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Articles / Riding the Wave / Bailey Cunningham: Mastering the Waves and Winning the World

Bailey Cunningham: Mastering the Waves and Winning the World

14 April 2024
A Journey from Freestyle Roots to Racing Royalty
Bailey Cunningham's journey into the heart of the jet ski racing world began with a splash in freestyle jet skiing, an early passion that set the stage for his future in competitive racing. Transitioning to racing in 2014 with a Seadoo RXPX, Bailey's trajectory has been nothing short of meteoric. A slew of titles and honors followed, marking him as a formidable competitor on the international stage. His story is one of relentless ambition, strategic evolution, and a deep-rooted love for the sport.

Photo of Bailey Cunningham 

A Career Defined by Championships
Bailey’s professional career is adorned with titles that speak volumes about his skill and dedication. With the most recent Australia’s National GP Runabout Champion as well as multiple state championships under his belt, he didn’t just stop at domestic victories. Expanding his horizons, Bailey clinched the New Zealand National Champion title and carved his name at global events, achieving top placements at the World Titles Enduro, World Cup GP Runabout, and more. His remarkable consistency and prowess have made him a respected figure in jet ski racing circuits around the world.

Overcoming Adversity: The Road to Recovery
2017 was a challenging year for Bailey as he underwent shoulder surgery—a major hurdle for any athlete, especially in a physically demanding sport like jet ski racing. However, with unwavering determination and a rigorous strengthening regimen, he made a strong comeback, better prepared to face the grueling demands of racing. This period of recovery not only tested his physical limits but also solidified his mental fortitude.

The Regimen Behind the Champion
Bailey's training regimen is a finely tuned balance of gym workouts and practical experience on the water. Training 4-5 days a week, focusing alternately on upper body and legs, he ensures that every session enhances his endurance and strength. Every weekend, Bailey takes to the water, navigating the waves on his standup Jet Ski, transforming each ride into a session of intense physical training and tactical refinement.

Photo of Bailey Cunningham racing.
Diet and Nutrition: Fueling a Champion
Understanding the importance of diet in athletic performance, Bailey adheres to a nutrition plan focused on high protein intake and controlled fats, allowing himself a cheat day to maintain balance. This dietary discipline ensures he remains in peak condition, optimising recovery and performance during rigorous training sessions and competitions.

Mental Preparation: The Psychological Edge
Bailey approaches each race with a calculated mindset. Through music and visualization, he mentally traverses each track before a race, anticipating the behaviour of his jet ski on every turn and straightaway. This mental preparation is crucial, enabling him to stay two steps ahead of his competitors and adjust his strategies in real-time.

Equipment and Sponsorships: The Best in the Business
Racing on top-tier equipment, Bailey prefers Seadoo runabouts and Kawasaki standups, praised for their handling and reliability. He is outfitted by Jettribe, whose gear is designed for the high stakes of professional racing. Bailey's success has attracted sponsorships from elite brands like Sunshine Coast Powersports, Jettrim, and Worx Racing, which provide him with the best machines and accessories in the sport. He knows the importance or all his sponsors and wanted to thank them all – Sunshine Cost Powersports, Jettribe, Jettrim, Worx Racing, Zoomed Images, Waterblast, Ace Sunglasses , 239 Raceboat, Prorider Magazine and Mental Motorcycle Wraps.

Influence and Mentorship: Giving Back to the Sport
Beyond the races, Bailey is a mentor, often seen guiding younger riders and sharing the knowledge he has accumulated over years of competition. His role extends beyond personal achievement, focusing on nurturing the next generation of jet ski enthusiasts. This community-oriented approach underscores his commitment to growing the sport and building a supportive network for up-and-coming athletes.

Photo of Bailey Cunningham after racing.
Advice for Aspiring Jet Ski Racers
Bailey advises newcomers to start with models that are manageable yet capable of competitive performance, like the Seadoo Spark or a beginner-friendly standup model. His guidance is aimed at ensuring that beginners invest wisely, learn effectively, and develop a genuine passion for the sport without becoming overwhelmed.

Future Ambitions: Continuing the Championship Legacy
Looking forward, Bailey is determined to secure the title of Australia’s number one runabout rider and achieve top placements in the World Cup in Thailand. His ambitions are not just personal but also reflect his desire to see Australia excel on the global jet ski stage.

Bailey Cunningham's story is a compelling narrative of triumph over adversity, strategic mastery of his sport, and unwavering dedication to his community. As he races towards more championships and nurtures future talents, his legacy in the jet ski world continues to grow, inspiring countless enthusiasts to chase their waves of dreams.


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