Pope crowned national champion for fourth time

National jet ski champion Phil Pope, of Clowne. (PHOTO BY: Simonemia.com)
National jet ski champion Phil Pope, of Clowne. (PHOTO BY: Simonemia.com)

He might have reached the age of 40, but Clowne ace Phil Pope has proved that he is still on the crest of a wave in his long jet ski racing career.

For Pope has been crowned Pro Enduro national champion for the fourth time in the P1 AquaX series.

He clinched the title in the final round of the UK championship in Minehead last weekend after taking a year out from AquaX racing in 2017. He has now ridden a new model of Yamaha ski to victory in four different years.

Pope began jet ski racing in 1995 and joined the AquaX series in 2014. He has now landed the national title every year that he has competed since then.

Expert Lisa Barsby, global head of P1 AquaX and herself a former world champion, paid tribute to Pope and described him as a naturally gifted rider.

She said: “He’s a formidable competitor and I would rate him as one of the top five sit-down racers in the world.”

When he’s not racing, Pope’s job as an experienced demolition worker takes him around the country, and he’ll be travelling further afield before the end of this year to race in Arizona, Thailand and Florida.

He said: “I’m still hungry to win and beat the younger riders, and I want to thank all my sponsors for helping me to stay at the top of this demanding sport.

“My aim next year is to win the P1 AquaX title on another new Yamaha model and to spend more time racing in the United States.”