Jay Edworthy was a man on a mission this season and we caught up with him to find out why. The AquaX series was created with the intention of testing the stamina and mental strength of the very best jet ski racers on the planet and the series met its match with Jay Edworthy.
The Canadian racer, competing in the AquaX series since 2016, pushed the limits at the most recent round of racing in Chicago by completing seven races across a weekend. To put that in perspective, that’s three and a half hours of racing in some of the most brutal conditions the AquaX series has ever seen with Lake Michigan’s inconsistent waves bouncing off the harbour wall.
Whilst some racers could only manage one race all weekend, Edworthy competed in seven, collecting his second straight North East Series title in the process and ensuring his top ten position in the Pro Series stayed under control.
What did it take to finish seven races in Chicago? Edworthy knows it was some achievement but he wasn’t thinking about it until that final checkered flag dropped. “I didn’t think about how many races I was racing until it was over,” said Edworthy. “I’m not going to say it was easy because it was not. Water conditions we faced made it more challenging, but I never back down from a challenge. I began suffering from fatigue and felt I was not riding 100% by the fourth race but I tried to keep focused on what I wanted to accomplish. The JetX team motivated me between races and made sure I had what I needed to win, and that’s exactly what we did,” he said.
“The conditions on Lake Michigan were very aggressive. What a spectator sees from shore is definitely not the same as what you find yourself competing in on the water. Not only was the water hard to read but it was cold making it even more difficult. Being able to consistently train on Lake Ontario gave Canadian riders a bit of an advantage. The water and weather conditions on Lake Michigan are like Lake Ontario, which is something we are used to. I personally had a harder time acclimatizing myself to the heat and water conditions during the Florida races and I know for a fact some of the Florida guys had a hard time with the colder weather in Chicago.”
Edworthy stepped up into the Pro class at the beginning of the year and has thrived, picking up a total of 91 points, putting himself inside the top ten, no mean feat when you consider the class of the opposition, something Edworthy says can’t be compared to any other series in the world.
“Having been a racer for so long and competed in many different tours, I definitely have a lot to compare AquaX to, and let me tell you there is no comparison. Racing AquaX requires a whole other level of skill, talent and endurance. They pride themselves on providing an even platform for racers to compete in and ensure this standard of practice is met at every race. It doesn’t matter if you’re racing in Pro or Pro-Am, in either class you will be racing against the best in the world every time.”
“The competition during each Pro race is always world class - any of those races could easily be a World Championship race. Racers leave everything they have on the racecourse making it that much more difficult.
“I would love to come out on top, like every other racer. JetX, Ryan Dalli and myself will continue to push hard and make our presence known but we also pride ourselves in making sure we have a good time doing what we love to do.”
Being an independent race team, the JetX team had to travel from Canada to Florida without manufacturer support, something he couldn’t do without the help of Ryan Dalli.
“Our teammate Sal Mango said recently, “to live a Rockstar life, you have to have a Rockstar salary.” We all thought the comment was funny because it is so true.
“We are an independent race team that manages to travel thousands of kilometres to AquaX races without manufacturer support. That being said, we would like to thank RIVA and Hyrdo-Turf for all they have helped us with this season.
“In this team, we race our own boats and Ryan at JetX, on his own time, ensures our equipment is good to go for every race and when that is done you will see him helping everyone he can at the race site.
“Outside racing I live a normal life, get up, go to work like everyone else to ensure I can continue to travel for racing. On my time off, usually Sundays, we get together as a team, set up buoys, ride together to practice for the next race and show the younger team members the ropes.”
Exclusive interview by: Jack Teague
Editor’s Note: Jay Edworthy won the ‘Athlete of the Year’ award at the recent P1 AquaX end of season awards. Congratulations Jay!