The fourth round of the Pro Watercross Tour held in St. George, Utah can only be described as hot. There was hot racing, hot racers, hot fans, and hot temperatures in St. George the weekend of June 27th and 28th. The host site was Sand Hollow State Park approximately two hours northeast of Las Vegas. The spectators, businesses, and Chamber of Commerce were excited to have the tour come to St. George and the colorful high desert valley location was picturesque as the backdrop for the fourth round of the Pro Watercross tour dubbed as the “Red Desert Classic.”
The weekend was filled with racing from both Pros and Amateurs going fiberglass-to-fiberglass in the red sand shores of Sand Hollow Reservoir with each racer eying the competition as they adjusted their race boats to the altitude and the heat.
Saturday’s motos consisted of one Pro moto and two Amateur motos with the final third motos to be concluded the next day. In the Pro-Am Ski GP Class, David Redinger, Dustin Motzouris, Brock Austin, Kody Copenhaver, and Chris MacClugage battled it out for the points from a good line of 16 competitors. In the end, Redinger would take first overall for the for weekend, with second overall going to Motzouris and third to Macc. Pete Zernik and Redinger had a nasty collision on Sunday’s race; Zernik had gone down on the first turn with Redinger following closely behind. Zernik came out OK, but his boat suffered some major damage.
In the Pro-Am Ski Stock division, MacClugage, Rob Flores, Mike Wendricks, and Ryan Deckster battled it out all weekend with the “Mac Attack” taking the overall. The only female rider, Bibi Carmouche, had a great weekend holding strong and finishing 13th overall for the weekend. Bibi started racing just a few years ago, but she is already making her way through the ranks and is one competitor to keep your eye on the podium in the future.
In the runabout divisions, the Pro-Am Runabout Open had its own battle with Troy Snyder, Shante Bukes, Erminio Iantosca, and Abdullah Al-Fadhel, with Al-Fadhel dominating the class and taking first overall for the weekend. In the Pro-Am R/A Super Stock division, Travis Zielasko beat out Al-Fadhel and Jeff Dyckowski, taking first overall for the weekend. Rounding out the Pro Runabout classes was the Pro-Am R/A Box stock with Billy Dearman taking overall over Robert Greenwald.
The Pro Sport GP continues to have a strong following with a solid line of racers on the line. Aaron Gewecke dominated the division and coming out first overall. Kelly Smith came in second and Billy Dearman coming in third overall “iron manning” both the Sport GP and Pro-Am R/A Box Stock classes.
The Amateur classes battled out for points from racers on the west coast joining the tour. Both Ski and Runabout classes endured the heat and high desert with all racers finishing the races knowing that they were able to compete in extreme conditions. Matt Rollings in the Amateur Ski Stock division always had a smile both in the pits and on the start line. Rolling’s attitude reflected most of the Amateur class this weekend with everyone enjoying the venue and the comradeship.
As the racers and fans enjoyed the hot action, the Pro Watercross crew worked tirelessly to make sure everything went smoothly for Round Four. Race Director Nick Handler made sure all race logistics were in place, while Race Official Cliff Roy officiated the fast and intense racing on the course. All of the Pro Watercross Staff; AJ Handler, Jennifer Handler, Benjamin Dodge, Roman Revels, Randy Scott, Kevin Scott, Chandler Roy, Gus Andros, Mikey Young, Dawn Dawson, and Rick Ignacio worked hard in extreme conditions to make sure the racers and fans had a memorable and exciting experience.
This is the first year that the Pro Watercross Tour has been able to incorporate Internet live streaming and the feedback has been incredible. Based on the viewership statistics, there have been over 20,000 views from all around the world. Dustin Motzouris stated in an interview that “The Livestream has been a big hit!“ He also stated one instance when he was in a mall in South Africa where he had people coming up to him and saying, “Hey! We’ve been watching the Pro Watercross Tour on the livestream” and recognizing him.
The Tour expects to livestream the rest of the tour with the World Championships broadcasted by CBS Sports Network in September in Naples, Florida. In a recent press release, AJ Handler stated: “With the World Championship being televised on a major network for the first time in nearly 20 years it is further proof that our events are charged with exciting racing and is appreciated by race fans worldwide,” stated AJ Handler of Pro Watercross. “This will be best racing action from North America and around the world.”
The 115 degree temps didn’t discourage any of the racers from pushing the limits in the “Red Desert Classic.” The tour is now more than halfway complete and it’s a points battle for both the Ski and Runabout classes. The Lewisville, TX venue was cancelled due extreme high water level conditions, so there are only two more tour stops until the Pro Watercross World Championships in Naples Florida.
The Pro-Am Ski GP class has a battle for points with Chris MacClugage, Dustin Motzouris, and Brock Austin vying for the championship. The Pro-Am Runabout Open has its own points battle with Erminio Iantasca, Abdullah Al-Fadhel, Eric Francis, and others all battling for the championship. The next round of racing returns to the east coast and will be held at Lake Hartwell, Georgia on August 8th and 9th.