Thai racers once again reigned supreme on home water, scooping 4 out of the 5 top awards at the Jet Ski King’s Cup-World Cup Grand Prix 2013 held at Jomtien Beach from 4-8 December.
Over 30 international teams containing the highest ranking jet-ski riders in the world descended on Pattaya last week to do battle for some of the biggest cash prizes in the sport and the honor of receiving the prestigious King’s Cup trophies.
Masao Noguchi of Japan performs a spectacular somersault during the Pro Freestyle competition at the 2013 King’s Cup Jet-Ski World Cup Grand Prix held at Jomtien Beach from Dec. 4-8. Thailand had a successful week, winning 4 out of the 5 main categories.
In perfect weather conditions, a large crowd of locals and tourists gathered shoreside at Jomtien beach Sunday to witness the final round of races, with the winners of all the main Pro categories still to be decided.
Despite Thailand’s overwhelming success on the day, the first rider to lay claim to a King’s Cup trophy, and a 1 million baht prize, was South Africa’s Dustin Motzouris in the Pro Standing category. Motzouris finished first in all three previous motos (races) and played it cool in the final round to place 6th and raise his total points score up to 216. Hideyuki Kurahashi from Team Belgium took second overall, with Austria’s Kevin Reiterer in third.
Thailand’s Chokutit Molee (centre) holds up the King’s Cup trophy after winning the Pro Runabout 1600 class at the 2013 King’s Cup Jet-Ski Grand Prix.
“I’m just so thrilled to be here and my ski was running so smooth over the first three races it gave me a comfortable lead. I’ve raced all over the world and this event in Thailand ranks right up there as the very best,” said a delighted Motzouris later.
The next two titles to be decided were divided between Thailand’s seemingly unbeatable Settura brothers; Supak, the World’s No.2, winning the Pro Sport title and his sibling Theera, the World’s No.1, winning the Pro Runabout 800.
South Africa’s Dustin Motzouris (centre) won the Pro Standing series.
The most exciting race of the day came in the toughest category – the Pro Runabout 1600. Thailand’s Chokutit Molee went into the final moto leading the standings and set off as if he meant to finish the job in style, opening up a sizeable gap on his rivals during the opening laps.
However, with the chasing pack slowly closing on him, Molee took a tumble from his ski on the back straight with just a couple of laps to go. Willed on by the local support, the Thai racer remounted and managed to recover enough lost ground to finish in 5th place and take the overall title by the narrowest of margins from race winner James Bushell of Britain. A big cheer came up from the crowd when the scores were announced and Molee showed his delight by enthusiastically waving a large Thai flag as he climbed the podium steps.
Songwut Lappasappaisan (centre) celebrates after winning a King’s Cup for Thailand in the Pro Freestyle event.
The Kingdom’s fourth victory on an exciting final day came with a surprise win for Songwut Lappasappaisan in the Pro Freestyle event. Songwut produced a series of amazing acrobatic loops on his ski to delight the crowd of spectators and it was enough to see off the challenge of his main rivals from Japan, Mazao Ueki and Naoya Hamanaka.
Theera Settura parades the Thai flag after winning overall honours in the Pro Runabout 800 category.
Racers prepare at the start line.
Khaled Salem Buttial Qubaisi from the UAE performs an acrobatic stunt in the Pro Freestyle class.
Japan’s Takahiko Saito competes in the Pro Standing category.
Chokutit Molee (foreground) battles for supremacy with Britain’s James Bushell.
Spectators flocked in their thousands to Jomtien beach to enjoy the action.