Racing on Island Time: An Eventful Weekend at P1 AquaX Islamorada RD4
The beautiful Florida Keys – our favorite rec riding turf – hosted their first P1 AquaX event a few weeks ago in the waters off the shore of Islamorada. A historical jet ski racing venue, Holiday Isle, as it is commonly referred to, saw a strong pack of fifty two riders come to compete in what would turn out to be one of the roughtest and toughest races of the 2017 season. Between the rough waters and the difficult logistics, the weekend was eventful, to say the least, but for Team Phuckit things were especially challenging.
Day 1 was a long, hot one, and the logistics of racing in this popular vacation spot showed no mercy to the dozens of riders and their crews that were forced to wait in the sun as the infamous Florida sea turtles made yet another appearance and delayed the start of the first race. Having just gotten his Yamaha FX-SVHO back from the shop following major hull and engine repair, team pilot George Holmquist was skeptical at best about whether his ski would make it through the first race without sinking. Shortly after an awesome start in Moto 1, his concerns became a reality as his hull burst open and the ski filled with water, causing him to be tossed from his ski on the second turn and ultimately taking him out of the race. After some confusion (and some very stressful moments) as to whether the marshals would be able to do anything about his sinking ski during the race, valiant efforts went into getting him back to shore. Needless to say, it was a disappointing end to George’s racing for the weekend.
For Amanda, the weekend was all about overcoming one challenge at a time. A last minute dead battery in the minutes before leaving to launch was the first nerve-shattering news of the day, but it was quickly forgotten about after she saw George come off his ski during Moto 1 and was unable to find him after the race. Frantically riding back and forth from marshal to marshal at the race site, she was relieved to finally find him and his half-sunken ski back at the ramp.
Saturday morning’s delays ended up pushing Motos 2 and 3 to Sunday, when the races were once again delayed, this time due to bad weather. The races that day turned out to be brutal, and Amanda lost yet another GoPro when she had a near come-off in Moto 2 that gave her a nice little black eye. Although she finished the weekend just short of a podium finish in fourth place, she raced hard and persevered to finish all three motos – something not all of the weekend’s fifty-plus riders were able to accomplish. Currently sitting in third place in the Florida Championship Series 200 class, she’s excited to train hard for the fifth and final round taking place in Fort Lauderdale in November.
We are grateful to our pit crew and the P1 AquaX staff for helping us deal with our struggles over the weekend. Despite our challenges, we couldn’t have been happier to be in beautiful Islamorada racing jet skis and having a great time! Now on to the next one…View Full Race Results