In choppy conditions, Chris “Mac Attack” MacClugage and Brian Baldwin were the two big winners on the first day of the HotelPlanner.com Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival.
MacClugage defeated World Number One Eric Francis, who finished second, in a 1-2 for the Broward Motorsports Racing Team.
The race result was a reverse of the recent world rankings, which saw Francis jump MacClugage, becoming World Number One, in the process. But here in Sarasota, MacClugage executed a perfect comeback, coming from 6th through to 1st, to take the race win in an action-packed race in the Pro Enduro and bringing Francis’ unbeaten start to the season to an end. Tricky waves made life difficult for the 25 riders in the field, with rough waters adding to the challenge.
#117 Aqsa Aswar took an early lead, the Indonesian rider putting his mark on the event with his Yamaha craft, Francis took up second position, with 2017 AquaX world champion Baldwin pressuring Francis. As the race went on, MacClugage was growing, passing Sophie Francis, the elite female in the pack, for fourth, moving onto the back of Baldwin.
#46, MacClugage, eventually passed Baldwin, moving up into the top three, while Aswar maintained his lead. He then managed to get by Francis, before setting his sights on Aswar. The top two battled side-by-side, going to and fro, before MacClugage tore past Aswar, the Indonesian rider ended up in the sea.
With Aswar out of the race, this allowed MacClugage to take the race win. Francis came through in 2nd place, while Aswar’s brother, Aero, number #119, took advantage of his brother’s mishap and finished in third place, with Baldwin rounding out the top four.
With conditions easing up after an afternoon of thunderstorms, the second race saw Baldwin fire his way to the top of the pack in a great display.
MacClugage then took the early lead, while Francis and Baldwin were left to fight it out for second and third positions. The 2017 US national champion held his lead for a substantial portion of the race, his skill using the Yamaha GP1900 PWC being pushed to the limits by the trailing racers.
Indeed, as the race progressed, it looked like MacClugage would take a second win, however, Baldwin pulled a magnificent pass out of the bag, taking advantage of lapped traffic to slide past “Mac Attack” and into the lead of the race, with just minutes to go.
From there, the 2017 World Champion saw out the race to its end, to take the second race win of the day, MacClugage coming through in second place and leader of the US Championship Eric Francis, in third.
Sunday’s one P1 AquaX race, gets underway at 9am EST, for more information and to watch the race LIVE, head to: Live Feed.