With the qualifying races out of the way yesterday, organizers are looking forward to having a great and competitive weekend for the second P1 Aqua Cross (AquaX) World Championship set to continue today and wrap up tomorrow at the Nassau Harbour, Atlantis, Paradise Island.
Speaking at a press conference held on Thursday at Atlantis, Paradise Island, the host hotel, Lisa Barsby, global head of P1 AquaX, said that it is tough to tell who the winner will be.
“What is really great about this particular class here at Aqua Cross, especially endurance, we don’t know who is going to win,” said Barsby.
“We have some very strong riders out there. This year in the U.S., we had five different winners in five different rounds. It is very much up in the air.”
Yesterday were the qualifying races.
The defending champion is American Brian Baldwin. The world championship features the top riders from the American, European and United Kingdom racing circuit. Eight countries are competing at this weekend’s championship.
Dionisio D’Aguilar, minister of tourism and aviation, said that P1 AquaX is another event to add to the already stacked sports lineup of events hosted in The Bahamas.
“We are thrilled to add a dynamic event such as the Aqua Cross World Championship to our destination’s expanding calendar of world-class events,” he said.
“Championship jet-ski racing now takes its place in our country’s stellar lineup of international competitions that include championship golf, American college football, tennis, basketball, beach volleyball, athletics, gymnastics, swimming and more. It is for good reason we consider our destination the sports tourism capital of the Caribbean.”
D’Aguilar stated that he understood that P1 AquaX conducted a broad search for a venue that would be perfect. He added that choosing The Bahamas as the destination for their event means so much at this time seeing that Abaco and Grand Bahama were severely impacted by Hurricane Dorian.
Azam Rangoonwala, chief executive officer of P1, said they were looking for a perfect venue to host the world championship.
“We have been putting this championship together for a long time,” he said.
“It has always been a plan to bring everything together and the importance in bringing it together is that you have different countries involved and crowning a world champion. In that, what we did was we were looking for a really perfect venue for that and that it could not only elevate the level of the sport but also for us to partner with a brand name and I think that the Atlantis and The Bahamas is really that brand name that we wanted to partner with and at that high level.”
The race is set to return next year and Rangoonwala hopes to have it for many more years to come.
Welcoming the riders, their families and fans to The Bahamas, was Audrey Oswell, president and managing director of Atlantis.
“It is a culmination of a lot of hard work over the past several months in collaboration with the NPIPB, our promotion board and the Ministry of Tourism here in The Bahamas,” Oswell said.
“It shows what we can do when we work together to really bring world class events to the destination.”
She added: “Atlantis is committed to continuing our work with the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, NPIPB and entities such as P1, to bring more of these types of events to Nassau and Paradise Island.”
Apart from the races, will be entertainment, food and an art fair.
Today’s races will get underway at 12:30 p.m., while tomorrow’s races will get started at 12:45 p.m.