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Huntington Beach: 550 Jetski Racing

550 Jetski Racing

Huntington Beach: 550 Jetski Racing

By Krisdy Riddle

BEST OF THE WEST

Jet Jam wrapped up their fifth round of their “Best of the West” tour with some powerful waves in Surf City, a.k.a. Huntington Beach, California. Being one of the more favored venues of the series, racers were thrilled to jump back into the surf after a hiatus for the 3rd annual Huntington Beach Jet Ski Free Ride & Motosurf on May 7th & 8th, coordinated by Jet Jam Racing and RPM Racing Enterprises. Surf City locals and ski enthusiasts were all welcome to spectate racing from the iconic Huntington Beach pier for free. Surf reports predicted mighty waves and strong swells all weekend; with 14 pre-registered for the 550 vintage class, only half showed up to the starting line.

VINTAGE 550 MOTO 1

Saturday’s 5-lap moto kicked off with sunny and clear skies, with some waves over 4 feet tall. Andrew Cecere (#476) immediately led the pack right off of the starting line, followed by Rachel Cummings (#95), Mark Gomez (#137), Chadd Carr (#185), & Gary Dowse (#1). Cummings nosed ahead of Gomez on the start, but caught the first wave that drifted her to the right which opened the 2nd place position to Gomez. Cecere’s fast boat and skillful riding ability quickly gave him an instant lead off the hole-shot with at least 30-yards distance ahead of the rest of the class.

550 Jetski Racing

Tommy “The Bomber” Bonacci (#12) also made an appearance on the line but had some ski issues at the start. Despite the troubles, Bonacci fiercely made a dash for the first buoy passing two riders by the end of the hole-shot.

By the first lap Cecere sustained a great lead, followed by Gomez, Dowse, & Bonacci. Rounding the first buoy closest to the starting line Dowse circled back timing a wave jump, giving Bomber an instant lead ahead as he launched over the waves. Cummings also jumped on the opportunity to advance ahead of the pack and passed two riders on the back straight, setting her in 4th place.

The first moto ended with an incredible 1st place finish by Andrew Cecere, followed by a 2nd place finish by Mark Gomez, and 3rd place clasped by Tommy Bonacci.

VINTAGE 550 MOTO 2

Sunday’s 8-lap moto began with colder temperature conditions and overcast, producing shorter interval swells in the waves. With great experience in the surf, Cecere grabbed the lead off the hole-shot, followed by Gomez, and Cummings battling Bonacci for 3rd. By the first turn, Bomber cruised ahead of Cummings.

Nearing the end of the race, Cummings noticed Bomber stretching his back where she saw an opening for her to clasp 3rd. Giving it her all, Rachel barged her boat on the inside line ahead of Bomber when he least expected it. Immediately noticing Rachel gaining a lead, Bonacci fired up bouncing right back into race-mode and charged ahead fighting for his position. Cummings focused on any other signs of fatigue or mistakes from Bonacci, but he maintained his lead and clinched 3rd place.

550 Jetski Racing

HUNTINGTON BEACH PODIUM

Andrew Cecere held his lead for both motos, giving him a 1st place finish and 1st place overall on the 550 podium. Mark Gomez secured 2nd place on his newly debuted PJS boat with a 2nd place overall. Tommy Bonacci concluded the podium with a 3rd place finish and 3rd overall.

GET INVOLVED

For the full race calendar and how to get yourself on the start line, head to the 2022 Race Schedule.

Images by Rain Porter: 121racephoto@gmail.com

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