After a stellar two wins in a row, Muscle Milk/Molecule MEGA Athlete, Memo Gidley, was hoping to add another win in this past weekend’s DJSA Round #5, the “Thrilla in Chowchilla” at the Berenda Reservoir. A full weekend was planned with the first part being a Friday night autograph and PR meet and greet extravaganza at the Save-Mart, Little Caesars shopping mall. Both Memo and his 8 year old daughter Rachel, along with a couple dozen of the DJSA’s finest racers were on hand to show their skis, sign autographs, and answer questions for interested fans.
“As much as I love the racing, I also really like talking to people about racing, answering questions, and specifically talking to the kid race fans to hopefully inspire them to chase their dreams,” said Gidley. “It is great to see the DJSA setting up these venues where we have the opportunity to do this.”
After a successful night of promotions, the DJSA racers were now ready to hit the water first thing Saturday morning. DJSA president, Jim Lampert and the DJSA Team Orange crew set up another awesome course. “I had never been to the Chowchilla Berenda Reservoir, but It looked nice when we pulled in and I wanted to get to racing as soon as possible!” said Gidley.
With Gidley lined up on the inside for heat one, as soon as the gate dropped he rocketed off the 850cc Expert standup line into turn one. The top four racers went around turn one side by side and Gidley popped out third when the water finally settled. Gidley pressed hard but could not mange to make a pass for second and crossed the line a couple of seconds behind Ian Roberts. Winner Jeff Troegner would not be pressured and went on to wrap up heat one win. “I had a pretty good start, but so did the rest of the top four,” said Gidley. “At the start and around turn I held the gas as hard as possible and popped out third. From then on, I really could not get close enough to make a move for position and so tried to conserve my energy and hope that a rider in front would make a mistake.”
Heat two Gidley got off to a decent start but then crashed on lap one. He still managed to get back on his ski, and finished in fifth. “Not my finest hour,” said Gidley. “It sort of reminded me of my old self, a lot of time swimming after my ski. I was very tight riding but was determined to get it together and loosen up for the final heat.”
Memo would start the final heat in fifth, but when the gate dropped, it was Memo and Ian Roberts that were going side by side through the first three turns of the course. “I got a fantastic start, but just got motored down the first straight,” said Gidley. “I was determined to get into the lead by railing Ian on the outside of turn three, the first real braking zone. I held on the gas as long as possible. But Ian leaned his ski over so hard the jet pump came out of the water and about twenty gallons of water hit me in the face in about three seconds!”
Gidley went on to a solid second behind Ian. “Heat three was a lot of fun, the start was awesome!” said Gidley. “I was determined to win but there was no catching Ian today, he was on the gas hard.”