Date: Fri 08 Dec 2017

World Championship Preview: Who has what it takes?

The inaugural AquaX World Championship is almost upon us – we take a look at the racers who are competing for the chance to be the first ever AquaX World Champion.

Eric Francis is favourite for the title after back-to-back victories in Chicago and Ft Lauderdale

Eric Francis is favourite for the title after back-to-back victories in Chicago and Ft Lauderdale

For the first time ever, AquaX is ending yet another incredible season with a World Championship event in Key West, with pro riders from the European and USA series descending on the Florida Keys all with the hope of taking victory and with it the No.1 jersey and race number for the 2018 season.

With the absence of Chris MacClugage and Mike Klippenstein, the top three from the US Pro Series are RIVA Racing trio Eric Francis, Brian Baldwin and Nicolas Rius.

Nicolas Rius will be hoping for no mechanical issues in his attempt for World Championship glory

Nicolas Rius will be hoping for no mechanical issues in his attempt for World Championship glory

All three recorded race wins in Ft Lauderdale and come here in red hot form. Francis had to settle for second in the championship behind MacClugage despite winning the final two rounds, whilst Baldwin took third in the standings with his lone victory coming in Sarasota in the summer.

Rius missed a number of rounds on the 2017 tour but has shown his ability on all three occasions with victories in St Pete Beach and Ft Lauderdale and will be hoping that all his mechanical issues and injuries are now behind him.

Brian Baldwin has been consistently at the top all year long

Brian Baldwin has been consistently at the top all year long

Whilst the RIVA trio are favourites, there’s plenty of others queuing up to take the World title this weekend and Erminio Iantosca could be the most feared of all them aboard the all-new Sea-Doo RXT-X 300.

The new machine has not yet been seen on the AquaX Tour and whilst he may take time to find his feet, the SeaDoo could give the Yamaha GP 1800 a real run for its money in ideal conditions in Key West.

Thomas Favolini is Europe's best hopes of victory in Key West

Thomas Favolini is Europe's best hopes of victory in Key West

The European challenge is headed by Thomas Favolini, who announced himself on the AquaX scene with a comprehensive victory on debut in Port Balis, Spain. The Frenchman had European and UK champion Joe Harvey behind him before the Brit’s horror injury in Barcelona and will be hoping to bring the World Championship home to Europe.

Jordan Lambert, Dave Huddlestone and Rainer Eidner round off the European challenge having finished inside the top four in the Euro Pro Tour, whilst Vincent Thomas returns after racing in St Pete Beach and Sarasota on his Kawasaki.

Of the remaining US riders, Ford sponsored rider Eric Lagopolous will be hoping to put in his best performance of the season after consistently finishing inside the top ten, whilst Pro rookies Chris Saxon and Anthony Radetic proved to be more than comfortable with the step up in class and will no doubt be fighting it out for top points all weekend long.

Canada’s hopes of victory rest on the shoulders of Jay Edworthy, who has proven himself as one of the toughest men in racing this season culminating in his ‘Athlete of the Year Award’ last month. He will be hoping conditions suit the Sea-Doo this weekend.

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