Round 5 of the 2021 Liqui-Moly Pro Watercross Tour rolled into Georgia under blue skies and temperatures edging into the “sweltering” range. But by the time the last checkered flag dropped on Sunday, racers were navigating through rain-pelted waters, grey, overcast skies and a steady drizzle occasionally interrupted by torrential downpours.
The inclement weather might have taken the edge off of what promised to be some of the fastest racing of the season on the fresh, flat waters of the expansive Lake Hartwell, but both Saturday and Sunday motos provided ample speed, action, strategy, mishaps and down-to-the-wire battles for racers and fans alike.
And fans and racers were both plentiful at Hartwell – traditionally one of the most popular stops on the tour, with some of the fullest lines, and large numbers of spectators both lining the shore, and anchoring pontoon boats, speed boats, jon boats and even kayaks just outside the course to watch the competition close-up.
Tour title sponsor Liqui-Moly even arranged to video the Round Five races from the air, renting a helicopter for the weekend – unfortunately, the weather forecast, which promised even worse weather than the rain that materialized, prompted the rental company to cancel the flight.
Following now-standard protocol, Pro Watercross packed the Pro Action into one day, with all three motos stacked back to back on Saturday, with one moto of amateur racing peppered throughout the pro show.
Pro-Am Ski GP, arguably one of the toughest and most intense battles of the season, brought 11 to the line at Hartwell. Tour points leaders heading into the weekend were Matthew Richuk (146), Jimmy Wilson (144) and Camden Powell (128), but Hartwell stirred up that lineup a bit with some tough races, and with a Moto 3 wire-to-wire win by Jules Hopkins (4, 4,1) and his K1 that had everyone on their feet.
Each moto of the weekend in the class posted a different winner, and with a Moto 1 win by Devin Farthing (1, 2, 3) and moto 2 taken by Matthew Richuk (5, 1, 2), the weekend’s podium was Farthing (1), Richuk (2) and Hopkins (3). In tour points, Farthing now holds the top spot with 208, followed by Richuk (199), Hopkins (190) and Jimmy WIlson (187).
In Sport Stock, Matt Johnson (1, 4, 2) walked away with the overall win, beating out tour point leader Deven Farthing (5, 3, 7), who took second overall, but walked away from the weekend with a strong hold on the tour points leadership with 276, followed by Tory Snyder (184) and Sammy Nehme (162). Chris Landis (2, 2, 12) snagged the third podium spot for the weekend out of a line of 14.
The Pro-Am R/A Box Stock class pitted five of the fiercest competitors of the tour against each other, and brought the entire race site to a breathless standstill for moments following a mid-race front-stretch mash-up between Seth Nama’s #215 SeaDoo and Tory Snyder’s #110 Yamaha as they came out of the split – an impact that sent Nama cartwheeling through the air, left both riders in the water, and left Nama’s boat cracked and in pieces.
The impact could be heard, and felt, by those on the nearby shoreline, and it was a breathless few moments until the air cleared and both riders signaled that they were OK as the course marshalls quickly took control of the scene.
Repeating results from earlier rounds, Tory Snyder (3, 1, 1) took first overall, a step above his father, Troy Snyder (2, 2, 2). Vanjae Ramgeet (1, 3, 3) put in solid performances all three motos to take the third podium spot for the weekend, and the tour points leader order remains unchanged, with Tory Snyder (300), Troy Snyder (260) and Seth Nama (140) holding the top three spots.
For full results Round 5 results and up-to-date tour points standing, visit prowatercross.org, and check out more photos from the tour at watersedgephoto.online, and stay tuned to The Watercraft Journal for a wrap-up of the July 24-25 Round 6 in Racine, Wisconsin.