Over the weekend of 2-3 September more than thirty riders took to the water in Torquay for the final round of the UK race series, two days of fast, furious and free to watch action with national titles at stake and the chance to qualify for the P1 AquaX World Championship in Florida in December. It was a weekend of two halves in terms of the race conditions, with sunshine on the opening day replaced yesterday by wind and rain and an angry sea.
Joe Harvey from Wolverhampton trains in Torquay, and he went into this final event of the season, which has seen riders competing in Scotland and Wales, with a handsome lead in the P1 AquaX Enduro Pro class, but still needing to finish the job. It proved to be an eventful weekend for 27-year-old Harvey, but despite finishing behind veteran Russell Marmon in the weekend standings he did more than enough to claim the UK title. Marmon’s consistent performances saw him finish second in the series standings with Tim Batte taking third place.
The 300 AM class developed into a fierce battle between Richard Cable and Dave Coe, with the experienced Cable clinching his first ever class title with victory in the final race. “I’ve been competing in the P1 AquaX series since it was launched in 2011 and, despite many disappointments over that time, I was determined to keep battling away.” said an emotional Cable. “I’ve been dogged by injuries and mechanical problems over the past two seasons, but my performance in the last race was the best I have ever ridden.”
Dave Lee, Duncan Johnstone and Nigel Williams all achieved race wins in the 200 AM class, but thanks to his outstanding riding in the earlier rounds in Greenock and Milford Haven it was Carl Lofthouse who was crowned 2017 champion. “I can’t believe I’ve won the series.” he told reporters after the podium celebrations. “I’ve competed in other sports, but never had as much success and fun as I have with P1 AquaX. I thought the title was slipping away from me when I had a mechanical failure in the penultimate race, but I borrowed a ski and secured the necessary points.”
It was a perfect season for Simon Gill as he achieved the remarkable feat of winning every race across the summer to become the runaway winner of the Sprint Pro/AM class ahead of Rob Long and Cameron Green.
It was an unpredictable weekend in the Sprint AM class with a different winner for each race, but despite finishing fourth this weekend it was 15-year-old Reanna Wilson from Hull who went home with the championship trophy, finishing the season just one point ahead of Dylan Green.
The Mayor of Torbay, Gordon Oliver met the riders prior to the action getting underway on Saturday morning and told them that he had fond memories of P1 racing in Torquay in 2013 and 2014 and was delighted to welcome back the AquaX national championship. Global Head of P1 AquaX, Lisa Barsby, commented: “Torquay is a superb event venue with a great atmosphere and excellent viewing. The wild weather yesterday produced some exciting racing with a host of championship titles to be won. We had lots of tension and drama, big waves and some great battles. We would love to race in Torbay again next year.”