More than seventy leading European jet ski riders are heading to Port Balis, some 20 miles north-east of Barcelona, this week for the final round of the P1 AquaX Euro Tour.
The two-day event (October 20 -21) will be the second time that the Tour has visited the Spanish coast and the impressive El Balis marina will welcome the best stand-up and sit-down racers from across Western Europe to decide who will be crowned champions on the final weekend of the season. A short drive from the hustle and bustle of Barcelona, the Port Balis area boasts fine beaches, the opportunity to engage in both aquatic and mountain sports and to enjoy the excellent local food and wines.
“Racers will be battling for titles in seven individual classes and the number of riders and countries who will be represented in Spain reflects the growing interest in P1 AquaX racing across Europe” said Lisa Barsby, Global Head of the race series. “Presented by Experience Kissimmee, the launch of the Euro Tour last year followed on from establishing successful AquaX series in the UK, United States and Malaysia, and this year’s championship has been hugely competitive and open, with three different winners from different countries in the opening three events” added Barsby.
This season’s four-venue European series kicked off in La Seyne-sur-Mer on the Mediterranean in May and then headed north to Normandy and the Somerset coast. The championship features both amateur and professional riders competing over 10-minute Sprint and 30-minute Enduro courses.
Fran Ripoll, President of Club Nautico El Balis, is looking forward to welcoming back the P1 AquaX racing to Catalonia: “Situated on the picturesque Mediterranean coast, we have sandy beaches either side of the harbour, excellent marina facilities , shops and restaurants, and great viewing from the pier and beach. The thousands of visitors expected will enjoy a weekend of outstanding marine motorsport in a superb setting, and if you love German food and beers with great music our Oktoberfest event will delight you.”
On the water, the highlight of the high-speed action will be the battle for the title in the Enduro Pro class between French rider Thomas Favolini on his Yamaha and Sea-Doo racer Jordi Tomas Jimenez from Spain. Just seven points separate them with 75 points to be won in Port Balis. The reigning champion, Englishman Joe Harvey, is gradually returning to top form after his serious injury a year ago and has been training very hard for this final round. He is still within touching distance of the two leaders and will travel to Spain next week believing that he still has a chance of retaining his crown.
Another English rider, Carl Lofthouse from Newbury in Berkshire, will take a 25-point lead into the final round of the 300 AM class after performing superbly all summer, and speaking about his preparations he said: “The last round in Minehead in early August seems a long time ago and I’m keen to get back on the water. I’m hoping to race better much better this time in Port Balis than I did last year and my focus will be on not losing rather than thinking about winning.”
In the 200 AM class, Mickael Le Gall has already claimed the title with a clean sweep of victories in the three previous rounds and he will move up to compete against the 300 AM riders. In a similar position of having already retained his 2-stroke Ski Pro Am crown is Simon Gill from Bristol.
As many as 15 riders are expected to compete in the Spark class where there will be 4 races with 100 points to be won, and Ryan Willows is hoping that he can close the 19-point gap on Thibaut Olivier. The race schedule will also include Junior Sprint (for riders aged 10 to 14) and Ladies Spark racing.
The Port Balis programme will feature three Enduro races and four races for the Sprint riders, with all the action being live streamed on the P1 AquaX Facebook page.