Home­grown young­ster stars at freestyle na­tion­als

Southern Telegraph - - Sport - Ai­den Boy­ham

The Pond in Safety Bay was brim­ming with ac­tion last week­end, as kite­board­ers from across Aus­tralia de­scended on Rock­ing­ham for the 2018 Aus­tralian Kiteboarding Freestyle Na­tion­als.

A bumper event, which was of­fi­cially kicked off by Pre­mier Mark McGowan last Thurs­day, was greeted by ideal con­di­tions as dozens of com­peti­tors hit the wa­ter.

The first na­tional com­pe­ti­tion held in WA for 12 years saw 17year-old lo­cal Har­ri­son Johnston step up to the plate and take home first place in the ju­niors as he rode with power and con­sis­tency to earn a well-de­served ti­tle.

Both the men’s and women’s events were taken out by Vic­to­ri­ans with Ewan Jas­pan and Katie Pot­ter tak­ing out top spot re­spec­tively.

De­spite a nag­ging shoul­der in­jury, Jas­pan man­aged to ride with tremen­dous skill to com­bine tech­ni­cal grabs with pow­ered han­dle passes while Pot­ter ex­e­cut- ed seven out of eight tech­ni­cal han­dle pass at­tempts in the women’s fi­nal be­fore tak­ing the ti­tle. Mean­while in the mas­ters, Denys Karan­to­nis se­cured top spot thanks to a stylish per­for­mance which wowed the crowd.

Kiteboarding Aus­tralia gen­eral man­ager De­clan McCarthy said the event was a huge suc­cess.

“The lo­ca­tion and the con­di­tions that were of­fered were per­fect for the rid­ers — they were re­ally stoked with it,” McCarthy said.

“The level of rid­ing, par­tic­u­larly for the fe­males, was high and very pro­gres­sive to what it has been in the past, which is great to see.”

McCarthy said The Pond was an ideal lo­ca­tion for the sport.

“The way that it’s nat­u­rally formed (Tern Is­land), hav­ing that sand­bar stick out into the ocean al­lows for per­fect flat wa­ter,” he said. “So for the freestyle rid­ers, that means they are able to do re­ally con­trolled tricks where they are able to build up an im­mense amount of power rid­ing through the flat wa­ter. The other big fac­tor . . . is the con­sis­tent sea breeze that it re­ceives.”

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