How dedicated are you to jet ski racing? How far would you travel to compete? These were the questions going through my head while watching all the riders in Perth this weekend. But the love of the sport was shining through at the first two rounds of the 2015 Yamaha Australian Jetcross Tour, especially on the faces of all the riders as they lined up for the first race of the year.
Perth is on the West Coast of Australia and the most isolated city in the world. Its a 50 hour drive from my home town of the Gold Coast, so lucky I got to fly! Some of the riders weren’t so lucky. Between shipping skis and equipment it’s a exceptionally expensive exercise but we all know that racing skis is not cheap, so to see the turnout of over 50 racers from teams and privateers from all over the country was an awesome effort!
Rounds One and Two of 2015 Yamaha Australian Jetcross Tour were held by AJSBA and Jetsport West at the local club on the Swan River, a fantastic spot for both races and spectators with a beautiful view of Perth City in the back drop.
This year, Yamaha Australia got on board and started a new class of racing, the Superjet Cup with a brand new 2015 SuperJet as first prize. It’s so good to see Yamaha supporting the sport in such a big way. The Cup is basically a version of the Circuit Lites Ski class (so only handling and a few other small modifications are allowed). At the end of the tour, one lucky rider will need extra room on their trailer to take home their hard earned ski home! If you are competing in the SuperJet Cup, you’re competing with racers like Joel Barry, Ryan O’Keefe and James Xuereb, so bring your “A” game to every event to have a chance of taking home this major prize.
Speaking of which, Ryan O’Keefe came back into racing after some time off with great success on his new Superjet taking first position on the in the points. It was good to see all that practice riding at Sea World on the Gold Coast has paid off.
O’Keefe was closely followed be last year’s number one Joey Barry, and World Veterans Champion James Xuereb. A lot of these guys are true athletes, racing two and sometimes three different classes. Guy “Gee” Greenland was one of those who raced the Pro Open Runabout on a borrowed ski and took on the standup racers in the SuperJet Cup.
Speaking of Pro Open Runabout, the Sea-Doo Team from JSW Powersports were let down by their transport company, leaving their skis stuck somewhere in the desert. Thankfully, after getting a hold on some dead stock RXP-X Sea-Doos from some very generous West Australians, the JSW boys were able to get some points on the board.
In Round One, Sea-Doo salesman Anthony Antees rode like a man possessed, taking home third place on one of those stock boats. Sydney Sea-Doo Performance’s James Masterton took first place with K-Speed’s Christian D’Agostin in second place. I bet they were hoping Anthony’s boat doesn’t turn up in time.
Well, it did just before the first race of Sunday’s Round Two. (Sorry guys.) It was a very fast and reliable turbo boat and Anthony was keen to make up some points. James Masterton’s boat was no slouch either and was going like a rocket. But unfortunately for James, it just wasn’t quite fast enough to best Anthony.
Christian D’Agostin was Mr Consistency with him taking third place in Open, and then going and racing in Stock Runabout, also taking third. Matt Brunt and Greg Hack also looked like they had some good boat speed, until the gremlins turned up. See you next round boys. Hope it’s all sorted.
Another young gun was Tom Aiken. After not having much luck in Round One, a little bit of tweaking to his ski made all the difference for Round Two, with him winning with a nice lead in each race. His SX-R looks like it needs a bit of love on the outside, but it’s got the goods on the inside. Tom’s not just a racer either, he’s one heck of a freeriders to. Keep an eye on this one.
Grant Busby, another SX-R rider and President of Jetsport West, took out first in Round One and third in Round Two. He put in a great effort after giving the SuperJet Cup a go. (And special thanks to Buzz for the bed and the Cordials.)
The Kawasaki teams from the Gold Coast, and Brisbane showed how well their 310R Ultras go with a constant blur of green whizzing by. Handling the chop well and stealing out of the corners smoothly kept them up front with the other top riders. Ben Mounford took first in Stock Endurance and Christian D’Agostin won the Open enduro. Both the boys were on 310Rs. Well done, Kawasaki.
Yamaha was not to be outdone. Stock Runabout was dominated by Mitch Wayt on his SVHO-powered FZS put together by WaveRunner Performance on the Gold Coast. Wayt was joined by Brett Douglas and Christian D’Agostin who made it to the podium again.
Open Ski was a close race between a couple of Hydrospaces and Michael Stevens’ 1100cc SX-R. Jake Barkers boat had some speed to it and he threw it around the buoys with great finesse. That boy can ride. Joel Barry’s Hydro couldn’t quite catch him after Jake’s great starts. Mick gave it a good go and “rode his own race” with consistent and fast laps.
Rounds Three and Four will be held in Redcliffe, Queensland on the 21st & 22nd of February, so watch this space for more top level coverage!
All images courtesy of Photos by Skip and unaltered, full-resolution versions can be purchased HERE.