Local racer -Nigel Williams
Mollie Fearn - Pro Sprint. contender
P1’s extensive 2019 race calendar, which will see the international marine motorsport promoter stage more than 20 events on three continents from April through to November, includes some of Britain’s top jet ski riders competing twice in Wales with Porthcawl staging the UK season finale at the end of July.
The series got underway earlier this month when Colwyn Bay in North Wales hosts a P1 AquaX event for the first time. After a return visit to Torquay, the action will move to the South Wales seaside resort of Porthcawl, where more than 30 racers will battle for national honours at Newton Bay, one of the town’s seven beaches some 19 miles southeast of Swansea.
Situated on a low headland overlooking the Bristol Channel, Porthcawl developed as a coal port during the 19th century but is now known for its Blue Flag sandy beaches, world-class golf courses and excellent outdoor adventure activities such as surfing. The country’s leading professional and amateur jet ski riders will be on show at the free-to-watch event that will serve up two days of fast and furious sprint and endurance racing over the weekend of 27/28 July.
Lisa Barsby, Global Head of P1 AquaX and herself a former world champion jet skier, said: “Last year was our first visit to Porthcawl and it has quickly become a real favourite with the riders. South Wales is a hotbed of jet ski-ing, with the Porthcawl powerboat and ski club boasting nearly 100 members, and spectators will have a number of local AquaX racers to cheer on. Founded in the 1960s, the club operates from its own club house with a private slipway and there is a long history of racing in the natural, sheltered harbour of Newton Bay.
Porthcawl club member and reigning 200 class AquaX champion, Nigel Williams is looking forward to the race weekend: “We gained a lot of new members for the club and people new to jet ski-ing from last year’s event, and the business community is fully on board as it helped to boost the local economy. We are pleased this year to be able to join the RescueFest2019 day to support Wales’ busiest RNLI station here in Porthcawl, which last year launched more than 100 times, assisting 144 people and saving 8 lives.”
#RescueFest2019 is Porthcawl RNLI's exciting, free, family-friendly event, featuring rescue demonstrations and displays by the RNLI, emergency services and other organisations. RNLI volunteer crew member, Chris Page said, “‘As organisers we are delighted that P1 AquaX jet ski racing, which will feature some of our local riders, will be returning to our town and that as part of their weekend they will be supporting our event by joining us just off the breakwater in Sandy Bay. Our own event will be held at Porthcawl Harbour Quarter and along the main promenade on Sunday 28 July where visitors can see the RNLI and other emergency services, meet the AquaX riders, and enjoy craft stalls, live entertainment and lots of family fun.”
Porthcawl Harbour Master, Sean Warrington is happy to welcome back the P1 AquaX racing to Newton Bay: “This prestigious event is sure to again attract spectators from all over South Wales. Watching the power of the jet skis and skill of the racers with the coastline around Porthcawl as the backdrop is special.” Visitors will see that Porthcawl is undergoing significant development following the opening of a new marina, the harbour area being transformed and eye-catching, new, terraced sea defences.”
Councillor Richard Young, Cabinet Member for Communities, is delighted that the town will be hosting the AquaX championships for a second time: “With its award-winning beaches, stunning coastline and newly-regenerated seafront area, Porthcawl is ready to welcome AquaX competitors and visitors alike. We are lucky to boast a landscape that stretches all the way from the coast up into the beautiful countryside of the South Wales valleys, and I hope visitors will enjoy a chance to explore and find out what else Bridgend County Borough has to offer.”
Racing in Newton Bay, on the eastern edge of Porthcawl, will start at 12pm on Saturday and 12.30pm on Sunday (July 27 & 28).