from Hungary took the holeshot, James Bushell came out second, and Jean Baptiste Botti in third. Botti managed to pass Bushell, rearranging the field with Kasza first, Botti second and Bushell third.
Sunday, December 7th picked up the action in Pro Ski with Moto 3. Out of the gate, Motzouris took the holeshot, Kevin Reiterer slotted in to second place, and MacClugage was in third until Klippenstein passed. Dustin managed to hang on to first place, with Reiterer close behind him. Klippenstein took third and MacClugage in fourth.
But the arrangement was a tentative one, as the final moto had Dardillat with the holeshot, Macc in second and Austrian Reiterer close behind. Working his Hydrospace as best he could, Reiterer got pass MacClugage for second place finish. Although Macc was pushed back, the 19-time IJSBA World Champion took the overall win and the coveted King’s Cup, returning 2013 King’s Cup winner Dustin Motzouris took second, Kevin Reiterer third, fourth to Valentin Dardillat, and fifth to Mike Klippenstein.
Pro Runabout Open’s Moto 3 started with Chokuthit Molee taking the holeshot, Bushell slotted in to second, George Kasza in third, and Botti in fourth. Bushell moved in to first when Chokuthit broke down. Kasza briefly moved up in to second until he broke down, giving way for Botti to move in to second, and gain on Bushell.
Botti passed Bushell, but had to go out to take the equalizer, allowing Bushell to move back up to first only to be passed by Botti again. Botti went on to win Moto 3 with Bushell second, and Chaowalit Kuajaroon in third.
In the final moto, James Bushell got the holeshot on the inside split, while Botti got the holeshot on the outside split. Botti managed to take the lead and carried it through the checkered flag, with Bushell in second and Chokuthit Molee in third. But instead of a fourth place overall, it would be a disqualification for Jean Baptiste Botti, who did not pass the tech inspection due to an illegal fuel tank as per the rules.
The overall podium had Bushell in first, Japan’s Isahai in second and Yousef Al Abdulrazzaq in third. Kylie Ellmers and Yuki Kurahashi had a good battle in the Pro-Am Womens Ski Limited, with Kylie winning Motos 1, 2 and 3 with Yuki in second. Yuki won Moto 4 with Kylie in second.
The King’s Cup has managed to escalate to the highest ranked events in all of jet ski racing by racers, race teams and spectators, even surpassing that of the lauded IJSBA World Finals, according to some. Huge cash payouts, a pristine tropical setting, top-level accoutrements and accommodations and some of the toughest competition in the world makes the Jet Ski World Cup a world class event and one not to miss.
For a full list of the The King’s Cup – Jet Ski World Cup 2014 results click HERE.
For full-sized versions of all of the original images from Channe Moore, visit CM Photography & Design HERE.