Am­a­teur power for P1 AquaX

Event or­ga­niz­ers want to see lo­cals par­tic­i­pate in races

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS - BRIAN SANDALOW

The or­ga­niz­ers of the P1 AquaX per­sonal watercraft event com­ing to Chicago for a sec­ond year Sept. 9- 10 have a few goals.

“We’re hop­ing for in­creased par­tic­i­pa­tion, not only from our in­ter­na­tional riders and riders that are com­ing from around the U. S., but also lo­cally in Chicago,” P1 AquaX man­ag­ing director Azam Ran­goon­wala said. “The whole point of P1 AquaX is re­ally that it’s to get new peo­ple into the sport, as well as to con­tinue grow­ing our pro cir­cuit.”

The free event will be held at the 31st Street Har­bor af­ter be­ing staged at Mon­trose Har­bor and Foster Beach last year. The pro­fes­sional riders will reach speeds of up to 80 mph in races that last around 30 min­utes and 17- 20 laps as they com­pete for points ahead of the AquaX World Cham­pi­onships in De­cem­ber. There also will be three am­a­teur races and mul­ti­ple 15- minute stand- up races.

“We want to cre­ate a plat­form where lo­cals from Chicago who have per­sonal wa­ter­crafts can see that, ‘ Hey, you know what, I can ac­tu­ally en­ter this race with my watercraft or I can go and buy a watercraft and en­ter into it,’ ” Ran­goon­wala said. “We’ve been telling peo­ple that you can get in­volved, you can race in our am­a­teur cir­cuit, which we plan to grow within the re­gion.”

The course it­self will be about 1.6 miles long and in­clude left and right turns. Live com­men­tary will be played to ex­plain what’s hap­pen­ing dur­ing the races. The races be­gin with rolling starts, and the first three laps usu­ally in­clude a lot of jostling for po­si­tion.

“As the race goes on, what’s great to see is the style of the rid­ing, and you’ll see where the en­durance comes in as some of the riders start lap­ping,” Ran­goon­wala said. “This whole 30 min­utes is fun to watch in each race.”

The com­pe­ti­tion is sched­uled to run from 11 a. m. to 3 p. m. each day. Ran­goon­wala rec­om­mended spec­ta­tors ar­rive around 10 a. m. For in­for­ma­tion on event reg­is­tra­tion, rules, view­ing op­tions, park­ing and more, visit www. P1Chicago. com.

Red Stars get World champ

The Red Stars ac­quired mid­fielder Mor­gan Brian and con­di­tional fu­ture con­sid­er­a­tions from the Houston Dash for Kristie Mewis and con­di­tional fu­ture con­sid­er­a­tions. Brian, 24, was on the U. S. World Cup cham­pi­onship team in 2015 and played in ev­ery game of the tourney.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter @ Bri­anSan­dalow.

Last year’s P1 AquaX event took place at Mon­trose Har­bor ( above). This year, it will be held at the 31st Street Har­bor. | COUR­TESY OF P1 AQUAX USA

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