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Vejam o depoimento de Mark Gomez, um dos melhores pilotos de freeride da atualidade, sobre sua participação no IFWA World Championship 2015

 

16/06/2015

 

Mark Gomez alcançou o pódio nas 3 etapas européias do Campeonato Mundial de Freeride Jet Ski IFWA

 

____________________________________________________

I just recently returned stateside from an amazing journey competing in 3 countries for the European rounds of the IFWA world freeride tour. I flew into Lisbon, Portugal then drove over 35hrs traveling over 1,700 miles competing from Sintra, Portugal, moving onto Lacacanu, France, and then finishing off in Newquay, UK with stops in between. Competing on the IFWA world tour has been a goal for 10 years since the start of the tour any my commitment to the sport of freeride jetskiing just out of high school. That being said I can not thank my immediate and major tour supporting sponsors for making this entire trip on the 10th year anniversary of the tour financially possible. Mystik Lubricants, Hydro-Turf, Rickter, Hot Products, Pacific Motorsports, WORX, & Patty's Cakes & Desserts. Thank you all very much! The world tour is 5 stops this year, the first tour stop was in the Sunny Coast of Australia a few months ago where I placed 3rd. Here is the recap of my European adventure getting on the podium at the next three stops...

 

Sintra, Portugal

European Champion & 2nd Place @ IFWA Round 2

I flew into Lisbon Portugal meeting up with IFWA event director CarolAnne Giustina and President Mark Matsuda who gave me a lift into the main event area on the beautiful beach coast of Sintra. With Pierre Maxient unable to finish the tour personally, I was able to rent his personal Rickter Edge jetski for the 3 european rounds. Brining over some handlebars, a footbinding and all of my sponsor logos I was able to transform this ski into the most identical form of my own as I could get in Europe thanks to Pierre @ MX100 Factory. The ski performed above my expectations through out the entire trip. I am grateful to have had such professional on site support from Pierre Maxient @ MX100 Factory. Still recovering from the C2 Lateral ankle sprain I suffered in Australia just a little over a month ago, I was nervous about my ability to ride to my full potential.

Thanks to the guidance and support of MPT. Ron Cunningham at Fullerton Physical Therapy, I was braced up and had enough strength to get back on the ski confidently to shake off the rust. Doing so on Friday, I rode in the European Freeride Championship contest taking 1st place securing the Sanctioned European Freeride title. Saturday was the start of the contest getting through the qualifiers and into the 1/8 final. Sunday was a long day fighting through many difficult heats to get into the final heat against Rickter/ TC Freeride team mate Abraham Ho from Mexico. We both went at it blow for blow, Abraham went absolutely ballistic which landed him the top spot for this opening tour round putting me in 2nd place at the contest and down by one in the overall points for the world title. Event promoter Luis Fragoso did a great job putting this event together for myself as a pilot as well as appealing to the local government to gain support for bigger support in the future.


 

Pit Stop in Nazare, Portugal..

home of big wave legends:

Cleaning up from this event I met up with my friends David Rothwell and Darren Bleasdale from the UK who committed driving the entire tour. David sent his Rickter back with Pierre for repairs before the event the next weekend in France. I packed my rented Rickter into his van and set off with them out of Sintra. We received an offer to check out and possibly ride at Nazare, Portugal. A location legendary for is over 100ft wave breaks at the lighthouse point there. When we arrived the spot was an amazing view but the waves surrounding were hardly breaking. Anxious to get back on the road and get onto the next location I set off with my UK friend 9 Hours ahead to Hossegor, France.

 

France

Training in Hossegor surf, 1st Place @ IFWA Round 3 Jet Jump Extreme:

The UK boys and I drove through the night arriving early the next morning in Hossegor, France. Thanks to local and Iconic french freeride legend Gil Beurnier. We got set up with accommodations and were shown around town for two days. Before we left we met up with Gil and the local Hossegor freeride crew to ride south of the harbor entrance where the waves were big and dumping. It was a great opportunity to scare myself back into a few tricks, get some photos, meet and talk with the local riders, and get in the mind set for competing at the next event in Lacanau. We left Hossegor and made our way to Pierre Maxient's shop MX100 near the city of Bordeaux to tune up our skis and check on David's Rickter getting tuned up.

 

After a long day at the shop we departed for the 3rd stop of the IFWA Tour in Lacanau, France for the world famous Jet Jump Extreme freeride event.

Thanks to the outstanding organization of Jac Mouazan, this was by far my favorite event stop of the entire tour. I met so many great french riders and freeride supports at this event. I had a chance to practice that first day which felt great coming out charged from my run in Hossegor. Saturday was a long day getting through qualifiers again and into the 1/8 final rounds. Sunday was one hell of a long day. Another full on run of difficult head to head heats vs some of the worlds top pilots. I battled my way into the final again vs Abraham Ho. Charged up after the last run in Portugal I did my absolute best with the given conditions at the time of our final and left it all out on the water. At the podium my efforts succeeded in landing me my first IFWA Pro Freeride victory at an event I have look forward to for 10 years! Winning Jet Jump Extreme is a huge landmark in my life after so many freeride legends from around the world being on that podium, it really means a lot to have won that contest. Winning this contest also put me into the lead for the overall points toward the world title! Despite the contest, the overall vibe from the people around France has convinced me to make my strongest effort to attend this event again next year!


 

NEWQUAY, UK

Driving, Ferries, and more driving, 2nd Place @ IFWA Round 4 RippinH20:

Leaving Lacanau, I stayed around the Bordeaux area getting a recharge day in catching on messages at a local McDonalds since good Wifi was harder to find than people who spoke english. After a little post French surf domination jetski maintenance at Pierre's shop, we loaded up all of the gear into the MX100 Factory trailer for the final stop of the European tour in the UK. Waking up the next morning I drove with french MX100 sponsored pilots Jeremy Bosser and Romain Coureau 6 hours to the French Coast to board a 7 hour long Ferry to the UK. On the Ferry a bunch of the freeride touring groups ended up together to hang out through the entire boat ride. Things like this really made the experience so much more rich. Despite the competition of our brands and who we are as competitors at the end of the day we are all a great family of friends from around the world.


Arriving & Sunset session UK:


Arriving in the UK the Ferry doors opened and the sight of left side of the road and english signs turned the tables and overwhelmed my french buddies. I took the pilot seat for the MX100 van & trailer getting us through customs and using my Australian driving experience to use navigating through some terrible road work detours turing an hour eta into nearly 3 hours. Event organizer Steve Holmes secured a great location at Fistral Beach this year. The weather could not be sunnier but the cold wind and tide were up and down all weekend making things difficult to run the event smoothly. Regardless the event moved on the best it could starting with qualifying on Friday where i stepped in to announce for some of the pilot's heats to all of the guests enjoying the show from the event host Fistral beach bar. To close friday night out I went out in the high tide, cold washing machine shore pound with a handfull of other riders to put on a sunset expression session which generated some killer shots thanks to local Pro photographer John Baker.


 

UK Contest & Final:

The next two days I fought yet again into the final heat through many difficult heats in some of the most rough, dynamic, and poor surf conditions i have competed in so far. The final was against last year's world champion Mick Anthony from Australia. Mick rode an incredible heat coming upon a lot of great waves to get in some clean maneuvers. I spent a lot of time with my superflip bars out searching for my equalizer trick that I couldn't pull off with the conditions. I did my best to make up the time but at the podium I was stoked to see Mick earn the top spot on the podium. Mick worked hard all weekend setting the best example of our sports roots by helping out everyone he could between and around heats as well as rescuing some downed skis with his own. Like France, the contest was fun but the people around the area were what really stood out and makes me want to come back, ride, and hang out with everyone.

 

At the end of the contest in the UK I landed 2nd place boosting my score up higher being the defending overall tour points leader for the world title! The next and IFWA final tour stop will be coming in hot to Pacific City Oregon at the 2015 Blowsion Surfslam event the weekend of September 11th. This event by experience over the last 5 years has the absolute toughest competitors all gunning for the tops spot with everything to gain and nothing to loose. That being said the next few months prior to that event I will be pushing harder than ever to progress my current abilities to come into that contest swinging on every heat on my way to the world title!

 

Totaled IFWA results and moving onto the final tour stop in the lead for the world title:

Australia - 3rd
Portugal - 2nd
France - 1st
UK - 2nd

USA *Final* - Stay tuned Sept 11th-13th

 

Closing:

For the sake of attempting to be brief in this email recap, I left out a lot of the incredible side experiences, parties, dinners, conversations, travel stories, and other situations that really made this experience something I will always remember. Most of all I expressed in my podium speeches and Instagram post in Hossegor. Traveling through Europe showed me much more than beautiful country sides, weird food, and new culture. It showed me that no matter what language or what continent you are from, freeride stands upon the universal foundation of camaraderie, mutual respect and love for the sport. To experience this first hand meeting so many riders really opens my eyes to what an incredible network of people I have connected with for future business, friendships and new family all over the world. All of this is not possible without everyone's support. I can not thank you the reader and all of my 2015

 

Coming Up next:
West Coast Series Racing Events - TBD
Aqua Moto Racing Event Lake Havasu - July 31st
Grayland Open Pro Freeride Event - Aug 7-9th
Blowsion Surfslam IFWA FINAL - Sept 11th-13th

 

2015 Sponsors:

Mystik Lubricants
Hydro-Turf
Worx Racing Components
Hot Products
JetPilot
Rickter/RRP
Liquid Militia Clothing
TC Freeride
DASA
GoPro
Cold Fusion
Skat-Trak
Impros
Thrust Innovations
Bomber Floating Eyewear
Blowsion
ADR Crankshaft
JetRenu
Salty Investments
KMG Racing
Champion Timepieces
Performance Fiberglass
Pacific Motorsports Brea
Patty's Cakes & Desserts
Offset Development
Fullerton Physical Therapy

 

** Many more event photos available in the google drive link featured in the attachment belt bellow titled "Gomez IFWA Europe 2015" **


Thank you for your time and support,

--

Mark Gomez

Professional Watercraft Athlete

www.MarkGomez.net

 

 

 

 

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