The 2016 P1 AquaX Malaysia Series that was held at Metropolitan lake in Kepong has come and gone with some amazing races on a rain-soaked weekend. If you are looking for the photos, you can view them here. I was at the venue for both days with a bright Saturday morning greeting the racers and officials as everyone got themselves busy at the Dry Pit as well as on the course itself.
I went out to check on the course layout so you can watch the video below. Calm lake with just one Jetski flying across the lake at 50 - 70 km/h. Very different to the actual race where the lake turn choppy with the riders creating waves in their path.
24 competitors was competing among themselves throughout the weekend across 3 categories - Sprint Spark (12 mins + 1), Sprint Ski (10 mins + 1 lap) and Enduro which is a 30 minute race + 1 lap with the 200hp and 300hp category riders racing at the same time. Was told by one of the Spark category rider that it's not easy to hang on to the Jet Ski when it is propelling across the surface of the lake at speed. Imagine what the Enduro racers goes through as they have to hang on to the craft for 30 minutes while racing against 14 other riders.
Nineteen-year-old up-and-coming Malaysian jet-skier Bryan Chia took first place in today’s Enduro race, a category that challenges the endurance of racers in a 30-minute long battle around the designated lake circuit. Bryan, who was in second place for the first half of the race, surged into the lead and held on to win after race leader Mohamad Faez suffered from technical difficulties and had to pull out.
In the Sprint Spark category, another 19-year-old, Mohd Danial Mohd Shariff heads the standings going into Day 2 after placing third in the first race and winning the second. He is chased by 34-year-old veteran jet-skier Raja Nazrin Shah, who won the first race of the day, and Saifullah Nazar, who are both tied in second place.
In the Sprint Ski category, 39-year-old Hj Idzam Horhadi Hj Mashud won both of today’s races to command a lead at the top of the standings, while brothers Muhammad Syahmi Hashim and Muhammad Fadhli Hashim are tied in second place.
I must say that the atmosphere got a little bit tense when the storm came in and lasted for over an hour, but it was great to see that the riders remained gung-ho and ready to take to the waters. By the time the last race was done, it was close to 7pm and I went back to the comfort of the secretariat to chill. Wouldn't want to use up all the energy on just the 1st day, do we?
Day 2 kicked off bright and early, with a quick brief from the course official and the first boat went down to the lake by 9am raring to go. As majority of the race on the previous day was hampered by the rain, The organizer along with the teams agreed to get the race started earlier than the scheduled time to avoid a similar situation.
With the shorten duration to prepare, the teams goes into a frantic mode as they get the jet skis ready with final fixes and set-ups done. No one is holding back despite needing to race twice, especially the Enduro boys. It was full throttle from the flag-off for 30 laps and they have another race few hours later. It's tiring especially to the arms as the 15 riders not only have to maneuver around the obstacles, they also have to get ahead of each other while racing at top speed skimming across the lake.
The Sprint Sparks and Ski points is still up for grabs but the Enduro crowd favorites, Chris (200 HP) and Bryan (300 HP) was already set to dominate their respective categories in the race as their jet skis and strategies from day 1 was flawless.
One of the youngest riders in the event, 19-year-old Bryan Chia, followed up his victory yesterday with another win today to take first place in the Enduro 300 category with 55 points. Bryan also emerged as the overall champion for the Enduro Cup category, which is open to all Enduro riders regardless of engine class.
"It was fun and I hope to maintain my performance in the next two rounds." said the 19-year-old, who has been racing in Jet Ski competitions around Asia for the last five years and hopes to become a World Champion one day.
Second place in the Enduro 300 for the weekend was 21-year-old Lim Hong Hao, while 24-year-old Saifullah Nazar settled for third.
Christopher Keasberry, one of two Bruneians in the competition, put his 18 years of racing experience to good use as he picked up victories in three out of three races in the Enduro 200 class to secure first place here in Round 1.
"I have been racing for many years but I think this is one of the best performances in my racing career because I have never done so well in an endurance race. I have been training intensively since August and keeping myself in shape, so it’s a good win." said the 47-year-old.
Second place in Enduro 200 was Mohd Suffian bin Saidi, while Rosli Ghazali, one of the local otais of the sports took the final podium spot.
The Sprint Spark category, which is a newly launched class designed to attract entry-level amateur and semi-pro riders racing on sit-down jet skis, was contested by six riders this weekend. After winning one race yesterday and emerging third in the other, 19-year-old Mohd Danial Mohd Shariff led the Sprint Spark standings coming into Day 2 and continued his fine form with victories in both races today to collect 75 points and take first place.
"I feel grateful for this victory as I have been training very hard every week. I have been jet-skiing for five years and this is my best performance so far." said the 19-year-old who hopes to turn professional soon.
Finishing in second place for the Sprint Spark category this weekend was 34-year-old Raja Nazrin Shah (65 points), third place went to Saifullah Nazar (63 points) and coming in fourth was Megat Redza (61 points). The only female rider in the event, 29-year-old Yushi Chan, finished tied in fifth place on 50 points with Mohammad Farid Mohd Zain.
In the Sprint Ski class, Hj Idzam Norhaidi Hj Mashud won 3 out of the 4 races in his category this weekend to comfortably clinch first place with 77 points.
"I was racing against competitors much younger than me so I feel very happy to achieve this result in the Sprint Ski category. It has been a long and tiring but very fulfilling day." said the 39-year-old, who is the only other Brunei rider in the competition.
Coming in second was 26-year-old Muhammad Fadhli Hashim, who won today’s final Sprint Ski race, with 69 points followed by his younger brother, 16-year-old Muhammad Syahmi Hashim, in third place with 62 points.
More than RM15,000 in cash prizes were awarded to top finishers in this weekend’s races, while participants in the Sprint Ski and Enduro categories also picked up international ranking points based on this performances. Riders in the Sprint Spark category picked up national ranking points.
The next two events in this three round Malaysia series will be held at D’Island Residences, Puchong on 26 & 27 November and 10 & 11 December (Grand Finals), where the overall Malaysian Champion will be crowned. Entrance to the event will remain free for members of the public who wish to catch the races.
For photos from the race, it's all here. See you at the next race?