Over a 3 day Event on the week end of 5, 6, 7 of April, at Lions Park Eleebana NSW, the personal watercraft community came together, at a venue that works well for the premier event, with vendors displaying and amusement activities available brought in the crowds with a family spectator friendly event over the 3 days.
Adding to the event was 2x big name international riders adding to the excitement of racing especially the Pro GP Ski category with Nacho Armillas and Marten Manni coming to compete from the European aqua bike series bringing an elite level of flavour to the racing, made the GP ski class the class to watch.
New Zealand national number two Jason Donnithorne took up the invite to compete in the Pro GP ski class, on the Newcastle Jetski Centre no#37 Kawasaki SXR 1500 stock class ski, Matt Daley riding the no#14 Kawasaki SXR 1500 in the Expert stock class, and on a new venture for the Newcastle Jetski Centre Team. Mark Glew in the Naturally Aspirated Runabout Class riding the Kawasaki STX-15F. Practice went well for the Kawasaki SXR 1500, with its distinctive GP sound and mid-range acceleration, on track makes for an entertaining ski/rider combo to watch, this year the ski is ridden by Australian pro ski Rider Jake Barker.
Saturday racing came around under summer skies, with the carnival style atmosphere, out came the crowds, and racing was underway, with a 4x moto format over the two days determine the overall classification.
Moto 1 for Pro GP ski got underway, with 12 lap races and a large track with two log jumps, moto’s were well over the 15 min mark, with fitness and reliability being the key to win.
Newcastle Jetski Centre GP rider Jake barker, had a conservative start, getting off the line and coming around the 1st lap in 3rd position, with the horsepower and handling of the SXR 1500, Jake made it look easy through the split course and settled into a comfortable rhythm, pulling away with over a half a lap lead. Clicking off perfect lap after lap times, with lap times very consistent, Jake finished in first place, setting the tone for the days races. With Jason coming through the pack for a respectable 5th place on a stock class spec SXR 1500, showcasing the skis all round competitive nature.
Matt Daley getting off to a great start in the highly competitive expert stock class, with all riders on the new Kawasaki SXR 1500 the class has grown and was stacked with a large field of talented riders, riding through the long international style course Matt ended crossing the line in a respectable 4th place setting the goal of a podium finish for the weekend.
Mark Glew riding the Kawasaki STX-15F, rounded the first turn in 3rd place, after the field settled into a rhythm and found their pace. Mark chased down the front runners and capitalising on their mistakes, made his way into first place, riding out the moto in that position and crossing the line, got him off to a great start for the weekend.
Nerves were high with fitness and reliability being the two biggest factors in, these long GP styles moto’s and track. The NJSC racing SXR needing a top up of fuel, and the team running their eye over the ski. The start line was stacked, with pre-race nerves out of the way, it was show time, taking off from the inside grid Jake, took off with the quickly and never looked back, ticking off lap after lap pulling away with a dominant moto 2 victory. With the rest of the field finding their feet, and the log jump making for some spectacular racing, the cream rose to the top, with the two euro riders keeping Jake honest and surprised by his boat speed. Jason rode well to cap off great days results for the team crossing the line in 4th place. https://www.facebook.com/OZPWC/videos/2297539347179589/
In a new addition to the Newcastle Jetski Centre team, experienced runabout rider Mark Glew, looked to campaign the Kawasaki STX-15F in the stacked “Naturally Aspirated Runabout class” Unfortunately fell to mechanical issues that put the Kawasaki STX-15F out of action for the weekend and his Aussie Titles chase, looking forward development will continue on the ski and look forward to winter testing and a 2019 summer campaign.
Matt in the expert stock class backed up his impressive first moto finish, with a 4th place in moto2, feeling the effects of his endro ride the day before, was happy with the consistent placings and looked forward to an overnight rest.
Sunday racing took off with the wind chopping up the lake and making the course a little more demanding for both riders and machines. Pro GP Ski, took off with the NJSC SXR 1500 GP Ski taking off the line with new number #36, found itself dead in the water, cutting out on the start straight, it was not a good not a good start for day two. Coming from way back in the pack nearly a lap down, Jake put his head down and worked his way through the field, cutting out consistent lap after lap picking off one rider at a time crossed the line in a masterful 4th place. The Newcastle Team, having some work to do between motos to get electrical issue that raised its head rectified before moto 4. Jason on the no#37 ski had a great finish taking a 3rd place and getting himself in a podium position.
Matt riding no#14 SXR 1500, had a great start to the second day of racing, getting the holeshot on the inside split and running up front, as the long laps ran on the course chopped up and the riders moved around, more than a Coles parking lot the day before x-mas, when the flag came out Matt finished the race in 3rd position.
With the final moto of the day cut desperately short due to the event running overtime, all motos were cut back to a 4 lap race making it a sprint race, putting pressure on getting a good start and not jumping the start for all competitors, with race officials policing the most crucial part of the race.
Pro GP Ski, got underway with some competitors riding with the mindset that “ I have nothing to lose” Jake on the #36 GP ski took a conservative approach on the start which did not put him in a good position, charging hard over the short distance, taking up 3rd position in the last corner, with motos results over the week end of 1-1-4-3 enable the Jake and the Kawasaki GP SXR 1500 take the overall and the NO#1 Plate and the Australian Title.
Jason taking out 4th position in the premier class for 5th overall on a stock spec SXR 1500 was a awesome effort and he was glad to come over from New Zealand and compete on the new ski a first time he has raced one. Matt, ran a high pace in his last race to take on 4th place overall, just off the podium, in a class that is full of great riders all on the same ski SXR 1500 and same level of performance making for the class of racing, popular in the future.
Outside of the racing aspect of the event Newcastle Jetski Centre had a display of Kawasaki Jetski and accessories, over the 2 day event, with great exposure to the local community and public curious with personal water craft racing, and the Kawasaki Jetski watercraft.
Mark - Newcastle Jetski Centre: “The weekend was a success, as a team our goals and objectives, winning the Pro ski GP class with the Kawasaki SXR -1500 was our main aim, and back to back was a great achievement, moving forward we will begin to test and develop the ski over the winter months with the next lot of upgraded parts. The crowds were a pleasant surprise, giving us a chance to promote and showcase the Jetski watercraft product and connect as a dealership with new and existing customers in our community, we look forward to winter development on the ski and securing a plan for the next 2019/2020 summer season.”