It’s been a long 5 years since the last Australian Titles at The Spit on Gold Coast. No National Title has been held since the racing incident that kill Joey Scaturchio. Due to an investigation from Gold Coast authorities not permitting any racing, the sport had to move to a new venue at Atkinson Dam and then Redcliffe near Brisbane.
All of these things combined have caused the numbers to dwindle. However the recent turnout looks to be giving some hope back to organizers and sponsors with a great two days of racing on the weekend. Firstly I’d like to thank Joey’s father, Tony for turning up and supporting the event with the handing over of the memorial Joey Scaturchio trophy.
Redcliffe is located just north of Brisbane, Queensland; it’s a sleepy little town with a beautiful backdrop of Moreton Bay. It is also a marine park with a plethora of turtles, dolphins and Dugongs (similar to manatees). So organizing this event takes some serious negotiations with the powers that be. Racing started early Saturday morning with everyone getting a few sighting laps before his or her race. The conditions were improving from Friday’s practice so the day was looking good.
The AJSBA had to make a few decisions that upset some people at this year’s event, due to the introduction of the new SX-R and Yamahas EX. It was decided that the SX-R would run in GP as they couldn’t make up the numbers to separate the class; Rob White’s Yamaha Ex was put in with the Sea-Doo Sparks in Pro-Am Rec Lites Runabout, due to it being so much heavier than the Spark.
This worked out well for both classes with neither of the new boats dominating the race. Justin Winsor, the owner of Liquid Industries on the Gold Coast had blistering speed on his Sea-Doo Trak 903, that thing was doing 75mph right up until it let go and the team from Liquid Industries had to throw a new motor in overnight.
Justin went on to take the overall win in GP Ski. Joel Barry on the Jetski World SX-R was invited to race the ski only just prior to the event starting. Considering he had never ridden one before, he did a fantastic job. Joel is now off to Europe to compete in the Freeride World Tour.
Pro-Am Lites Ski was also closely contested, with Tom Akien, Michael Stevens and Youngster Byron Lewis. Tom was looking like he was going to take the title just ahead of Mick Stevens; the boys were on the pace all weekend in perfect condition one day and surf like conditions the next.
At presentation, to the surprise of all, especially Mick, Tom Aiken was penalized for missed buoys giving Stevens the title and bumping Byron Lewis into second. Byron and his Dad traveled from Western Australia for the event.
Vintage Ski is always great to watch. The beautifully turned out skis always impress. With two motos combined into one, it makes a great show. So every heat the boys have two starts. I’m sure the guys don’t take the race to seriously. I noticed Tim Ryan waiting for Jarrod Martin to catch up a bit so they could rub shoulders in the turns. There was also a great Vintage display on show for all to see. With plenty of replicas and original skis on display.
It was good to see international rider Mohammed Burbayea at the titles, his #66 Sea-Doo was a weapon on the track, dominating the first few laps on GP Runabout. Unfortunately, that didn’t last long with Mohammed dropping out of the first race with mechanical issues. Paul Leven and James Masterton took up the challenge. Actually the entire field of GP had some great racing.
At one stage or the other I think they were all in a podium position. If you’ve never seen a GP class, make the effort. It’s the F1 of our sport. Congrats to Paul Leven on the win, he’s a great supporter of the sport and always making a huge effort at every event; glad to see him walking away as the new Australian Champion. He rode consistently all weekend, and well deserving of the title.
Enduro was one moto a day consisting of a 35 minute, one lap race. Brett Douglas took out Moto One convincingly only to have electrical gremlins turn up in Moto Two. This gave the opportunity to Guy Greenland and Christian D’Agostin to give it a go. Day one was glassy condition with the racers holding it wide open, the whole half hour, but race two was a 2-foot swell with a solid wind chop making thing exiting.
Mitch Casey and Christian D’Agostin both went over the hangers in the chop. Unfortunately, Casey didn’t recover after corking his legs on the ski. He was rescued by the safety crew and brought ashore. He later made a full recovery with only minor injuries. Christian on the other had managed to remount his ski and continue on to take third in that moto.
Christian went on to take the title in Enduro open. That’s a 5th Australian title for D’Agostin and a great ride. Again Enduro was a mixed class due to limited numbers, so another winner in Enduro Am Showroom Stock was Paul Bazely. His Kawasaki was at home in the rough conditions and deserved the win.
Mitch Wayt on his Yamaha GP1800 was consistently fast. The 2016 Australian Champion showed us again why he was last year’s champ. Taking the podium in three different classes, he is an outstanding rider and always keen to give it a go. Wayt took out Enduro, Pro Am Stock and placed second in Stock Spec Runabout. Pro Am Stock was a close contest with Wayt only just edging out Casey by one point. Casey is only a newcomer to the sport and with Wayt taking him under his wing. I expect to see a lot of good racing from these to in the future.
Australian Jetski Parts were on hand as always to give away some cool gear and prizes. Also Loco Energy Drinks kept everyone hydrated – or at least heavily caffeinated. Swiftco Trailer also donated an awesome trailer for the event. Justin Belczowski won the trailer with a bit of lighthearted backlash from the crowd. Congratulations to everyone involved and all the organizers involved. You put on an impressive event. Looking forward to not having such a long wait between titles.
All photography courtesy of Photos by Skip; unedited originals can be purchased HERE.
2017 AJSP Australian Watercross Championships
Joey Scaturchio Memorial Trophy: Mitch Wayt; GP Runabout: 1. Paul Leven, 2. James Masterton, 3. Mohammed Burbaya, 4. Brendan Boyd, 5. Matt Brunt, 6. Jamie Eade, 7. Brett Douglas; GP Ski: 1. Justin Windsor, 2. Zac Humpheys, 3. Kylie Ellmers, 4. Daniel Piana; SXR 1500 Ski: 1. Joel Barry, 2. Tony Grey, 3. Matt Daly, 4. Mark Perlowski, 5. Tom Aiken; Pro Am Stock Runabout: 1. Mitch Wayt, 2. Mitch Casey, 3. Sebastian Birch, 4. Mick Burns, 5. Dillon Bromley, 6. David Knott, 7. Corey Styles, 8. Bailey Cunningham, 9. Shane Stuart; Am Showroom Stock Runabout: 1. Mark Dallow, 2. Joel Batt, 3. Kristy Mirams, 4. Paul Bazeley, 5. Brett Whittaker, 6. Aaron Moyle; Pro Am Stock Spec Runabout: 1. Shane Stuart, 2. Mitch Wayt, 3. Sebastian Birch, 4. Mitch Casey, 5. David Knott, 6. Mark Quitadamo, 7. Tristrim Forster, 8. Matthew Skelley, 9. James Rice, 10. Sam Barrett, 11. Grant Malkinson; Pro Am Rec Lites Runabout: 1. Joel Batt, 2. Emma Harris, 3. Rob White, 4. Cliffton Ellmers, 5. Adam Martin, 6. Darryl Apps, 7. Dean Jeffries, 8. Shaun Bailey, 9. Bailey Cunningham; Pro Am Lites Ski: 1. Michael Stevens, 2. Byron Lewis, 3. Tom Aiken, 4. McCauley Casey,5. Mark Glew; Pro Am Limited Ski: 1. Jordan O’Keeffe, 2. Clyde Grant, 3. Byron Lewis, 4. Justin Windsor; Junior Lites Ski: 1. Jett Cavanagh, 2. Austin O’Halloran, 3. Jake Beekman, 4. Blair Pomery, 5. Dean Krouskos; Vintage Ski: 1. Jarrod Martin, 2. Tim Ryan, 3. Matt Wollaston, 4. Cameron Wise, 5. Simon Graham, 6. Adam Gibson, 7. Zac Humphreys; Enduro Pro Am Stock Spec: 1. Mitch Wayt, 2. Mitch Casey, 3. Tristrim Forster, 4. Dillon Bromley; Enduro Am Showroom Stock: 1. Paul Bazeley, 2. Kristy Mirams, 3. Brett Whittaker; Enduro Open: 1. Christian D’Agostin, 2. Brett Douglas, 3. Guy Greenland, 4. Chinni Rao, 5. Jamie Eade, 6. Kylie Ellmers, 7. Matt Brunt