Being fast on the racecourse isn’t just about having the most powerful watercraft out on the water. A lot of speed and precious time can be lost (or gained) in the corners. Executing a flawless corner around a buoy can make or break a race, so knowing what it takes to make a turn and even pass a competitor or two in the meantime is a very worthwhile pursuit.

In as much as your watercraft needs to be a well-oiled machine, so does the rider, and providing you the best bits of wisdom from some of the sharpest racers in the industry is what we at RIVA Racing aim to do. That is why we turned to RIVA Racing/Yamaha rider Troy Snyder to walk us through how to execute the perfect corner:

“When I set up for a buoy, I look ahead to the second buoy to see if I'm going to sweep the turn or, as I call it, ‘two-stroke turn’ it,” Snyder explained. “A ‘two-stroke turn’ is when you come in hard, blip the throttle and whip it. You scrub a little speed doing it this way but that will help you slow down for the next buoy if it's close and tight.”

“When the second buoy is a two-buoy turn, I come in and ease of the throttle - never fully lifting off - and sweep through the turn. (4-stroke watercraft like to be on the gas through the turns.) This is when I'm in front.”

Of course, unless you’ve managed to get the holeshot, you’re likely going to be riding up on somebody’s wake. Snyder had lots of advice to share in this regard as well: “The key, when you’re riding behind a fast guy and setting up a buoy to turn is to come in on the outside of his whitewater [ie. pump wash] to the outside of his line and come across his wake. You have to blitz through most of the time on pure instinct because you can't see what's happening due to the spray pelting your goggles.”

For less experienced racers, this move might strike a little too close for comfort. Snyder smirked, “It’s hard to teach that - it's pure experience.” In this particular instance, having the right equipment is central to pulling it off. He added, “My RIVA grate and sponsons with my tuned Vi-Pec allow me to get hooked up through the white water to cross tight on the buoy.”

By : Kevin Shaw | 2015

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