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With the first round of the 2016 Hidden Trails/Sea Doo Pro Watercross National Tour now in the books, it is easy to see a fiercely competitive season ahead as some of the top national and international PWC athletes get ready to head to Pensacola this coming weekend for round two.
Blue skies and relatively calm waters at Panama City Beach may have provided a pretty backdrop for the Mother’s Day weekend races, but the battles for rankings on those waters were anything but calm. Old rivalries, new competitions and the adrenaline-pumping thrill of a fresh slate had racers on their game this past weekend, and there were plenty of motos that went down to the wire.
PRO-AM RUNABOUT GP
In the Pro-Am Runabout GP Class, #116 Dustin Farthing tore up the course on his Sea Doo RXP-X 300 putting him on top of the rankings board at the end of the weekend with first-place finishes in all three motos. #1 Craig Warner topped Saturday’s third place finish with two second place finishes in Sunday’s motos to earn an overall second place. #5 Brian Baldwin started out the weekend strong, with a second place spot on Saturday, but struggled Sunday, ending the day with ninth and fourth place finishes to put him in fourth overall behind #4 Erminio Iantosca, who improved his fourth-place Saturday finish with two solid third-place finishes on Sunday to snag the third stop on the podium for the weekend. Finishing out the Runabout GP class at the end of the first round were #149 Tim Ducat (5th), #21 Trey Frame (6th), #114 Claude Clayton (7th), #247 Dylan Osborn (8th), #243 Dennis Mack (9th) and #2 Cameron Frame (10th).
PRO-AM SKI GP
For the Pro-Am Ski GP Class, Jimmy Wilson’s #300 was rarely far from the front of the pack, pulling in two first-place finishes and a second place win to secure the top podium spot for the weekend, followed by #za2 Tyron Motzouris and #3 David Redinger. Chris Macclugage overcame first round-first race troubles with his #30 boat that put him at the bottom of the stack Saturday to nail second place in moto 2 and a first in moto 3 to end the weekend in 5th behind #182 Brock Austin. Closing out the crowded Ski GP class were #94 Josh Block, #za1 Dustin Motzouris, #92 Broc Harris, #00 Bill Haig, #149 Pete Zernik, #51 David Cabrera, #21c Dave Davidson, #17 Jordon Carroll, and #85 Dustin Higdon.
In a head-to head battle on the flat waters of Panama City Beach, Mark Gomez put in two first place performances to win the Pro Freestyle division this past weekend, just edging out Chris Langlais. Amateur freestyler Justin Sylvain nailed the top podium spot in the Amateur completion with two pro-quality runs, just beating out Peter Waldron, Steven Coatney and Jeff Luther to secure the top slot as both the amateurs and pros head into the tour’s Round Two in Pensacola next week, where notoriously high surf normally means fierce battles and adrenaline-packed routines for the Freestyle competitions.
PRO-AM R/A BOX STOCK
In the Pro-Am R/A Box Stock class, Sea Doo’s Team rider #116 Dustin Farthing dominated with three first place finishes, followed by #101 Craig Warner. #72 Shante Bukes staked out her spot at the front of the pack with second, third and fourth place moto finishes to secure the third place overall finish ahead of #149 Tim Ducat in fourth and #110 Troy Snyder in fifth. Closing out the class were #247 Dylan Osborn (6th), #8 Jeff Dyckowski (7th), #1 Billy Dearman (8th), #114 Claude Clayton (9th) and #88 Michael Borges (10th).
PRO-AM SKI STOCK
#13 Jimmy Wilson dominated the Ski Stock class, stringing together three first-place finishes to take the top podium spot for the weekend. #10 Callaway Turner topped his third place finishes in motos 1 and 2 with a solid second place finish in moto 3 for an overall second-place finish, and # 51 David Cabrera slipped in the final moto, coming in 3rd overall with two second-place finishes and a 4th place in moto 3. Other rankings in the Ski Stock class include #41 Mark Gomez, who added to his top podium spot in Pro Freestyle with a fourth-place overall finish in the Ski Stock division. #11 Marchall Brown took 5th and the class rounded out with #21 Dave Davidson (6th), #22 Gage Schoenherrr (7th), #85 Jules Hopkins (8th) and #85x Dustin Higdon (9th).
#13 Sam Nehme left little doubt that he is the man to beat in the Sport GP division, nailing two decisive first-place finishes in motos 1 and 2; but #72 Johnny Smith and #1 Kelly Smith both gave him a run for his money, followed closely by a crowded field in the competitive class. Kelly finished the weekend in 2nd after two third-place motos and a hard-fought first-place finish in moto 3. Johnny Smith’s two third place finishes and a third place landed him the third podium spot for the weekend. Finishing out the rankings for the Sport GP class were #14 Keith Dill (4th), #367 Robert Sayah (5th), #1 Billy Dearman (6th), #85 Jules Hopkins (7th), #86x Kyle Hayes (8th), #910 Jeff Mcphail (9th), #2 Cody Mccallum (10th), #31 William Beers (11th), #907 Andrew Bezan (12th), #24 Morgan Beers (13th), #18 Shawn Reynolds (14th) and #51 Dirac Barbee (15th).
For complete rankings after Round One in PCB, visit www.prowatercross.com/results and stay tuned for Round 2 of the 2016 Hidden Trails/Sea Doo Pro Watercross National Tour next weekend at the Grand Prix of Watercross in Pensacola next weekend, May 14-15.
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