A party of seven riders from across China will join around eighty other competitors from 12 different countries for the final race event of the P1 AquaX season.
Among them is 21-year-old Wang Xiaowei (above), who represented China at this summer’s Asian Games in Indonesia and holds top spot in the country’s rankings of stand-up riders.
Although disappointed not to win a medal in Jakarta, his teammate Wu Ronghua (below) finished fourth and will be racing alongside him at Fort Lauderdale Beach.
Although riding a personal watercraft tends to be thought of as something fun to do on vacation, for a growing number of Chinese the high-speed activity is a much more serious pursuit:
I have been racing for 8 years and competing here in the United States will be an exciting and valuable experience for me.
Our riders are very competitive compared with racers from other countries but, with the sport still in its infancy back home, overseas athletes have an advantage mainly because they benefit from training more on the sea as opposed to lakes and rivers.
An influx of ‘crossover’ athletes is helping China catch up with its rivals, together with the provision of good quality training equipment.
Lisa Barsby, Global Head of P1 AquaX racing and herself a former world champion, commented:
I think the Chinese riders will be experiencing a mixture of excitement and nervousness.
They are all talented racers, some of them with considerable experience and success in domestic racing, and a few of the party are looking forward to the new challenge of competing on the sea, in what may well be testing conditions.
It’s great to have them joining us here in Florida for the finale to our P1 AquaX series and we wish them well.
The racing will take place just north of the B Ocean Resort on Seabreeze Boulevard at Fort Lauderdale Beach, with the action starting at 9.00am on Saturday and 8.30am on Sunday.
Roy Mantle has more than 25 years experience in sales, marketing, PR, sponsorship, events and sports management both in-house with blue-chip companies and as a consultant.
He founded and ran two successful sports marketing agencies in the 1980s before becoming head of PR & sponsorship for Guinness in 1992, where he first became interested in environmental issues.
He negotiated and helped to plan the activation programme for the Guinness sponsorship of the 1999 Rugby World Cup and managed the Guinness sponsorship of London Irish for nearly a decade.
He has worked on projects for the Department of Education since 2002, handled the Guinness sponsorship at Cheltenham Racecourse for more than 15 years and is currently Company Secretary & In-House PR for Powerboat P1.