73 Greg Radulski winner of the 300 class
Top Rookie Alex Cushman finished 7th Overall in AM 300
Scott Reeves - winner of the AM 200 class in Daytona
The P1 AquaX season opened at Daytona Beach with crashing waves and record entries. Numerous column inches have been dedicated to the antics of the world’s best Pro watercraft racers battling for bragging rights in the Pro Enduro class, but let’s not forget that over 40 Amateurs also took to the challenging waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
The reigning 300 Champion, Yaniel Fiallo was firm favourite for the win after clinching the title from the Canadian Dave Davidson in last year’s thrilling season finale in Fort Lauderdale.
As the green flag dropped on Race 1, first to stand out was young Chris Landis who took a wire to wire win. Landis put together a fluid ride in what were possibly the most difficult conditions witnessed in AquaX racing to win aboard RIVA Racing prepped Yamaha FX SVHO. Veteran and former 250 champion, Tommy Olswang put in a strong performance to finish in second, but it was the Canadian, Davidson, who excelled by starting in a mid-pack position to clinch third. Greg Radulski finished fourth with Eric Diaz rounding out the top 5. However, Yaniel Fiallo could only muster a seventh this time around.
“The conditions were huge and messy out there and it was the first time I had ever ridden the new FX in the ocean and I absolutely loved it” enthused Landis. “The new hull design and the RIVA Racing handling parts made my job as a rider super easy.”
The ocean had calmed somewhat for Race 2, which saw #73 Greg Radulski - a former racer who made a return to the track last season after a lengthy break - take the lead from the start with former 200 Champion, Eric Diaz in second where he remained until the last lap, allowing Olswang and Justin Taylor to move into second and third respectively and that’s the way it remained until the checkered flag. Landis retained fourth place points with Davidson picking up fifth. Yaniel Fiallo’s weekend got worse with a non finish.
Race 3 was an almost a repeat of race 2 with Greg Radulski grabbing the lead from the off. Tommy Olswang slipped into second, with Dave Davidson in third. As the race progressed, Chris Landis made his way past Davidson and by the midway point was in second chasing Radulski, a practiced veteran who then used his experience to control the pace to take the eventual win. Landis remained in second with Davidson passing Olswang for 3rd spot. Two wins and a fourth was good enough for the Dean’s Team, Radulski to take the overall win for the weekend and the Am 300 Enduro title hunt going into the next round in Kissimmee St. Cloud on 11 May. RIVA Racing’s Chris Landis sits in second with Tommy Olswang in third.
Radulski commented: “I’ve learned over my years of racing that it’s not how fast you can go but rather how you go fast. Pin to win works on flat water but in the surf it’s all about reading the water. On Sunday I woke up and just knew I had this. Dean’s Team and I made some handling changes and as soon as the green flag dropped I knew it was the right set up. Thanks everybody.”
Other notable performances include that of Rookie rider, Alex Cushman who finished overall in seventh place despite being disadvantaged by the staggered start procedure. Due to the amount of entries, the 200 class riders and the Rookies must start on a separate start line, only being released once the first line has cleared the hole shot turn. “Alex Cushman will certainly be one to watch as the season progresses - he has the speed and the skill level to compete with the top runners” explained Lisa Barsby, Race Director for the event.
Benjamin Mantel took his Yamaha VXR to the win after passing Scott Reeves in Race 1 of the Am 200 class, but Reeves fought back in Races 2 and 3 to take both wins and the victory for weekend looking comfortable and in control on his new FX HO.
Mantel’s win and two second places would give him second overall for the weekend with rising star Frankie Mojica coming home in third. Tory Synder, son of world champion Troy Synder, made his debut in the 200hp Enduro category as well as competing in the Sprint SE class. The youngster’s results improved over the weekend with him finishing in 5th, 4th and 3rd place positions.
For the full results follow the link https://p1aquax.com/race-results/us/2019 .
The second round of the Amateur USA Championships will take place on the 11th May in St Cloud, Kissimmee. Follow the link for the latest information St Cloud Race Info