G.J. dominates start of CIWA nationals

Gary "GJ" Whittaker was dominant on the water.

Gary “GJ” Whittaker held off all challengers to win the three motos in the expert class of the first round of the 2017 Cayman Islands Watercraft Association (CIWA) National Championship Series.

Taking to the waters just east of the Red Bay Dock on Sunday, 26 March, 19 riders from nine teams took part in the season opener. They competed across four classes: expert, amateur, novice and beginner.

With flat water, it was a great day for racing and Whittaker showed impressive speed as the star rider for the Nuttin 2 Lose team. Across the three motos, he opened up sizable leads and never looked back, winning comfortably.

Vanjae “VJ” Ramgeet of BYP Racing had two second place finishes and a third place to end the day second overall. Nathan Ebanks, who beat Ramgeet to the line in the second moto and finished third in the other two motos was third overall for Tony’s Toys.

Nicholas Hydes of SHO Time was fourth and Wayne Cato of Proven Performance was fifth.

Vanjae Ramgeet

Ramgeet also competed in the amateur class and provided one of the highlights of the day when he chased down Matthew Panton on the last lap, overtaking him with less than half a lap left to win the second moto.

Panton of Nuttin 2 Lose won the two other motos to claim the top position in the amateur category, while Ramgeet had to settle for another second-place spot. Seiji Groome of Proven Performance was third overall, finishing behind Ramgeet and Panton all day. His teammate Jaydon Simpson was fourth.

It was an impressive performance by Panton considering he spent only two hours of seat time on his new craft ahead of the season opener.

In the novice class, Anthony Logan of Nuttin 2 Lose slumped to a sixth-place finish in the final moto of the day after winning the first two and surrendered the top spot to Tyler Watler of Turnt Up Racing. Watler’s consistency paid off as he finished no lower than third in any of the three motos. Thase Watler, also of Turnt Up Racing was third overall, improving throughout the day from sixth in the first moto to wining the last one of the day.

Tishon Tomlinson (Good 2 Go) and Joshua Watler (Turnt Up Racing) were fourth and fifth respectively.

Tiana Ramgeet

The beginner class saw Tianna Ramgeet of RTP-RAM TECH Racing mixing it up with the guys but faced setbacks due to mechanical issues in the first two motos before winning the finale, the first female rider to win a race in the Cayman Islands. She finished second overall in the class.

Jamal McLean, took home top honours after winning the first moto and finishing second in the others. Kyle McCoy of BYP Racing won the second moto and was third overall among the beginners, most of whom had mechanical setbacks on the day.

CIWA President Vincent Ramgeet said he was very pleased with the first event of the season. “It’s been quite a day. A few crafts went down [with mechanical problems] but that’s racing for you. The top guys are putting on quite a show,” he told CaymanSportsBuzz.com.

See full results: CIWA -NCS 2017 Winners 1st Race