Last week, Peru played host to some of the world’s best racers in the sport, as they held the INKA Jet Raid in Lima, Peru. This eight day rough water racing gauntlet was a tough, demanding challenge for both riders and skis alike. Only the ultimate rider/machine combo can come out on top.
American Eric “The Eagle” Francis came into the event with high hopes, partnered with Kiko Chia and Rafael Davila, who are also outstanding riders. But things didn’t look too good for US rider and the rest of Team Chia after Day 3. They battled issues with their Kawasaki Ultra 310, from broken supercharger belts to a ride plate coming off. It was obvious that luck was not on their side going into Day 4 either. Some may have counted Francis out after struggling early, but if you’ve ever seen this guy in action, you know he doesn’t ever give up.
On Day 8 (last day of racing), there was an 85 km (about 53 mi.) race in very rough water around the islands. This was Team Chia’s last chance at taking the lead in the F3 class. The team decided to put their fate in Francis’ hands. That turned out to be a great decision, as he won the event with a lead of around 10 minutes over the next rider!
Just getting a podium finish in the F3 would have been a huge feat for this team after a rather unfortunate start to the week, but they weren’t willing to settle for second or third. They fought back all week to take the win in the F3 class! They also managed to get third overall for the event. It’s amazing what they were able to overcome to leave Peru with a win.
Francis summed up the week stating, “After a very rough start to the week, my team and I pulled it together and finished 1st in our class and 3rd overall at this year’s INKA Jetraid in Peru! It has been an amazing experience and I can’t thank my friend Kiko Chia, my manager Valerie Chia and the rest of the Chia team for all the help and support here.”