Sport

Wakeboard world champion expects a test at Bli Bli

Sunshine Coast wakeboarder James Windsor has stunned the sporting world by snaring two titles.
Sunshine Coast wakeboarder James Windsor has stunned the sporting world by snaring two titles. Contributed

TEENAGER James Windsor refuses to get carried away by his recently acquired mantle of wake-park world champion and says complacency will not be a problem at this weekend's Australian Summer Jam Rail Series event at Bli Bli.

The 17-year-old burst on to the wakeboarding scene last December when he claimed the world title in the United Arab Emirates.

It capped a rapid and remarkable rise through the ranks for the Buderim teen, who did not start to take the sport seriously until 2009.

He says he will not let his lofty achievement go to his head in his competitive return at Go Wake Cable Park, where he has honed his skills over the years.

"Winning the world championship was maybe a little confidence booster, but there's some really good riders from around the world who are going to be competing here this weekend," Windsor said of competitors such as Canadian Raph Derome, 19.

"It's going to be tough and I'm looking forward to the challenge."

Windsor admits his profile has been lifted considerably by his wins in the Pro and Features divisions at Abu Dhabi, but he has not changed his approach to the sport.

"Winning there has given me a bigger name and it's way easier to get picked up (by sponsors)," he said.

"But I will approach it the same way I have been, training hard, feeling good on my board, having fun and just being ready for every competition.

"I want to go out there, do the best I can and hopefully come out on top again."

Set to compete in the same 22 events he took on last year, Windsor will return to the world wake-park circuit in late March.

He says he is not feeling any pressure ahead of a seven-month long campaign, which will be mostly overseas, and expects to grow more accustomed to having the tag of world's best.

"The more and more competitions I go to, the more I will get used to it," he said.

In an ominous sign for his rivals, Windsor believes he can be even better in 2013.

"I want to be more consistent," he said.

"That's the key for wakeboarding - just being able to land every trick you do."

This weekend's event at Bli Bli will boast $15,000 in prizemoney and is set to attract 200 competitors, including Americans Melissa Maquardt, Andrew Fortenberry and Danny Hampson.

Thailand's Daniel Grant and Germany's Manu Rapp are also expected to be among the main contenders.

The action is scheduled to get under way at 10am tomorrow and from midday on Sunday.

Topics:  bli bli, james windsor, wakeboarding



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