Toba, North Sumatra (ANTARA) - Indonesia hosted another international-level sports event, namely the 2023 Aquabike World Championship that was held on November 22-26 in the Lake Toba area, North Sumatra.

The other international-level sports events held in Indonesia in 2023 are the U-17 FIFA World Cup, rally championship, badminton tournament, and others.

This year marks Indonesia's first time hosting the jetski racing championship, introduced by the promoter, H20 Racing, which is cooperating with the government.

For H20 Racing, Lake Toba posed new challenges for the championship. Nevertheless, Toba offers spectacular views not seen in the earlier Aquabike events held in various countries.

Marketing Director of H20 Racing Raimondo Di San Germano noted that the characteristics of Lake Toba, which is located around 900 meters above sea level and has a different water salinity, posed challenges for 94 riders competing in the championship.

Lake Toba's elevation affects the performance of the engine, which has to work harder due to the depletion of oxygen levels at that altitude. Thus, technicians from each participating team had to mull hard over finding the best settings for their jet ski engines.

Moreover, Lake Toba, formed as a result of a supervolcanic eruption that occurred 74 thousand years ago, affects the water salinity. Based on Germano's explanation, several riders said they felt the pounding and impact of the water harder in Lake Toba.

Nevertheless, Germano noted that it was not a complaint but rather the riders' response on how they had a new experience while racing in Lake Toba. Moreover, Lake Toba's unique geography poses a challenge that riders and their teams must overcome to win the championship titles of the event held in four districts in the Lake Toba area.

Two main categories in the race are endurance and Grand Prix.

The endurance category took the longest time, as it was held at three different venues, namely Sinalsal Beach, Karo District, on November 22; Tao Silalahi Beach, Dairi District, on November 23; and Waterfront City Pangururan, Samosir District, on November 24.

All the 22 riders were placed in a basecamp located at Waterfront City Pangururan in Samosir. Thus, they had to travel across Lake Toba to get to the venues in Karo and Dairi every day.

The travel time to reach Karo and Dairi from Waterfront City Samosir is 60 minutes with a distance of 30 kilometers, and it was also one of the aspects assessed to determine a champion.

Upon their arrival at the venues, the riders partook in two race sessions as the main assessment.

After three days of the implementation of the endurance category, French rider Jean Bruno Pastorello strengthened his domination in the endurance race by finishing as the champion.

Pastorello finished with 154 points accumulated from three races in Karo, Dairi, and Samosir.

He won the Karo and Dairi endurance races on two consecutive days. Bruno only lost in the Samosir endurance race.

He assessed that the race in Lake Toba turned out to be unexpected, as the conditions there were not the same as the races in Europe. He was required to survive in conditions he was not accustomed to.

The heat from the sun's rays, the cool breeze, and the engine that had to be adjusted again posed challenges to him. Nevertheless, the intense competition boosted his motivation to not leave Indonesia empty-handed.

After the endurance races, the main event of the championship, namely the 2023 Grand Prix of Lake Toba, took place on November 25-26.

Seven events in the Grand Prix were Slalom Ski Ladies GP1, Slalom Ski Division GP1, Slalom Runabout GP1, Ski Ladies GP1, Ski Division GP1, Freestyle, and Runabout GP1.

The riders competed for 14 championship titles, seven in the Grand Prix, and the rest were world champion titles at the end of this year's racing season.

Another French rider, Francois Medori, was one of the riders who secured the world championship title in the 2023 Aquabike World Championship in Lake Toba.

Medori felt immense pride on clinching the Runabout GP1 world championship title since in the previous edition last year, he had only finished as a runner-up.

He has sweet memories of Lake Toba, as it was the first time he had visited Indonesia, as well as his debut as a world champion after trying for the last three years.

He made his debut in the Runabout GP1 in 2021 and has been showing positive growth since then.

Medori dedicated his world championship title to his child, who was born on November 16, 2023. He was not able to spend longer time with his newborn son since he had to leave for Indonesia three days after he was born.

He expressed the wish to bring his child to visit Indonesia and see firsthand the beauty of Lake Toba for next year's Aquabike event while working hard to maintain his title.

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Translator: Roy Rosa, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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