World beaters get the first gongs

Sunshine Coast cable skier James Windsor warms up for the next competition. Photo:Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily
Sunshine Coast cable skier James Windsor warms up for the next competition. Photo:Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily Warren Lynam

A TEENAGE wakeboarder with a rare ability and a Down syndrome swimmer with a taste for gold are the first Sunshine Coast Sports Star of the Month winners for 2013.

Double wakeboarding world champion James Windsor - the award's junior winner - and 10-time world champion Clinton Stanley, the senior winner, have been recognised for their outstanding achievements.

Stanley, known as Cooroy's Super Fish, retired from international swimming after winning four gold medals and two bronze and setting eight world records at the sixth World Down Syndrome Swimming Championships, in Loano, Italy, in November.

The 36-year-old - a 2013 Queensland Australian of the Year Awards finalist - represented his country seven times.

Along with his 10 world championship gold medals, Stanley secured another 13 gold, eight silver and 11 bronze medals while wearing the green and gold.

"Not a bad tally for someone who didn't start swimming competitively until he was 17 years old," his mother, Sally, said.

She said her son's performance in winning the 1500m final in Italy encapsulated his ability and will to win.

"He was coming fourth and he just gradually caught up and just wore the other swimmers down and passed them," she said.

"The world champion swimmer kept coming at him, and that happened about seven times.

"Clinton just swam his own race and in the end he overtook the world champion and won by over a lap. It was amazing."

Amazing is also a word that is often used to describe Windsor.

Having taken up wakeboarding only four years ago, the 17-year-old won the two professional men's titles on offer at the WWA Wake Park World Championships at Abu Dhabi in December.

The triumph was all the more remarkable given the Buderim talent was competing in the WWA Wake Park World Series for the first time last year.

"It's pretty insane. It's so surreal," Windsor said recently.

"For it to happen, it's something I wanted for a long time and I'm stoked that it's happened.

"I just think when it all started how I looked up to pros, and I just want to be the same for them (rookies).

"I'm not worried about who I am or how big my name is - I think everyone should be just stoked going for a wakeboard."



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