Posts Tagged ‘World Champion’

2016 Season Close Update: 2x IFWA World Champion – Mark Gomez

Thursday, December 1st, 2016
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Hello Friends, Family, and Sponsors,

I would really like to apologize for the delay in these emails. If you have followed me on social media, you may have been able to keep track of the nonstop action these last several months. Since my last email update in May, I had a successful sweep of the opening three European rounds of the IFWA World Tour. I then went stateside and immediately immersed myself in three back to back event weekends driving around the West Coast. From that time forward, the size of potential email updates grew into what is best described as a larger and larger snowball, growing each week I traveled.

I am much harder on myself than most think and I take a lot of pride in being able to effectively communicate to the people that help me along the way. I also want to be able to paint a brief, but highlighted, story of each of my travels for those who don’t use social media. This brings me to the end of my season, when I finally have had more than just a week in between events (besides the holidays). As the dust has now settled and I collect the data from my year, I am really proud of the incredible season I was able to pull off, with podium results at almost every event!

Attached in this email and pictured below is my 2016 Pro Season wrap up report I prepared:
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This year I competed in the following series:
– IFWA World Freeride Championship Tour
Pro Watercross National Race and Freestyle Tour
– IJSBA World Finals of Racing and Freestyle
– Australian Freeride Nationals
– US Pro Freestyle Championship
– Many individual freeride events

 


My major highlights this year were the following:
– Defending my 2015 IFWA Freeride World Title with my second win this year as the 2016 World Champion, crowned last month in Japan.
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– Riding the North point of Nazaré with an average of 30 meter waves
– Representing Hydro-Turf as the brand’s Sponsorship Liaison
– Becoming the National Freestyle Champion on the Pro Watercross Tour
– Taking 4th in the world my rookie year in Pro Freestyle 1200 class
– Taking 3rd in the world in Vintage 550 racing class
– 24 events in 8 different countries, traveling over 89,200 road & air miles within 11 months, competing in all 3 categories of stand up jetskiing

Social Media

I have had a very successful year boosting my social media presence, which gives my sponsors a bigger exposure network with each additional post. My posts are the best that I can do to illustrate a timeline of my events, give updates of my travels, showcase cool photos and videos from the year, and more.

Instagram @Markgomez137 gained over 5,000 new followers this season! Apx 19,300 followers

Facebook/MarkaGomez gained over 2,500 new followers this season! Apx 7,500 followers


Viral Videos
Featured in two unique viral videos that exposed the sport to many different networks worldwide featured below:
 
Labor Day Backflip in a small pool
On Labor Day weekend, I arranged to take my new 1200cc Flatwater freestyle ski to my fiberglass sponsor John Crabb of Performance Fiberglass house to attempt a backflip in his swimming pool. I thought it was big enough until I put the ski inside of it and started riding around. My friends and sponsor, Liquid Militia, came in with their equipment to film it, produced the edit and released promotion. It went really well and caught a lot of attention on social media, getting a lot of shares from many big social media “superpage” feeds.
Facebook Video Views: 124,517 — Facebook Shares: 1,459
Youtube Views: 6,271 — Video Link here –> https://youtu.be/eysbVIJ8TyQ
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T-Rex Jetski Backflip video
This video came together as a quick last minute spoof after the SurfSlam contest in Oregon. My friend, Guillermo Casas who was in town from Costa Rica, filmed with his drone. I purchased an inflatable T-Rex costume with the intention of showcasing the best pro freestyle action in it and see what kind of footage we could come up with. It was fun and I was able to pull off some stunts, despite the awkward suit. I express shipped the video footage to Liquid Militia clothing and they got right to work on the edit and post production as before. This video was a HIT! It went insanely viral, and was featured on many famous viral websites (MSN, Yahoo, Shock Mansion, Gizmodo, Mashable, Digg, The Big Lead), Social media networks, National and International, TV networks, ESPN, FOX News, The Inside Edition and more! : T-Rex T-shirts for Men, Women, and kids are now available here through Liquid Militia Clothing!
Facebook Views: 114,936 — Facebook Shares: 1,659
Youtube Views: 197,939 — Video Link here –> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJcjCb6hs_g
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Tour Highlight Recaps
 
IFWA Freeride World Tour – 2016 World Title

This year’s IFWA tour took place in 6 different countries: Nazaré , Portugal – Lacanau, France – Newquay, UK – Bahia, Brazil – Oregon, USA – Kamisu, Japan. It was an incredible season with the opening winning streak along Europe. A big part of this success was shipping my personal TC Freeride built Rickter EDGE overseas to the European tour and final round in Japan. It took a lot of effort, logistics and resources to make it happen. In the end, it was well worth the reliability and comfort being on my own equipment, which was proven by my overall results. I did not pull this off alone. Along the entire tour, I worked with my teammate through many similar sponsors Abraham Ho from Cancun, Mexico, who was recently picked up by Monster Energy as an athlete with explosive style. We are a great team that works effectively to get through each tour stop. I won my second consecutive World Title. The tour is amazing and I enjoy meeting such a great group of riders and enthusiasts from around the world. It has so much potential to become even greater. I am working in the background to assist the great people there with all that I can, to ensure it reaches that next level.

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Pro Watercross National Tour – Pro Freestyle National Champion
An exciting feat was attending 5 out of 7 National tour stops. This was made possible by shipping my equipment with Brock Austin, his incredible family, the family of riders that toured with them as well, and KMG Racing.  Making it possible to race was Branden Edwards and his family. who allowed me to share their lites spec Yamaha Superjet. I competed in Pro Freestyle on a borrowed 1000cc Rickter XFR until I was able to complete my own 1200cc XFR for the National tour final in West Virginia. There were CBS Sports TV segments created where I plugged many of my sponsors during interviews with specific freestyle coverage in every edit. I was featured on many local/web ads and newspaper articles from my freestyle runs. This tour also has great potential to grow. I am stoked to have had the opportunity to experience this tour with such a great group of racers and pull off the National Title for Pro Freestyle.
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IJSBA World Finals Pro Freestyle – 4th In the World Rookie year 

This year my best friend in the sport, Tanner Thomas and I teamed up together to take on Pro Freestyle at the World Finals. We rented a house in Lake Havasu and brought in all the tools and equipment needed to build a fully functional compound. This enabled us to tweak and tune our Freestyle skis to be the best they could be. To help us with that task was our very good friend and amazingly talented mechanic, Hiroyuki Oginio “Ninja”, who flew in from Japan. I had very bad luck with self inflicted engine and ignition problems during my condensed training period prior to the World Finals. With the help of all of my sponsors, Tanner, and Hiro, I was able to get it completely dialed in just three days before the event. This was an incredibly stressful two and a half weeks, which set me back from many things. However, I came at those three days with a fire to improve like I never thought I had. Upon competition day I was able to bring a handful of new tricks to the Pro Freestyle scene that I carried over from the freeride world. The Flatwater Flex flip, NoCanDo flip, No Hand flip, and Super flip variations which earned 3rd place in the pack on the final day and 4th overall by points. It felt incredible to receive all the positive feedback from riders and fans about bringing freeride style into freestyle in just a short amount of time from when I started. With that, I am motivated more than ever to focus more attention to this next year and win the Pro 1200 Freestyle World Title next year!

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Thank you for the support through the storm

There was an incredible amount of work that had to be done every week in between events. I considered this a year of strictly competing because the amount of time I had to enjoy riding for practice was extremely scarce compared to the year before. Many times this season I would only be riding jetskis solely the day before or day of the events. My two Rickter jetskis were almost always in a box or trailer being shipped to a new location and/or coming back from one. I had to make big adjustments when things went wrong or changed due to mechanical problems, weather, ect. In a crazy way, I really enjoyed the challenges and more so being able to see it through that I accomplished my goals anyway. These kind of things forced me to lean on my sponsors, family, girlfriend, and friends for their support, understanding, and patience to make it through this unbalanced season of wild situations. Thank you for stepping up with me.

2017 and Thoughts Moving Forward

3rd IFWA World Title – Focus and take on Pro Freestyle World Title –
Train and hone overall riding ability – Educate and Expose the sport via video media.  

Overall, 2016 was an incredible year! I have many potential plans in the works for 2017 to carry the momentum from this year. With the success of the first Japanese round in the IFWA tour, there is much interest from the Japanese and excitement to improve the IFWA tour. I intend to support the association’s movement and compete once again on the 2017 tour to ride for a 3rd World Title. I plan to keep my schedule a little more open in between events to focus more on my quality over quantity, pertaining to my training, promotion, and most of all, exposure. This year I took on my rookie year of Pro Freestyle getting on competitive equipment with a sparing few weeks to train. I was able to make a hard push to place 4th in the world. Next year I want to train, focus, and win the US Freestyle Championships and Pro Freestyle World Title.

In 2017 I don’t intend to settle for just being a top ranked rider. I truly want to push myself with more training time to bring new things to the table, hone my skills, and be the absolute best I can be at every event. I am never completely satisfied with what I can do; I am always looking to improve, and try new things. This was a difficult thing to do this year, with the risk of the rest of my season in the back of my mind and the need to stay healthy for it. Most importantly, during motosurf and freestyle training, I will have more time and opportunities to get more unique and better videos and photos. I also need the time between events to edit, produce, and publicize this content. I am gearing up to create a weekly or bi weekly “Vlog” series. These videos will provide the opportunity to my followers to get a closer look into my jetski life.  There will be a little less production factor in order to edit them faster and feel more personal. In these Vlogs I will talk through any and all things jetski related including: part installations, maintenance, travel progress, rider interviews, sport education, trick walkthroughs, event coverage, product and sponsor promotion, and more.

This is a different path from this year, yet I intend to create an even bigger year from it in the long run. I will compete and attend events where it appeals most to my sponsors. Ultimately, I want to focus on generating new, interesting, and fun media that will broaden my exposure and reach out to a more diverse audience. I want to create videos that can become timeless, that speak to all of the up and coming riders who can take parts from it, build their equipment across the board, and improve their riding to come compete with the best. I have enjoyed this sport, putting in my all for over 12 years competitively. From a young age, I have been inspired by videos and media produced and featured by the best riders in the world. It would mean even more to be able to showcase my friends and competitors and bring more light onto the sport that we all love with these videos.

I can’t thank you all enough for your time to read this and most of all, your unconditional support, especially my 2016 sponsors below!
Salty Investments  
ESU Armor 
Tanner Thomas  my brother in Freestyle
Abraham Ho my brother in Freeride
Kaley & McNay Family

My First World Title at the 2011 IJSBA World Finals

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Mark Gomez Practicing in Mission Bay, CAEarlier last year I attended the Marc Hahn endurance race in Lake Havasu, AZ to support some fellow Liquid Militia sponsored riders who were racing. It was there where I was approached by David Fekete of KMG Racing. He had a lot of great things to say about me especially how he had seen me race and podium in Parker just months before. He made an incredible offer that would ignite my competitive racing career. David and his wife Dawn Fekete support their Racing team called “KMG Racing“. Their out look on racing is not just being another race team.. they are the other guys. KMG Racing has a few race skis which they have someone who shares the same positive outlook on racing, race their skis free of charge. Also at the end of every race despite the out come they are always the first ones to pass around some drinks and celebrate their motto of having a good time. I rode a stock class KMG racing ski this year at the APBA Race in Parker, AZ. I qualified for the world finals placing 3rd overall in Novice ski stock and 1st in Novice ski Limited. From there I rode the KMG Stock Class blue ski at the Hydro -Turf Sponsored Las Vegas indoor race event at the South Point Arena.

With a few training sessions between Mission bay and Granada street beach in Long beach I was ready to race at the 30th annual IJSBA World Finals in Lake Havasu. Dawn and Dave also Mark Gomez Racing KMG Stock ski at the Vegas Indoorsponsored Toshi, a killer racer from Japan. Toshi and I shared the stock spec ski for our individual stock spec classes so his crew modified the ski to get every stock class legal advantage out it. This was killer because I knew I was riding one the fastest most competitive handling stock spec skis on the track. It took a little bit to learn how to ride like Toshi but in the end it worked out great because despite my back being on fire from riding so low, my lap times and track rhythm improved greatly.

Havasu Bound

I Left my house late Friday night to arrive in Havasu at the Liquid Militia rental house around 4 in the morning. Being completely wired from too many energy drinks I decided to un pack a little and do sHavasu Bound for the world finalsome finishing touches to the new freestyle ski I was potentially going to ride in the amateur freestyle class. Within an hour Pro Rider Magazine photographer and my good friend Ronny Mac showed up at the house. Within a few hours I met with the KMG Racing crew at Body Beach to practice racing and try to promote “Jr’s with the Pros Day”. Dawn and David are a big supporter of the “Jr. Stars” program which each year sponsors 1-2 international Jr. Class racers. These are kids who show great devotion and progress in racing as well as having a good personality and good grades. Its a super positive program which is how Dawn and Dave found Toshi who came up from the Jr. class all the way to the pro class and won motos at last year’s world finals! Unfortunately the message did not spread about the day with the pros event, but a few kids did come by who got spoiled with cool gear from Bomber Eyewear, Mystik Lubricants, Liquid Militia, and KMG Racing. I signed a few posters for the little guys and they were really stoked. The rest of the day Toshi and I practiced riding buoys. I spent over half the day diagnosing a completely fried MSD total loss ignition system in the freestyle ski. This would be the deciding factor in why I did not compete in amateur freestyle later in the week. Toward the end of the day, the KMG Racing team and I made our way over to Action Sports Clothing store in upper Lake Havasu City. We set up the Mystik and KMG Easy ups, set out all the race skis including my Freeride superjeKMG Team Autograph Meet n' Greet at Action Sports Clothing storet, and had a 2 hour autograph/meet and greet for all Action Sports customers. It was a great way to give back to the Lake Havasu city small businesses and build a little local exposure for the World Finals race event. The next few days we continued to test and modify the race skis all while getting as much riding in as we could all day. Monday was the official practice day where Toshi and I got to practice on the official World Finals race coarse. I did not have any races until Wednesday so I utilized Tuesday to practice at crazy beach to mentally and physically prepare myself for Wednesdays races. I was as ready as any freerider gone racer could be, so I got to bed early to be fresh for the big day.

Race Day / Qualifying

Wednesday morning started with one more practice session which was then followed by my first qualifying moto in Amateur Ski lites. That class is 2-stroke stand ups only at stock racing class specifiOn the line with my holder Jeff Decoitecations. My racing class was so big there was 2 almost full qualifying motos. With the help of my holder and great friend Jeffery DeCoite, I was the first off the line with the hole shot on the outside starting line. Unfortunately in the confusion of practice and not following anybody, I made a wrong turn off last buoy of the first sweeping turn. I lead half of the race around the first split buoy we did not need to go around. After that bad start the rest of the moto started to fall apart. I got into a battle behind one guy and tried to cut in on him to pass during a turn but got caught in his jet wash. The nose of my ski dove and I went completely under the water. This caused my race ski to die and take what seemed for ever to get started again. It wasn’t until the 1st place guy came to lap me when the ski groaned back to life and I continued the rest of the moto. Somehow I finished 11th out of 15, which did not qualify for the main heat right away. I still had my shot to do so at the Last Change Qualifier (LCQ) round later that day. At the starting line for the LCQ round I was ready. I studied the track and was pissed from the last crappy moto so I was ready for vengeance. Jeff helped me with another killer start as I hit the throttle and accelerated toward the gate I watched the starting line ban snap across the nose of my ski and I was gone. I got the hole shot coming around starting merge buoy and never looked back placing 1st to be 1 of the top 2 that qualified back into the main.

Main Moto 1

Within another 6 motos the first main heat of amateur lites was up. Back on the starting line I chose the outside starting position again because I knew that line and how to take it the fastest. At the band snap, I got the hole shot on my outside starting position but the guys on the inside got around quicker so I was about 6th or 7th coming around the starting merge Moto 1buoy. The 2 main heats were 6 lap motos, and by lap 3 I had battled my way to 3rd place behind fellow Kommander Industries sponsored racer Kody Copenhaver. Kody has been racing for years and is really fast. We battled all the way through the last 3 laps as I tried bobbing and weaving around his tight racing lines. This gave me nothing but dirty jet wash water to try and accelerate and pass through. We came around the back side sweeper turn with about 7-8 ski lengths between us. Kody went for the outside split and I dove for the inside split hauling ass through clean water. It was so exciting because I came around my last split buoy back into the merge with Kody now literally only half a ski length ahead, with the nose of my ski at the side of his tray. Kody, being the experienced racer he is, set a tight rail into the final turn as I set up from the outside to try and swoop in tight to pass. As soon as he was engaged in the turn his jet unloaded a bit blasting me, which caused me to loose my balance and slide out a bit loosing most of my turn speed. 1o feet away was the finish line as Kody flew through getting second and I came just a second behind him in 3rd, that was an epic race!

Main Moto 2

For the final moto I chose the outside starting position yet again to feel confident with my start course. At card flip, I accelerated and watched the band snap across the nose of my ski and Making the passI left the line ahead of everyone else. However as I came 10 yards from the first turn I noticed another ski coming in hot on my right peripheral. It was a rider who rented a very fast ski and got ahead of  me through the opening sweeper turn. As we came into first hard turn buoy I swore I saw the rider in front of me look back at me as I got a huge pump roost in the face from his jet pump. It almost knocked me over as I was committed to the turn. Now thinking he did it intentionally from the alleged look back, I felt like he had just unleashed the hulk out of me. My adrenaline spiked and my muscled tensed up as pure rage felt like it was seeping from my eyes with him being my target for vengeance. I came around the first merge turn in about 8th place behind that rider. I battled this guy the entire first lap until we came back into the splits. He dove in the outside split and I booked it for the inside split absolutely hauling ass. I came into the merger buoy 6 ski lengths ahead of him looking back across the back stretch shouting in a warriors rage tone as if I just fist fought a bear and won. That adrenaline sure lit a fire under me because it helped me keep the momentum up to fight my way from7th to 4th right behind Kody again. We battled for a lap until I was finally able to make a pass on him and keep charging for the last 2 laps. 1st and 2nd place were half a lap ahead of the me having clear water ahead of the pack the whole race. I finished that moto 3rd again but being that I beat Kody who placed lower. My good friend and KMG mechanic, Bobby Kerns met me at the tech inspection area immediately after the race. My holder Jeff DeCoite was there to give me a big hug and tell me that I had the 2nd place over all points. Bobby and I wheeled the ski out of the water and Into a tech tear down booth. This was new to me being a first time world finals racer, but the top 5Local Havasu Newspaper sports page shot from Moto 2 of every class get broken down per request of the tech officials to make sure every ski is within class spec. We tore down and checked everything the tech officials wanted to see and got the green light. The racer who won the first overall was still stuck in tech for over 45 min of us leaving. That whole night I was on edge not knowing if the rumors of  a possible disqualification were true of not. The next morning I awoke with a voice mail of Dawn Fekete and friends screaming “Congratulations World Champion Wooooooo!” The rider who came in first was disqualified for having after market carbon fiber reeds, making me the Amateur Ski Lites World Champion at the 30th annual IJSBA World Finals!

Pro Weekend & Awards

The Bomber Crew on wheelsThe rest of the week was great, I hung out at the event site meeting tons of people, I signed posters for fans at the Liquid Militia booth, and partied our socks off with the Liquid Militia crew at Kokomos night club every night. It was great to see all of my fellow freeriders show up like Zack Bright, Tanner Thomas, Chris Rosner, Taylor Curtis, John Howe, Jared Ajlouny, Christian Young and many more. I got to wake surf with Tommy Bonacci of  Bomber Eyewear, his wife, and Chris Fischetti. The awards ceremony was great, I was surprised to see how cool the trophies looked! Announcer Mike Young gave me a killer podium introduction and while I was on the podium I shouted a big “UP!” toward all my friends at KMG Racing who raised their arms and drinks and yelled back our team chant “UP!” Chris MacClugage came up to snag a last minute photo before I got down, it was really cool to see how stoked he was for me being a freerider showing up to my first world finals and leaving with a world title. I feel super accomplished winning this title because I worked my ass off fighting from a terrible start in qualifying, to winning the LCQ and battling with some solid racers to the top.

KMG Factory Mechanic Bobby KernsKMG Support CrewTeam KMG 2011 World Finals

The people I have surrounded myself with in the race industry are the most positive people. I am really happy to be supported by such a great family at KMG Racing. I cant not thank my Mom and my brother Philip at Patty’s Cakes & Desserts, Kevin Collins at Led Drag, and Larry Sarinana at QuickStyle Motorsports enough for making the entire trip financially possible for me.

Big thanks also to Bomber Eyewear, Mystik Lubricants for supporting Team KMG Racing.

This is a huge achievement and I sincerely can not thank all of you guys for your support along the way.

First Racing World Title!
GO KMG Racing….UP!!!Mark Gomez 2011 Amatuer Lites Racing World Champion!

Thank you again for your support,

-Mark Gomez

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