Last Saturday was a night to remember at the yearend DJSA Outlaw awards banquet. Another record crowd of nearly 150 of Northern California’s best Jet Ski racers, their friends and families, jam packed Northern California’s premier indoor karting facility, Go-Kart Racer, in Burlingame, CA, for a night of awards and the ultimate four wheel outlaw shootout. The night began with eleven classes of Jet Ski riders being recognized for their outstanding results in the 2011 DJSA Outlaw water cross tour by president and founder of DJSA, Jim Lambert. “Jim is a fantastic individual and the leader of a great race staff that makes this series so awesome,” said Gidley. “I know that all of the racers really appreciate what he does so that we can go out and have fun by racing in a great series.”
Although Memo was not in the championship hunt this past year due to car racing conflicts, he was asked to speak on behalf of Muscle Milk and Red Line Oil, two of the DJSA series sponsors. “It was nice for me to speak on behalf of Muscle Milk and Red Line Oil, two of my personal sponsors that have become proud sponsors of the DJSA, and that have also helped me so much in my career,” said Gidley. “Both of these companies are owned by two local famous racers that now make products that are the best in the business. They love the grass roots marketing benefits that being involved in the DJSA can bring and I am honored to be their spokesperson.” Memo presented class winners with the “Muscle Milk Tower of Power” product trophy and also Red Line Oil race products.
Gidley also was also surprised to be presented with the DJSA “Inspirational Racer Award” from DJSA president Jim Lambert recognizing his dedication to all types of racing and for being an inspiration to his fellow DJSA racers. “Jim completely surprised me with this award and it is something that I will very proudly hang on my wall at home,” said Gidley. “I just love to race, to win, and even more important have always worked as hard as possible to be the best I can be. I am honored that Jim feels I am an inspiration to those who want to succeed in racing.”
The final event of the evening was the Outlaw Challenge featuring 90 of the DJSA Jet Ski racers going head to head to take a shot at beating the undefeated Memo Gidley. The event has become so popular, that many of the jet ski racers practice at the facility months in advance with the hopes of winning the DJSA cash bounty that is now put up for anyone that can beat Memo. So, after nearly two hours of eliminations to narrow down the field to 16 of the fastest drivers, the grid was set for the final 25 lap main event. Gidley, once again agreed to start at the back of the field. “Every year Jim wants me to start at the back of the field, but every year the DJSA racers get faster and faster,” said Gidley. “I was really nervous because I knew this year would be very hard to win…and I don’t like to lose!”
When the green flag fell Gidley began his carve to the front picking off multiple karts for the first part of the race. By half distance, Gidley was in fifth, but nearly 5 seconds back from the lead. One by one, Gidley closed the gap picking off one racer at a time until he was in sight of the top two. “It was an intense start, lots of karts doing a lot of banging for positions…me included, and I was happy to make it through so that I could get into a nice rhythm,” said Gidley. “But that laps were winding down and I had to really focus on perfect laps to try to close the gap.” With two laps to go Gidley was on the back of Ryan “Rhino” Sullivan and looking for a way around. As they took the white flag, Gidley shouldered his way past. With the leader Jacob “Sharkey” Leech less than a second ahead, and one lap to go, Gidley needed to close the second gap, and then find a way past. With two corners to go, Gidley was on Jacobs’s bumper. One the last corner, twenty feet before the checkered, Gidley made his move. The crowd went ballistic as Gidley got his nose to the inside of Sharkey, got squeezed into the barriers, but just came out ahead by the narrowest of margins!
“Wow…that was my one and only shot to win and it could not have been any closer to the checkered flag,” said Gidley. “It was a 50/50 move, as soon as he saw my nose Sharkey squeezed me hard into the barriers…but I had decided before that I was not going to back off the gas…the barriers were going to have to move. Somehow I pushed my way over the finish line first and it felt great!” So for now, Gidley remains undefeated. “The DJSA racers are really getting fast on four wheels, and this was one heck of a race,” said Gidley. “I was super pumped to win…it was a great night!”