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MacClugage secures back-to-back AquaCross titles

Broward Motorsports racer takes Pro Series title again

It was a highly impressive AquaCross year for Chris MacClugage as he reclaimed his Pro Series title for a second successive year.

The 2016 winner was victorious in three of the six rounds during the season to win the U.S. crown by 22 points over Eric Francis. Racing aboard a Yamaha WaveRunner GP1800, MacClugage’s team was Monster Energy/Broward Motorsports/Macc Racing/Jettrim/Jet Pilot/Jet Lift/Deans Team/Worx/Maxima.

MacClugage headed into the season with momentum on his side and it didn’t waiver in the opening meeting of the season in Daytona Beach. Three victories in as many races gave him an early 33-point lead over his nearest rivals.

He remained at the top at St. Pete Beach, but in less convincing fashion. MacClugage was winless over the weekend but a trio of second-place finishes was enough for victory as his 54-point tally was one more than both Francis and Brian Baldwin.

The 2017 AquaCross awards banquet celebrated the top achievements of the season. (From left) Broward Motorsports owner Sam Nehme; Cody Tetreault, Enduro Amateur 300 class champ; Chris MacClugage, Pro Enduro champ; and Dean’s Team Yamaha founder Dean Charrier. Photo courtesy of RonnyMac/AquaCross

His first no-score of the season came in the Sarasota opener, but he quickly put that behind him to pick up his fourth race victory of the season and the final place on the weekend podium.

MacClugage was back to his winning ways in Islamorada as he once again proved unstoppable on his way to a clean-sweep of victories. His emphatic outing extended his lead at the top of the standings by a further 26 points over second-placed Francis.

The choppy conditions of Chicago proved to be a struggle for MacClugage on day one as he could only manage fourth, before failing to finish race two due to mechanical issues. He bounced back in Sunday’s two races to take a pair of victories for a 47-point lead over the pack.

Before heading to Fort Lauderdale, MacClugage was on the wrong end of a racing accident elsewhere, breaking his leg. Despite the injury and having his advantage cut in Chicago, a pair of third-place finishes on the Saturday was enough to secure the title, allowing him sit out of the final race of the season so not to make the injury worse before the inaugural AquaX World Championships in Key West in December.

Kawasaki SX-R on show in Fort Lauderdale finale

At the final round of the 2017 U.S. AquaX Championship in Fort Lauderdale, another class joined the schedule as the 2017 Kawasaki SX-R made its U.S. debut on the AquaX tour.

Already featured on the European tour in Port Balis, Spain, in October, the SX-R has been a hugely popular introduction in the world of stand-up Jet Ski racing since its release earlier this year and was heavily featured at the IJSBA World Finals.

Joe Heim from Kawasaki said the manufacturer is excited to see the SX-R in action on the AquaX tour for the first time.


“Minoru Kanamori spent two years developing this new ski to make sure it would be fun for the recreational rider as well as competitive on the race course,” he said. “The new SXR was a collaboration between our Jet Ski engineers in Japan and our development team in the U.S. The U.S. development team has been working with the engineers in Japan for over 20 years, so the SX-R development went very smoothly. We were also able to speed up development by using our existing 1500cc 4-cylinder, 4-stroke engine platform.”

The SX-R is Kawasaki’s first 4-stroke stand up. The new SX-R is longer and weighs a little more than the 800 SX-R, but it still has responsive lean in turning and better straightline stability compared to other skis.

“Most racers can adapt to the new SX-R after a few laps around a buoy course,” Heim said. “The SX-R lends itself to racing very well because it is already fast out of the box and with a few handling modifications to suit the riding style of the racer, it is ready to race.

“We were extremely happy to see that so many racers had already made the switch to the new SX-R at the IJSBA World Finals this past October.”


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