We interview RIVA Racing Support Team Rider Tim Ducat on his return to pwc racing after last season's horrific crash.

Every time a personal watercraft athlete steps up to the starting line, they know there is a chance they could be coming off the track on a stretcher – but we do it anyway. We do it for the thrill, the glory, and the love of the game. But when the game bites back, not everyone has the grit to make a comeback.

Tim Ducat did.

Riva Racing: Tim, first and foremost, could you give us a little background on your story?
Tim Ducat: Last year during the first round of the National Tour I was having some mechanical issues that were making for a tough day. After placing 3rd overall in GP I had one last moto in Box Stock. During the first corner of the race the ski lost power and I stuffed the corner, another ski came through the corner at full speed and made contact on my right side of my body. The contact led to a ruptured aorta, lacerated kidney and liver, multiple rib fractures, a concussion, and a hip pointer.

RR: I'm sure it's been a long road to recovery, could you tell us a little about that process?
TD: The first week in the hospital was emotional because of the all of the support from friends, family and sponsors. After the first week, it was very challenging both mentally and physically. I had to stay at my parents for the first month just because of my inability to do normal day to day things. There was a mental roadblock that took quite some time to get over, you go from thinking you’re invisible to being very vulnerable in the blink of an eye.

RR: Since your injury, how have you prepared for your comeback?
TD: I was not allowed to pick up more that 20 lbs for a little over 60 days. First thing I did after being told that was purchase a 20 lb weighted vest to do walking lunges, air squats and box step ups. After having the stent in my kidney removed in July I was given the ok to resume normal training. I then went back to my 5 day a week normal CrossFIt training. It has been a long year trying to get back to where I was physically before the accident. My cardio is still a ways off but my strength is back.

RR: How are you approaching the 2018 race season?
TD: The 2018 season is a chance to erase a bad end to 2017 and just go compete.

RR: What skis will you be racing?
TD: The first stop on the P1 Aqua X tour I will be on a SeaDoo RXP-X and every stop after that I will be on a RXT-X.

RR: What series will you be competing in?
TD: I will be racing the full P1 Aqua X tour.

RR: What goals do you have for 2018?
TD: Stay healthy, ride hard, have fun and put a SeaDoo towards the top in the P1 Aqua X tour.

RR: How are you feeling coming into the 2018 season? How has your injury affected your mindset?
TD: I feel great physically and just need to get back out on the track.

RR: What has been the reaction of your sponsors and family to coming back to racing?
TD: My family is very supportive, although my girlfriend is little reluctant for me to get back out there -- haha. My sponsors have been absolutely amazing. They are the only reason I have a chance to race this year.

RR: What advice do you have to other athletes who may be put out by a race-sustained injury, but want to make a comeback?
TD: Is it an obstacle or an opportunity? That’s what I had to ask myself. Is this an obstacle that changes how I approach life? Or is this an opportunity to grow as a human and come out better on the other side?

RR: Is there anyone you would like to thank?
TD: From the racing world, I would love to thank Dave and Chris from Riva Racing, Tim from BRP Sea Doo, Jet Pilot, Jettrim, and Greg from Abaco. From my training and personal world, I would love to thank Cassidy Lance from CrossFit Waterside, my Mom, Dad, and my girlfriend Stephanie without them I would not of gotten through the last year.

By : Anna Glennon | 2018

Tim Ducat can be found on the RIVA Racing Support Team Rider's Page