The Chicago Showdown: Teammates George and Amanda Face Off on Lake Michigan
After weeks of packing, wrapping, and prepping to face the wrath of Hurricane Irma, teammates George and Amanda barely made it out of south Florida on the last plane out before the Fort Lauderdale International Airport ceased operations on Friday evening. It was a bittersweet departure for the pair, who, as native Floridians, were leaving their friends and family behind to weather the storm without them for the first time. But as their connecting flight took off from the Orlando Airport as scheduled, their heavy hearts started to fill with the familiar feeling of excitement for the weekend of racing about to take place. Having traveled sans crew, rig, tools, or gear, the two racers were grateful to find their skis waiting for them when they arrived at the race site early Saturday morning, thanks to Tommy Olswang and Daniel Steel who made the drive and towed the team’s skis for them (thanks, guys!).
With the logistics finally worked out, it was time for the main event! For the first time ever, the teammates faced off in the 200hp class for the showdown of the season, both challenging reigning Great Lakes 200 Class Champion Jennifer Nolan in what would turn out to be quite the battle. Insanely rough conditions made for an interesting first moto on Saturday afternoon, and with four foot-plus washy chop bouncing off the sea wall, it was a test of rider ability and stamina as the riders saw speeds much slower than usual. Moto 1 started off great for George, who got an awesome start but unfortunately lost a grip shortly into the first lap and struggled to hang on for the remainder off the race. He ended up finishing second, just ahead of teammate Amanda.
Conditions on day two remained almost as challenging as day one, but Team Phuckit pushed through and raced hard nasty chop that left several riders bruised and battered.
George once again put up a fierce fight against Nolan, but goggle issues forced him to pull back and he ended up finishing 2nd overall to Nolan after another awesome battle. Teammate Amanda also struggled with goggle and helmet issues while trying to navigate the rough waters, and finished just behind him in 3rd place overall. Most exciting, though, was that the pair got to share a moment on the podium together for the first time ever!
Unable to return home to Florida due to Hurricane Irma, it was a great opportunity to let loose and enjoy some quality celebrations with our friends and fellow racers! Fan-favorite Amanda conceded her loss to teammate and partner George with a few well-deserved victory drinks, but word on the street is that she has demanded a rematch and is ready to bring the heat!
Thank you to the P1 AquaX staff for hosting yet another world class event, and to all the racers who made the trek from Florida despite the imminent storm. We hope that everyone’s families remained safe and their property endured minimal damage. As always, it is a pleasure racing with an organization of people who have shown for one another so much support in the wake of an unavoidable disaster.
Last but certainly not least, thank you to our sponsors for supporting us this weekend and all season long: Riva Racing, IPD Graphics, Hydro-Turf, Jet Pilot USA, Stroker Industries, Works H2O Designs, SoFlo Rolling Collective, Race Chick.