Date: Thu 19 May 2016

The Pope reigns supreme in Scarborough

Four meter swells and 30mph winds cancelled play on the opening round of the P1 AquaX Enduro Series, in Scarborough.

Phil Pope tries a new style of overtaking

Phil Pope tries a new style of overtaking

The impressive Joe Harvey shows off his new pimped up Kawi

The impressive Joe Harvey shows off his new pimped up Kawi

Richard Rowe claimed the 250 crown

Richard Rowe claimed the 250 crown

David Coe put in a solid performance in the 250 class!

David Coe put in a solid performance in the 250 class!

Duncan Johnstone moved back into the 200 class to pick up the W

Duncan Johnstone moved back into the 200 class to pick up the W

“It’s always a tough decision to cancel racing,” explained Head of AquaX Series, Lisa Barsby.

“The guys want to race but it’s a matter of safety so we’re hoping for calmer condition tomorrow and to run a full programme of races.”

National champion Phil Pope started the season with an overall win in the 300 class and showed that he can mix it with the best by defeating world #1 Eric Francis in some of the most gruelling conditions experienced in P1 AquaX racing.

Race 1 started with Joe Harvey grabbing the hole shot ahead of Francis and Pope - the three battled for the first lap. Harvey pulled a commanding lead over the trailing pack, before succumbing to the pace of Francis and Pope. By lap 3, both were swimming and Harvey was back in the lead. Pope remounted first and within two laps was in front, bringing home the first win of the day.

“It was tough out there the waves are massive, but it’s good to start with a win.” explained the reigning champion Pope.

Francis made his way back up to fourth, with Harvey finishing in second and Khris Leach third.

“It’s so cold and I can’t feel my hands, but I love the conditions!” enthused Francis.

By the time Race 2 came around the wind had picked up and conditions had deteriorated. Francis was out of the gate and grabbed the hole shot, with Pope hot on his pump and hounding him all the way. It was Kawasaki verses Yamahaand USA verses UK, as the two champions laid it down for the thousands of spectators. On numerous occasions, Pope would power up alongside Francis on the back straight, only for Francis to pull back the throttle and inch out another lead. By the 20minute point, it looked like Francis has broken his nemesis as Pope dropped back from the leading pace, but as with so many P1 AquaX races it is never over until the chequered flag drops. After a few laps, Pope had regrouped and chased down the World No.1, before passing him in mid-air. Riding like a man possessed, Pope continued charge on his Yamaha FZR and within one lap had pulled a commanding lead, only to misjudge his land and go for a second swim, gifting the lead to Francis.

“It was cold out there, I couldn’t feel my hands and lost my grip.” described Pope of the conditions.

Despite the overall bragging rights going to Pope, Francis was still pleased with his performance.

“There’s not a lot between us, it was a great race and I’m going to try and come back for the rest of the races.” said Francis.

Leach was the only other rider to live with the pace of the leading pair to come home in third aboard his Yamaha FZR.

“With the field being so strong I was expecting fifth or sixth so really pleased to finish on the podium this weekend.” explained Leach.

Russell Marmon squeezed past Harvey to finish fourth, but did enough in the first race to clinch fourth overall.

In the 250 class, Richard Rowe wrapped up both races aboard his Kawasaki Ultra 250. Last year’s runner-up rode a solid race from start to finish, lapping the entire field in both races. Dave Coe finished in second and Ryan O’Conner in third.

Double champion Duncan Johnstone used his skill and determination to take home maximum points in the 200 class on his Yamaha FX. Rookie Paul Handley put in a great first performance aboard his Sea-Doo Wake to finish second, with Nigel Chappel in third.

The P1 AquaX Series now heads to Greenock in Scotland on 18th -19th June.

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