Key West finale sees Baldwin battle back from third place after Day One
Brian Baldwin became the first ever AquaX World Champion with two race victories on day two in Key West.
The experienced racer could only manage third in the only race on Saturday, handing the advantage to RIVA Racing teammates Nicolas Rius and race one winner Eric Francis.
However, Baldwin, aboard his Yamaha GP1800, came out fighting on Sunday and immediately reduced the deficit at the top to two points by beating Francis into first place.
Rius followed his second-place finish in Race One with a third-place in Race Two, despite having dislocated his shoulder during the race. With that finish, just 10 points separated the top three heading into the final race of the 2017 AquaX season.
Disaster struck for Francis as a mechanical issue put him out of race three before it had even got underway, leaving Rius and Baldwin to fight it out for the World Championship.
Baldwin grabbed the holeshot and while Rius was able to press him for a few laps, the Frenchman soon dropped off, suffering with his injury. Baldwin was left clear to claim a second race victory and with it the world title.
After suffering a mechanical issue in race two, Erminio Iantosca was able to secure second in the final race, while European star Thomas Favolini put pump issues behind him from Race Two to land third in Race Three.
The battle for fourth for the overall championship went to Chris Saxon, who had to settle for fifth behind Eric Lagopolous in the final race of the weekend.
Iantosca took sixth for the weekend, ahead of Johnny Smith. Favolini was DQed in Race Two for unacceptable behavior from his pit crew and sat one point back in eighth.
Del Valle claims AquaX Amateur International 300 title
Aboard a Yamaha GP1800, Carlito Del Valle rose to the top with two victories to become the second Amateur International champion of the 300 class at the AquaX World Championships in Key West, Florida. Christian Daly took two victories on Sunday to land the 250 class title.
Del Valle followed in the footsteps of British star Joe Harvey, who won the title in 2016, after recovering from a less than ideal start to the weekend on Saturday.
He was unbeaten on Sunday as he excelled in the calmer conditions, keeping French raider Thomas Batisse behind him to claim the title.
Batisse had an incredible battle with Jason Lester, who eventually finished the weekend in third, with the two getting together on the final lap as five riders crossed the line with less than five seconds separating them.
After victory on Saturday, David Gorie was unable to repeat his success and was forced to settle for second overall.
Batisse finished fourth ahead of Yaniel Fiallo in fifth, Justin Taylor sixth, Florida Series champ Cody Tetreault seventh, Sophie Francis eighth, Dave Davidson ninth and Dean Harrison rounding off the top 10.
In the 250 class, Christian Daly recovered from defeat on day one to take victory in a straight shootout with two-time Florida Series champion Kevin Sullivan. Sullivan suffered a mechanical issue in Race Three, putting paid to his chances of a collecting a second title in 2017.
Jose Luis Gonzalez was another rider to overturn a deficit in the 200 class, beating Eric Diaz and Carl Lofthouse to lift his first ever AquaX title.