This past Saturday night, the top northern CA jet ski racers came together to be honored at the 2012 DJSA Outlaw jet ski awards banquet held at Go-Kart Racer in Burlingame, CA. As has been tradition, after all the awards have been handed out, the jet skiers take to the go-kart track to see who has the best four wheel skills and to try to beat karting champion, and Muscle Milk MEGA athlete, Memo Gidley, at his own game.
Nearly one hundred racers, families, and sponsors were in attendance this year, with the host being DJSA president, Jim Lambert. Trophies and awards were handed out, including Memo’s own sponsors, Muscle Milk and Red Line Oil who are sponsors of the series and put forth products for all of the top three class champions. “What Jim does for us jet ski racers by having such a competitive and fun series is something we all very much appreciate,” said Gidley. “Without him and his dedicated staff, we would not have jet ski racing in northern California or the fun that goes with it.”
At this year’s awards, both Gidley’s came away with awards, Memo and his eight year old daughter, Rachel. Memo was presented with the 2012 Inspirational Racer of the Year award for his efforts as a racer both on and off the water. Memo raced four times last year in DJSA competition, impressively winning three times in the 850cc Expert standup division. “I was honored to receive the Inspirational Racer award,” said Gidley. “I do love racing and even though I am fortunate to race cars, I also really love the close racing and hard competition of jet ski racing in the DJSA series.”
DJSA also added a new junior A and B division this past season, and the little racers came out in full force. Memo’s eight year old daughter also had a great year in her rookie season. Rachel came out swinging with a few top five finishes giving her fourth overall in the year end point standings in junior B. “I asked my Dad if I could start riding and racing and he said yes,” said Rachel. “It was scary at first, but I had a lot of fun and now I can’t wait for the new season. I am going to pin the throttle a lot more this year and go faster!”
After all the awards were presented, it was time for the big kart race. The sixty drivers who signed up were narrowed down with heat races and qualifying to the top 16 drivers. As has been tradition for the last few years, pro-driver Memo Gidley would start last and see if he could once again work his way to the front of the field.
At the drop of the green, it was fast and furious racing that saw Gidley immediately start to advance. By lap five he was up to eight spot and by halfway he was bearing down on the top five. “I had a great start and passed or pushed my way by a lot of drivers!” said Gidley. “In order for me to have a chance to get to the front, I could waste no time.” Gidley continued his charge and as the laps began winding down he was up to fourth and in sight of third place, but ran out of time. The race was won by Jacob Leech, second “fast” Eddie Lacayo and third place, “flying” Ryan O’Sullivan.
“It is always fun to go out and battle my fellow jet ski racers on my turf, but now they are just too darn good!” said Gidley. ”I used to give them all pointers on driving but now that is going to stop!”
DJSA president Jim Lambert promised that the 2013 season was going to be awesome with the full scheduled announced soon. “I really can’t wait to hit the water,” said Gidley. ”The standup rider are getting faster and faster, with new fast guys and girls moving up to the expert class, it will not be easy but I love the challenge!”