Rolex Grand-Am star Memo Gidley continues to show why he is a super
competitor and extreme athlete by winning Round #1 in the Super 800
Class at Salt Springs Reservoir this past weekend.
Rolex Grand-Am star Memo Gidley continues to show why he is a super competitor and extreme athlete by winning Round #1 in the Super 800 Class at Salt Springs Reservoir this past weekend.
The weekend’s races started off a little different than usual as the series officials decided to use a single boat qualifying which would set the grid leading into the first of two races. "At the riders’ meeting we were told about this singe boat qualifying format," said Gidley. "Although this qualifying format was unusual for most of the riders, it was normal for me from cars and karts and I was psyched to lay it all out for one lap!"
Riding his Muscle Milk Kawasaki SXR 800cc machine, Memo managed to grab the second starting spot despite a slight fall in corner 4 on the 1-mile course. "The water was smooth and I decided I was going to hang it out in qualifying," said Gidley. "I overdid it once, but other than that the run felt good to qualify second."
Gidley started the first race second, but on lap three fell back to third. "I was so focused on trying to catch the leader, I didn’t realize I had someone on my tail," said Gidley. "I accidentally left the door open and third place railed me on the inside of a fast sweeper and caught me totally by surprise!" The top three continued to run close but on the last lap second place fell which moved Gidley from third to second at the finish.
In race #2, Gidley would once again start second. The first start was immediately red flagged as the run heading into turn one appeared to have a little too much rubbing for the starter’s taste. "On a jet ski race everybody is lined up side by side pointing into the first turn," said Gidley. "This first start I was one of the riders that got squeezed because we were all shooting for the same spot of water and nobody wanted to give."
The second start proved good and even though Gidley got off the line third, he was able to work his way into the lead rounding the first buoy. With a clear course ahead, Gidley, although challenged by second, was able to hang on for the win despite a big bobble on the last turn before the checkered. "Oh man, that felt great!" said Gidley. "I got a bad jump on the start but somehow managed to squeeze by into the lead heading into buoy one. What a difference being in the lead makes with the water being smooth… I just kept it pinned and tried to concentrate on not making mistakes."
Gidley, although new to DJSA jet ski racing, seems to be coming into his own. "I got into standup jet ski riding because I wanted another activity that was very physical and was challenging from a balance and reaction standpoint," said Gidley. "Last year I entered my first DJSA race and not only had a ton of fun, but I was really challenged from a competitive standpoint. I don’t really care what the vehicle… or I should say also boat is, I believe that to be a successful racer, you have to race! And I do love to race!"
Memo Gidley currently drives for the #77 McDonalds Daytona Prototype in the Rolex Grand-Am Series for Doran Racing. The next race takes place at the Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway April 24-25th.