Gallery: 2017 AJSP Australian Watercross Championships – GP Runabout
GP Runabout was all about the biggest, baddest, fastest skis in Australia and they didn’t disappoint. Making the 24hr journey downunder for the first time was multiple World Champion Red Bull racer Mohammed Burbayea from Kuwait who was all set for seat time on the Sea-Doo Centre #66 turbo shark RXPX, easily the fastest ski on the water against Sydney Sea-Doo’s gorgeous all carbon turbo RXPX in the hands of James Masterton, Paul Leven on the Dan’s Jet Power Racing turbo RXPX and Brendan Boyd on a very quick Supercharged RXPX. However all did not go to plan for the Kuwaiti who holeshotted to an early lead only to suffer an engine failure on the #66 after a few laps into moto 1 which opened up the racing to a battle between Sydney racers Masterton and Leven. Masterton set the stage early proving he had the goods with a moto1 win, and apparently not troubled by his two year layoff – Leven was a close second. Burbayea reverted to Kylie Ellmers Enduro Open Spec ski for moto 2 but it was no match and Leven was never headed as he took the round win. Masterton had to settle for second, two motos down and the top two were equal on points, it was shaping up to be an exciting final day of racing with two more motos to go. Sunday’s first moto saw Leven holeshot to the lead but inexplicably Masterton pulled out in what appeared to be great pain and later revealed he got reamed by the hard carbon seat which had only traction matting and no padding to the point where he literally couldn’t ride, a disaster for the Sydney Sea-Doo owner and a gift for Leven who only had to finish in the moto 4 to win the National title. He did more than that though with a sensible second to Masterton in a smart race to claim his first Australian premier class GP Runabout Championship for the Dan’s Jet Power Racing Team. “We had a great weekend, the Dan’s Jet Power team all worked together and the ski’s didn’t miss a beat. We got a 2nd and a 1st yesterday and a 1st and a 2nd today so good close racing and I’m proud to race against such respected competitors”, said Paul. In a great display of sportsmanship the Dan’s Jet Power Racing back up open spec supercharged RXPX was loaned to Burbayea after Kylie’s Enduro ski had to be retired following the first enduro and he used it to good effect to score an overall third place just ahead of Brendan Boyd. Given the fact that a plate cannot go to an Australian non-resident Burbayea got the trophy but not the #3 plate which went to Brendan Boyd.
In his own words – Paul Leven, 2017 AJSP Australian Watercross Champion
“Besides racing the whole 2015 tour in Pro Runabout Open this was only my second attempt racing in Pro Runabout Open/GP at the Australian Titles (first was 2012 and we won Pro Runabout Open final round in 2014 but it was not designated as a Australian Titles event) and I knew all the riders in the class this year had a good shot at winning but I also knew the time and effort that Dany, George and the team at Dan’s Jet Power Racing had put into the turbo RXPX and also the yellow supercharged RXPX to ensure the Dan’s Jet Power Racing team would be competitive.”
“Once the racing started everything went well, first heat we had good speed and ended up taking second, after Mohammed broke I was leading but then went over a buoy and James got passed me as I thought it best to take the make up buoy, second heat I managed to win from start to finish, third heat I also managed to win even though my left hand grip nearly came all the way off in the first few laps and when back at the beach also noticed the left rear trim tab had broken off. Last heat was a great race in rough conditions, James, Mohammed, Brendan and myself were all pushing hard and it was great fun to be in that type of race which hopefully the crowd enjoyed, I ended up 2nd in the 4th heat which was more than enough for the first overall for the weekend and my first #1 plate in the premier Pro Runabout GP class.”
“It was also great to see Mohammed take a 2nd in heat 3 and 3rd in heat 4 on the back up Dan’s Jet Power Racing yellow Open Class RXPX, it says a lot about Dany’s passion for the sport to lend a competitor our back up ski and to then have it finish on the podium in those 2 races. I have to sincerely thank Dany & Carmen from Dan’s Jet Power Racing who, without the opportunity to race for them I would not be racing in the GP class, also huge thanks to George, Sal and all the Dan’s Jet Power Racing team, thanks to my wife Debbie and 2 boys Griffin and Fletcher who allow me to do this and my whole family who have cheered me on over all these years. Also to all the organisers, volunteers and other competitors that made it such a great event. Hopefully the Dan’s Jet Power Racing team can get to some more international races in the next year and push for some good results.”