My relationship with water started way back in 1991 when I started racing Jet Skis professionally.
16 years later and with all my familiarity and experiences with the oceans, I can still never predict how the waters will behave during those 15 laps of the race. Having raced, both on water and land, I have realised that racing on the latter is more challenging, given how the track keeps surprising you at every lap.
While racing on land, you don't have that element of a moving track, but on the ocean, the track changes its nature with every single lap. The first lap, we could be racing on a big swell, while our next lap could be completed on flat waters.
The continuous shifts in track also have a huge impact on your boat, making every lap a new experience and a stronger challenge. Also, when racing on dry land, you race along the same line which allows you to pick up speed as you keep familiarising yourself with the track -an advantage the changing course of water completely lacks. Since I have ventured into racing on land and sea, I know that these tracks have almost nothing in common except that you race across both. But my biggest tip for CS Santosh and Gaurav Gill, who have mastered their machines on land, would be to watch out for the wake (track of waves left by a race boat moving) of another boat.
The article first appeared in The Times of India