Muscle Milk Extreme athlete and Team Sahlen’s Mazda RX8 GT driver, Memo Gidley, came into round eleven of the DJSA Outlaw Jet Ski series at the San Luis Reservoir with the goal to win. As the only rider with a mathematical shot to take away the 850cc Expert class title from current point’s leader and last year’s champ, Pete Zernik, Memo had to win to have the best shot of taking the title. “For the last three weeks, I have been training like a mad man for this last DJSA event,” said Gidley. “Pete is an awesome rider and even though to catch him was a long shot, it was still possible.”
It was not until two days before the event that a problem started to surface his Muscle Milk 850cc machine that left the first year expert class rookie scratching his head and starting a number of long days of trying to fix his machine before the event. “A couple of days before the race while practicing, my ski started to have problems,” said Gidley. “It would run perfect for a few laps and then stop. This began a pattern of me replacing parts and then heading back out to my practice spot with the hopes that the problem was fixed, only to still have the problem…so frustrating.”
Not racing was not possible as Memo needed to race and secure points to even maintain his second spot in the championship. Gidley scrambled at the last minute and was able to find a loaner ski from a friend. “One of my buddies offered up his ski for me to race which was really cool,” said Gidley. “Because the ski was not really set up for me, I knew my performance would not be as good but I definitely was going to give it everything I had because I knew that in the back of my mind a win was still possible.”
“In practice on my friends ski I was surprised that I felt pretty good and was starting to think this might still work.” said Gidley. However, problems started to surface shortly into the first race as a faulty exhaust coupler forced the early retirement and would give Gidley a first and second race DNF. Lining up for the third and final race, Gidley’s goal was now to collect as many points as possible to retain second in the championship. In the third race, Gidley soldiered on to finish ninth and collect the points he needed to wrap up second in the championship.
“Wow…what a roller coaster of a week. It is really hard when you work that hard in preparation for a race, and then you have problems like I did,” said Gidley. “But that’s racing and I will always take the good with the bad. And this year I had a lot of good and a lot of fun. To finish second in the 850cc Expert class in my first year really exceeded my expectations. One thing is for sure, I will be back faster and stronger for the 2011 DJSA season and can’t wait for the first race next year.”