AquaX is the fastest growing personal watercraft championship in the world. Its rapid growth is owed to a simple, yet challenging race format that appeals to todays personal watercraft users.
This year the program will include the unveiling of a professional level race series and expansion of two further championships in the Great Lakes region of the USA and in Southeast Asia.
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The Baltimore racer has racked up 39 points and is currently sitting in 10th, although his improvement in Sarasota was clear as he picked up 28 points from three races, including a personal best 7th in heat one.
Heading into Chicago, round three of five on the 2016 calendar, Nolan is brimming with confidence and is hoping to take yet another step up the leaderboard.
How do you rate your season so far?
“So far this season has had a few ups and downs, I didn't have my boat ready until late this season and had no experience on an FX prior to this season so Daytona was a lot more trial and error. We had a mechanical issue in the 1st moto and was still feeling the boat out so I ended up finishing 15th overall. When we got to Sarasota I was starting to feel more comfortable and finished with a 7th overall, so considering the competition and this being my first season doing this kind kind of racing I'm happy with that, but really I want top five.”
How have you found the level of competition?
“The level of competition doesn't get much tougher than this. I can’t remember the last time I've seen all these riders on the same track at the same time, but I like how Aqua X's tech team enforces the technical rules to keep it a level playing field so that it’s just rider against rider.”
Is there anything you feel you need to improve on?
“Since it’s my first season I haven't gotten a hang of these rolling starts yet, I always seem to be leaving just a little late but I am definitely getting better. I also need to carry a little more speed in the turns, sometimes I'm wide open and sometimes I'm not, I just don't want to come off the boat and when going into a turn with that kind of speed the boat will turn while airborne, so it’s just a matter of staying in control.”
Heading into Chicago, what do you feel will make the difference?
“The only thing that makes any difference in this sport is continued training and riding. The boat is close to where it needs to be, we just have some minor testing left to do and I think we will be ready.”
How different do you feel it’ll be in Chicago compared to Florida?
“Well we just got home from Whiting this morning so I've got a pretty good idea of what to expect as far as weather and water conditions, but I am really excited as I was able to get a practice race in to help prepare myself. The water conditions are definitely different than Florida's offshore water conditions. In Florida the swells are either wide or close, the wider they are the more predictable they are and the lines are easier to pick to keep the boat hooked up. In Chicago, and a lot of other Great Lake areas, if the water is blowing in it will usually bounce off and when you add the wake of racing it just turns it up like a washing machine making conditions very unpredictable.”
Have do you feel your wife has done this year?
“My wife Jennifer has done amazing, I couldn't be more proud of her, but Jen is no stranger to competition or racing, she has a few seasons under her belt of closed course racing and she also showed horses for years we she was younger. Starting out she struggled a little but like I said this is our first season and after watching her race a few races she is now really in tune with her boat and how she needs to ride it.”
Check out Nolan and the other pro riders when round three hits Chicago on 10/11 September.