In march I attended the ABPA Race tour stop in Parker, Arizona. I drove out with my good friend Eric Garcia who works for my fiberglass sponsor Performance Fiberglass and was also there to Race an open class Kawasaki Ultra 250. Liquid Militia team racer and one of the most generous guys I know Pete Zernik was there to race 3 classes himself. Back at the Pimso freeride in March I spoke to Pete about the idea of racing but needed a ski to race. He had just had his back up limited class ski rebuilt and offered to let me race it there. With a about an hour of practice on the ski, I felt comfortable enough to hit the track and also practice some hole shots. Pete was not only super generous to let me race his ski but was also a great race mentor giving me some great pointers on how to have a great start and how to handle the boat around the track.
The entire event was great fun. I Ended up placing 3rd place overall both days racing the ski in novice ski limited class. I felt great with the results for being my first race. It was almost safe to say the thrill of racing a stand up with other people gunning for your position in rough waters and with a bunch of friends screaming at you to keep going was an incredible experience. The gnarliest thing about racing a stand up is that hole shot. The hole shot is the beginning of a race where all the racers line up in waist high water with one other person they call their holder. The line woman signals us to start our skis which the holder helps the racer lift the back of the ski out of the water so the racer can rev out the ski to clear the exhaust system of water. They drop the ski into the water and keep the ski running at a high idle which is when the holder does or doesn’t do his or her job of holding the ski back and keeping it aimed straight. The Line woman tilts the flag and blows a whistle to signal the start of the race where all the racers leave the beach full throttle holding their line all for the first buoy. That hole shot is crazy! I had a racer loose their line and come swaying over 4 lines over into me which i turned into them and made them bounce off me so i could keep my line. It was just the craziest part of racing becuase you can only see whats in front of you, its fast, and you cant see anything that isnt 3 feet in front of you.
Every night in between was an adventure with my good friends Kyla and Ryan of Liquid Militia. They sponsored a bed for me to sleep on for the event in their hotel room. This was super helpful of them and a ton of fun to stay with the party which we and many other friends of Liquid Militia took all over that casino/hotel those nights. Lots of shenanigans and good times the whole weekend those nights with good friends.
On the second day I ended up signing up for freestyle with permission from my friend Michael De Mauro to compete on his Yamaha Superjet he was competing on. My goal was to bring back 1990’s freestyle with old school fun tricks that no one does anymore but are still tricky and entertaining. I went as far as writing down all the tricks i knew on my forearm to look at in the heat of my routine and remember what to do. No matter what i did I always kept fist pumping, the key to every successful freestyle entertainer’s routine. I went out there, had a great time and ended up bringing home the gold! Parts of my routine were captured by my good friends at Liquid Militia with their video from the event bellow.
It was an incredible weekend I have to thank Liquid Militia, Performance fiberglass, WORX racing components, and most of all Pete Zernik of Zernikracing.com for letting me race his ski that weekend along with all his time and support that came with it.
3rd place overall Novice ski limited Rounds 1 & 2
1st Place Freestyle Round 2