Muscle Milk extreme athlete, Memo Gidley, took home some top honors in
this year’s DJSA Jet Ski awards banquet by winning both the series
championship and Rookie of the Year titles in the Super 800 stand up
Jet Ski class. The awards banquet was held in front of a sold out
audience of 150 racers and their families at the indoor karting center,
GO-Kart Racer in Burlingame, CA.
Muscle Milk extreme athlete, Memo Gidley, took home some top honors in this year’s DJSA Jet Ski awards banquet by winning both the series championship and Rookie of the Year titles in the Super 800 stand up Jet Ski class. The awards banquet was held in front of a sold out audience of 150 racers and their families at the indoor karting center, GO-Kart Racer in Burlingame, CA.
"I have really been looking forward to this evening since I wrapped up the title earlier in the year," said Gidley. "Even though I am new to this organization, so many of these people have become friends and I was proud to accept this championship trophy in front of them."
In total, ten different class winners were crowned from various sit-down and stand-up classes. The host of the night was DJSA series founder Jim Lambert. Various Jet Ski legends, icons of the sport, and even local government officials that grant permits for the races to run were present showing what a recognized and successful operation the DJSA Series has become. "Even though I was in awe of the people that showed up to support what Jim Lambert has done with the DJSA series, I was not in the least bit surprised," said Gidley. "Jim is a person that stands out from the rest with his good spirit, enthusiasm, and general concern for his racers. He is truly one of a kind and an inspiration in so many ways."
The awards banquet was just the first half of what would be a very memorable evening. A total of sixty Jet Ski racers signed up for the go-kart challenge race to see if their skills were as good on land as in the water. The field would run through various qualifying and heat races to narrow the top sixteen racers down to the final showdown and crowning of the go-kart challenge champion.
Although not a big surprise, Memo was fast time qualifier and normally would have been starting at the front. "Jim Lambert the DJSA president told me a while back that he wanted me to start last if we had this event, and at the time I said no problem," said Gidley. "But seriously, after seeing my fellow Jet Ski racers drive in practice and qualifying, if I knew how good they were going to be I probably would not have agreed to this…they were tearing it up out there!"
The start of the final go-kart race was memorable and it was apparent right away that this would be a race filled with high intensity action. The second turn saw the first of a number of pile ups as the field tried to sort itself out. "The action of the first lap reminded me of the first laps of the Vegas SuperNationals!" said Gidley. "There were karts everywhere and no-one wanted to give an inch."
As the race progressed, Gidley one by one began picking off karts and gradually moved up through the field. With ten laps to go, Gidley was in fourth, moved to third, then picked off Eddy "ETD the animal" Lacayo for second. With three laps to go Memo was glued to the back bumper of "flying Ryan" O’Sullivan, and planning a move. "Ryan was fast and I knew getting by him has going to be a challenge," said Gidley. "He made a slight mistake coming off a hairpin. I thought being next to him was going to be enough but then he squeezed me into the barriers. I kept my nose in there, pushed him sideways, and then let him go just before the corner. Because he was sideways he ran a little wide and I was able to sneak by on the inside…it was a great battle!"
And what did Memo think of the talent of the Jet Ski racers? "Just another example of what I have always believed, a racer can race anything," exclaimed Gidley. "I was smiling in my helmet the entire time as I watched these riders from the water, tear it up on four wheels…they were awesome!"
"What a super evening of friends, accomplishments and racing," said Gidley. "I want to thank the entire staff of the DJSA for all their work so that I can go race and have fun. Also thanks to the racers and their families that support the series, and my family, friends and sponsor that support me in this lifestyle that I appreciate so much. 2010 is going to be even bigger and badder and I’m so excited!"
Currently Memo is racing the McDonald’s/Doran Racing car # 77 in the Grand Am Rolex Series. The first race January 30th is the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. The race begins at 3:30 pm EST with live coverage on SPEED Channel.