The world’s best jet ski racers to crash Nassau Harbour

American Brian Baldwin takes a 21-point lead into Pensacola in early September as he keeps his sights on the finish line – the November P1 AquaX World Championship in The Bahamas, with another three races on the schedule before P1 AquaX makes its debut in paradise.

Powerboat P1 will bring the P1 AquaX Bahamas World Championship to The Bahamas, November 8-10, with Atlantis serving as the host hotel for the three-day event, marking the climax of the 14-event international P1 AquaX season, which consists of an established jet ski race series in the United States, mainland Europe and the United Kingdom.

The P1 AquaX Bahamas World Championship will feature the top 40 professional riders who qualify through performances in national and continental race series.

“In addition to qualification through continental championships, the position of racers in the P1 AquaX World Rankings, which identifies the most consistent and successful riders in the world, will secure a place in the Bahamas World Championship along with a limited number of wildcard entries,” said Lisa Barsby, global head of P1 AquaX, who is a former world champion rider herself.

“Riders seeking qualification through racing in the United States national championship will be competing in what is now called the P1 AquaX Race to The Bahamas World Championship. The result will be an elite field of the world’s very best personal watercraft races. Atlantis, Paradise Island, will provide a breathtaking setting for the championship event and we could not be more elated to partner with the destination.”

Audrey Oswell, president and managing director, Atlantis, said they look forward to welcoming the competitors and fans to The Bahamas.

“The race course runs through the heart of Nassau Harbour which is an ideal and central setting for our local community, and visitors to Nassau, Paradise Island to experience the thrill and spectacle of this up and coming and extremely exciting sport,” said Oswell.

The new event is a collaborative partnership between the Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation and Atlantis.

P1 AquaX is the fastest growing and most exciting personal watercraft (pwc) championship in the world. Its rapid growth is owed to a simple, yet challenging, race format that appeals to today’s pwc users.

The series was launched in the United Kingdom by London-based sports promoter Powerboat P1 and grew quickly by attracting a mix of first-time and experienced racers to a new style of racing.

In 2013, P1 rolled out a second series in the United States (U.S.) and such was the interest that the original format needed reviewing to cope with the abundance of new racers. By the end of 2015, the series had received over 400 registered entries from 11 countries. By 2016 the AquaX series unveiled its first Pro-level championship in the U.S. and launched two further Pro/Am championships in Malaysia and the Great Lakes region of the U.S.

The year 2017 saw the launch of the European AquaX Pro Championships and the crowning of the first P1 AquaX World Champion – American racer Brian Baldwin.

The format is simple – competitors are divided into two categories: Enduro or Sprint, depending on what type pwc they ride, and the style of riding they enjoy. Then, depending on the quality of the field, the category is divided by ability into Pro or Amateur. If not, then the class runs under the Pro/Am rules.

Sit down craft come under the Enduro rules, where craft must remain stock, except for minor handling modifications. The craft are then classified by the horsepower. Races take place on the coast, on lakes or rivers. The tracks are large, and each race lasts about 30 minutes in duration. Enduro is a test of will and preparation. To win, a competitor needs to be in good physical condition and their equipment needs to be mechanically sound.

Sprint is all about the stand ups – the original jet ski and single-seaters like the Seas-Doo Spark. The race courses are smaller and are generally laid in the surf line, creating a challenge even for the canniest rider. The technical rules are limited to handling with some minor engine mods to keep costs down. Unlike Enurdo, Sprint races are quick (10 minutes) in duration, a competitor needs speed and agility to win.

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Shavaughn Moss

Shavaughn Moss joined The Nassau Guardian as a sports reporter in 1989. She was later promoted to sports editor. Shavaughn covered every major athletic championship from the CARIFTA to Central American and Caribbean Championships through to World Championships and Olympics. Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.

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