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(Press Release) This past weekend at Pensacola Beach, Florida, the Hidden Trails/Sea Doo Pro Watercross National Tour, presented by JetLift kicked off Round 2 of the tour with fast lineups and on-time starts Saturday, grinding through the races to finish the day by 3 p.m in plenty of time for racers and fans alike to enjoy the spectacularly beautiful sugar-sand beaches and turquoise-green waters, as well as the top-notch hospitality of Round 2 presenting sponsor, The Casino Beach Bar and Grill.
While Pensacola Beach is known in the Pro Watercross Tour for its extreme waves and challenging surf, this past weekend was relatively smooth which made for fierce-fought battles on both Saturday and Sunday, pulling in thousands of spectators – both those crowding the shoreline and the iconic Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier, as well as those watching the competition via television and live streaming.
In Pro-Am R/A Box Stock #116 Dustin Farthing and his Sea-Doo RXP-X ran the class with three first-place moto finishes to end the weekend on top. But PCB’s second-place finisher, #1c Craig Warner, fell to sixth place overall after a bad run of luck kept him from the course for moto 3. #149 Tim Ducat’s steady third-place finish in all three motos earned him a second-place overall finish, while #1 Billy Dearman took the third podium spot for the weekend – a strong jump from his 8th place finish in PCB. Closing out the class were #110 Troy Snyder (4th), #247 Dylan Osborn (5th), #8 Jeff Dyckowski (7th), and #88 Michael Borges (9th).
Shante Bukes, who secured a third-place overall finish in the R/A Box Stock class in Round 1 in PCB, suffered a broken tibia after a bad accident on the course. The Pro Watercross family sends her warm wishes and hopes for a speedy recovery. We expect to see her back on the water this season. Bukes’ moto 1 fifth-place finish put her in 8th place overall for Round 2 despite leaving Pensacola under medical care.
In the Pro-Am Ski Stock Class #13 Chris Macclugage barreled into the division to take the top podium spot away from #296 Jimmy Wilson. Wilson, who took first overall in Round 1 in PCB, finished Pensacola’s moto 1 in first, beating out Macclugage, but fell to second behind the #13 ski in motos 2 and 3 to fall to second place overall. Mark Gomez came on strong Sunday, improving on his moto 1 sixth place finish to secure third place overall for Round 2, improving his 4th place overall finish in PCB and swapping spots with #51 David Cabrera who finished Round 1 in 3rd and took 4th place overall in Pensacola. Rounding out the Pro-Am Ski Stock division were #182 Broc Harris (5th), #10 Callaway Turner, who dropped from his second place overall finish in PCB to finish Pensacola with a 6th place, #22 Gage Schoenherr (7th), #21c Dave Davidson (8th), and #85x Dustin Higdon (9th).
The Sport GP battle, which is shaping up to be one of the fiercest battles of the season, saw #13 Sam Nehme putting a check in the win column in all three motos and taking the top podium spot for the weekend, but it wasn’t without some strong competition from second place winner #72 Johnny Smith and third place finisher #1b Kelly Smith. The Smiths, who flipped podium spots from Round 1 in PCB, also faced challenges from the weekend’s fourth place finisher #907 Andrew Bezan and #1w Billy Dearman, who took 5th place overall at Pensacola. Finishing out the class were #14 Keith Dill (6th), #85 Jules Hopkins (7th), #910 Jeff Mcphail (8th), #31 William Beers (9th), #24 Morgan Beers (10th), #86x Kyle Hayes (11th), #77 Glen Jung (12th), and #2 Cody Mccallum (13th).
There is no “shaping up to be” about the Pro-Am Runabout GP class competition – it is a fight that promises to be a to-the-wire battle every moto this season. #116 Dustin Farthing may have taken the top podium spot again this last weekend, doubling up on his first place finishes for the season, but it wasn’t an easy win, and his run of first-place moto finishes was broken by #5 Brian Baldwin, who claimed a first-place finish in moto 2 and well-earned second place overall finish with top three finishes in all three of Pensacola’s motos. Further shaking up the fiercely competitive class, #1 Craig Warner, who claimed the second podium spot in PCB, finished 7th at Pensacola after not competing in motos 2 and 3. #4 Erminio Iantosca shook off a sixth place finish in moto 1 to claim back-to-back second place finishes in motos 2 and 3 on Sunday to earn a third place overall finish. Rounding out the class were #149 Tim Ducat (4th), #247 Dylan Osborn (5th), and #21 Trey Frame (6th).
Also promising edge-of-the-seat (or sand) finishes this season is the large Pro-Am Ski GP class. 15-strong, the field is packed with the sport’s top athletes fighting for the hole shot and dodging each other’s wake at each turn. The Motzouris brothers, #1za Dustin and #2za Tyron bookended the top three at Pensacola, with Dustin taking first and Tyron taking third. #30 Chris Macclugage dominated the class on Sunday, nailing down two first place moto finishes to overcome his ninth-place finish in moto 1 on Saturday to claim second place overall for Round 2. #300 Jimmy Wilson, to tied together two firsts and a second place in Panama City Beach to take the top podium spot in Round 1, finished out Round 2 in 5th place behind #182 Brock Austin in 4th despite winning moto 1 on Saturday. The crowded class was far from static, as each moto saw a shuffling of finishes. #106 Bill Haig slipped a spot each time on the water, with a 5th place in Moto 1, 6th in moto 2 and 7th in moto 3 to finish in 6th place overall, while #94 Josh Block added up a 6th, 7th and 8th place finish to end up with 7th overall. #3 David Redinger, who earned a 3rd place overall finish in PCB, claimed second place in moto 1 at Pensacola, but struggled on Sunday, finishing in 5th in moto 2 and overcoming a mid-round stumble in moto 3 to finish last and ending up in 8th place overall. Closing out the class were #21 Zach Spring (9th), #149 Pete Zernick (10th), #18 Broc Harris (11th), #812 Mike Kelberer (12th), #913 Jordon Carroll (13th), #51 David Cabrera (14th), and #6 Nick Spring (15th).
In the Sport Stock Class, #113 Sam Nehme repeated his PCB overall win, despite slipping in the third moto, coming in second to #95 Ken Waddle, who took third place overall in Pensacola. #31 William Beers took second overall in the class, a huge jump from his 11th place PCB finish. Keith Dill, who secured second place overall in the First Round in PCB, finished 4th in Pensacola. Rounding out the division were #910 Jeff Mcphail (5th), #24 Morgan Beers (6th), #2 Gage Schoenherr (7th), #78 Logan Hayes (8th), #12 Chad Eggleston (9th), and #346 Kyle Hayes (10th).
In the Amateur Freestyle competition, Justin Sylvain continued to string together pro-level stunts that left everyone from announcers, fans and pro freestylers saying he will be a force to be reckoned with when he makes the jump to pro competitions. Sylvain performed for the crowd unchallenged, and added first place numbers to his ranking for the season.
In Pro Freestyle, Chris Langlais and Mark Gomez swapped podium steps. Gomez, who took the win at Panama City Beach in Round 1, took second place overall at Pensacola, falling behind Langlais, who tied together an impressive string of flips, rolls and stunts on Sunday to beat out Gomez’s slight Saturday lead. Freestyler Jeff Lutker, splitting off from the Pro and Amateur competitions to feature his old-school style tricks in a new division, Freestyle 800, again was a crowd favorite with a routine that focused less on amplitude and more on attitude.
The Junior Class divisions saw some place swapping from the PCB finishes, with #94 Matthew Richuk, who ended the PCB first round in second place in Junior Ski Stock 13-15 division, swept all three motos, taking first place overall in Pensacola, while PCB first-place finisher #114 AJ Luinstra fell to second place overall in Pensacola. Finishing out the 13-15 class were #86 Wyatt Hayes (3rd), #417 Bret Underhill taking 4th in his hometown, and #55 Logan Lutker in 5th. In the Junior Ski Stock 10-12 class, #296 Haden Skellett continued his strong showing despite some technical difficulties that put him in second place behind #13 Sammy Nehme in moto 1. Haden took first in Sunday’s motos to again take the first place overall finish, with Nehme walking away with the second place overall finish. #295 Taylor Skellet upped her fourth-place PCB finish with a podium spot in Pensacola, earning third overall with progressively stronger finishes over the weekend, taking fourth in moto 1, third in moto 2 and 2nd in moto 3. #116 Devin Farthing finished out the class in 4th.
#41 Pete Zernik continued to dominate the Veteran Ski GP class, adding two more first-place moto finishes to his PCB hat trick in Round One and securing a third-place finish in moto 3 at Pensacola to once again earn the top podium spot in the Veteran Ski GP division. PCB’s second-place #716 Dan Masters had a rough moto 1 that put him in sixth place, but turned it around Sunday with third and second place finishes to take second overall while #21c Dave Davidson snagged third place overall after forgoing competing in the class in PCB. Closing out the Veteran Ski GP division were #812 Mike Kelberer (4th), #77 Kenny Mckenzie (5th), #253 Erin Mcconkey (6th), #11nz Marchall Brown (7th), #3 Ralph Mcgregor (8th), #85 Dustin Higdon (9th), #41 Brian Edwards (10th), and #322 Stephen Booth (11th).
In a combined-class competition over the weekend at Pensacola, Robbie Lutker earned first place points in the Amateur Ski GP class, Lee Mccullar earned first place in the Beginner Ski.
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