The variety and amount of racing that Muscle Milk Extreme Athlete Memo Gidley does in a season can be dizzying to the casual onlooker. It’s only about halfway through the summer racing season, but Memo is already coming off nearly his 20th race so far.
After a stellar 5th place finish a week ago in the #77 McDonalds/PR Newswire Daytona Prototype at Daytona and a first win in the DJSA 850cc expert standup class two weeks ago, Memo headed to Lake Minden in Nicolaus, CA with high expectations for round #6 of the DJSA Outlaw Jet Ski Series. “It has been a great racing season for me and my sponsors,” said Gidley. “The combination of machines that I race and train on is an unbelievable cross training program that really could not be duplicated in any gym. I have never been as strong as I am right now… and it’s fun!”
Gidley hit the water Sunday morning and had a level of confidence that he has not had in practice before. “Actually, it was the first time in practice that I had not fallen off my ski at least once, and I was a little scared about that,” said Gidley. “Usually I convince myself that I am getting all my crashing out of the way early, so to not fall early in open practice was strange.”
However, the crashes never came; only great starts and solid rides for Memo to finish 2nd overall in both the 850 Expert class and 850 Open Expert class races. “It was a really great weekend for me, and even though it was not a win, it was my best ride to date,” said Gidley. “Because I never led I was battling choppy water the whole time. I was stoked that despite this I was able to keep the pressure on [850cc Expert class race winner] Pete Zernik to the end.”
Gidley, who is the first to say he still has a lot to learn about racing jet skis, has now transformed himself from a novice class rider to a contender for wins in the 850cc Expert class in less than a year. With a reputation as one of the most dedicated racers anywhere, the change has still come really quickly.
“The cool thing about jet ski racing is that for the most part there is only one thing that keeps a person from winning… themselves,” said Gidley. “If you want to win you have to train harder and ride more. Even though this can be grueling at times, I have always found the strength inside me to push myself at a very high level because I like to compete and especially win that much.”
And now, the next stop in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 is round #8 at New Jersey Motorsports Park this Sunday, July 18th. Although not confirmed yet, the Doran team is working hard to try to solidify its sponsorship.
“This is the part of car racing that can be difficult for everybody,” said Gidley. “We have had great success this year and I really enjoy racing in the Grand Am Series. However, if the team can’t come up with sponsorship, they will continue to have to put self-funded drivers in for the remaining four races or just sit out the events. But no matter what happens, I am and will be 100% prepared and ready for anything that comes my way… that is for certain.”