The four P1 AquaX National titles were claimed at this season’s final race meeting in Weymouth Bay over the weekend of the 15th-16th September, with two titles going right down to the wire in Sunday’s 10th round.
On Saturday, Russell Marmon (Christchurch) secured his second consecutive 300 Class title whilst Clio Cup champion car racer Paul Rivett (Banstead) won the new Sea-Doo Challenge. The following day saw an enthralling battle for honours in both the 250 and 200 Classes, with Mat Shipley (Seaford) and Khris Leach (Maidstone) taking the spoils in the final race of the season.
Russell Marmon (Christchurch) retained his P1 AquaX UK national title after finishing on the podium in second place in the first of the weekend’s final two championship rounds in Weymouth.
The 49-year old jet ski racing legend had to play safe though and had to conserve his Kawasaki Ultra 300 after suffering a down on power engine. 'I rode the tightest course possible clipping every buoy to just make it to the finish and the ski is now covered in oil.' He commented. 'I am very pleased to have won the title again as it has
been so much tougher this year and the other guys have pushed me very
The race was won by Tim Batte (Hinckley), recording his first category win on his Kawasaki Ultra 300, with Ian Moule (Harpenden) third. Batte came home second to fellow Kawasaki rider Richard Cable (Bradford) on Sunday to finish the season in style as 300 Class Vice Champion and now has Marmon’s crown in his sights. 'After three second places this season I’m really pleased to get the win as I have been getting quicker all year and now I’m looking forward to next season and coming out to challenge Russell for the title', Tim commented. Steve Robinson
(Hedon, Hull) finished third in the championship.
In the 250 Class there was a very close fight between reigning champion Dave Huddleston (Milton Keynes) and closest challenger Mat Shipley (Seaford). Huddleston won the 250 Class race on Saturday and edged closer to his second consecutive title, but then disaster stuck in Sunday’s final round when he retired from the lead with a
mechanical failure on his Kawasaki Ultra 250. 'The SuperCharger belt broke after just two laps, and although I tried to fix it on the water wasn't having any of it. All I needed was a finish to clinch the championship, I should have just gone slowly and nursed it round!', rued Huddleston.
Shipley was then able to cruise to second place behind race winner Adrian Wilson (Kingston-upon-Hull) and snatch the title as the curtain came down on a great season of racing. Newcomer and local rider Dan Bell (Weymouth) finished third in his first ever AquaX race weekend. 'I had it absolutely pinned around the buoys flat out! Whilst Dave has been beating me all season it looks like consistency has won the day and all my second places may have finally paid off', Shipley said. 'Once I saw Dave break down I was even trying to work out the points on my way round the course especially when I saw Adrian overtake me!'
The battle in the 200 Class was the closest of all and also went all the way to the wire as newcomer Khris Leach (Maidstone) won Saturday’s race from title rival and reigning champion Duncan Johnstone (Fareham). That set the 39-year old up for Sunday and he didn’t disappoint with a second dominant win of the weekend to take the title
by just two points from Johnstone. John Heath (Southampton) made a successful AquaX debut finishing third in his first race on Saturday, then improving to second behind Leach on Sunday. Veteran Ron Burgoyne (Eastbourne) finished in third place in the championship thanks to scoring points in Saturday’s encounter as he retired from Sunday’s race.
Multiple car racing champion Paul Rivett (Banstead) won the first part of his double challenge by securing the inaugural Sea-Doo Challenge Class. The 33-year old racing driver won Saturday’s opening race of the finals weekend at the Olympic sailing venue to put himself clear of closest rival Steve Robinson. The newly crowned Sea-Doo Challenge 2012 Champion will now turn his attention to retaining his Renault Clio Cup crown where he lies second with six rounds to go.
Riding a Sea-Doo RXP-X 260, Rivett came into this year’s P1 AquaX with 24 years experience racing cars but none competing on the sea. 'Winning the Sea-Doo Challenge is a dream come true as I really didn’t expect to take the title in my first season racing jet skis', he commented. 'Racing in AquaX this year was a completely new challenge
for me and took me out of my comfort zone but every time I rode the Sea-Doo I got quicker and that built my confidence.'
Rivett took six wins in the 10 race Sea-Doo Challenge and mounted a strong late season challenge for the title, after missing the opening round in Plymouth. 'I had to learn fast but loved improving every time I got on the ski, so racing in AquaX has been hugely satisfying for me', said Paul.
Robinson took four wins on his way to securing the Vice Champions title, with Lukasz Kwiatowski (St Albans) in third place.
Top three final championship positions:
300 Class: 1. R. Marmon (Kawasaki Ultra 300) 183 points;
2. T. Batte (Kawasaki Ultra 300) 161;
3. S. Robinson (Sea-Doo RXP-X 260) 124.
1. M. Shipley (Kawasaki Ultra 250) 171 points;
2. D. Huddleston (Kawasaki Ultra 250) 160;
3. R. Sired (Sea-Doo GTR) 135.
1. K. Leach (Kawasaki Ultra 150) 178;
2. D. Johnstone (Yamaha FX160) 176;
3. R. Burboyne (Yamaha GP1300) 84.
1. P. Rivett 45 points;
2. S. Robinson 43;
3. L. Kwaitowski 38. P1 AquaX website