Chrissy Jones speaks with talented waterskiing brothers Jack and Brodie White. The Wauchope boys tell us about their achievements and where they think their chosen sport may take them.
Jack and Brodie water-ski behind their family boat Per4ma, spending many hours training on the Hastings River at Wauchope, and both have had some great successes to be proud of.
Fifteen year old Jack has competed all over the state, including the Grafton Bridge to Bridge & Hawkesbury 120 and has a list of quality achievements at an ever so young age. A highlight in 2009 was finishing 5th in the Australian Titles at Grafton in the 60mph social class. This class saw Jack compete against men of all ages.
Thirteen year old Brodie also competes all over the state, including the Grafton Bridge to Bridge and the Hawkesbury 120. Brodie also has a list of fantastic achievements for his age, with his highlight being declared the 2008 Queensland under 13 State Ski racing Champion. This was a title that his brother Jack held previously, so it was a great result to keep it the family.
Jack and Brodie are moving up to compete in the under 16 boys in 2009; their speeds will reach 140+kmph, so fitness is a very big part of their sport.
We ask the boys some questions about their chosen sport and where they think it may take them.
> Hi guys. Tell us a little about yourself and why you love the sport of water-skiing …
Jack: I am 15 years old and attend Year 9 at Wauchope High School. I enjoy water-skiing, as I really get a thrill from the speed while racing or just having fun while social skiing. Our whole family is involved in skiing, so we have fun all the time.
Brodie: I am 13 years old and attend Year 8 at Wauchope High school. I love to ski race for the adrenalin and the thrill of speed and the competitiveness.
> How did you first become involved with water skiing?
Jack: Well, I first learnt to ski at 4 years old. I moved on to wakeboarding for a while before coming back to skiing. Dad always had a boat, so I have just followed in his footsteps. Dad was barefoot dragging with the Maxwell family and involved with the Australian Barefoot Club, and I started ski dragging over the quarter mile. After two seasons of this we started ski racing doing endurance events such as the Grafton and Sydney Bridge to Bridge.
Brodie: Being the second sibling, I just followed everyone else in the family. I also started ski dragging with the Maxwells and then started endurance racing.
> How hard is it to water ski? Can anybody do it?
Jack: Skiing isn’t really that hard; you just have to have good balance, a good boat driver and listen to the advice you’re given. Anybody can ski socially; it just takes a lot of practice to ski race to reach high speeds.
Brodie: It took me a little time to learn; I started wakeboarding first, then started water-skiing. I listen and learnt from all the people around me. I have had lots of friends come out with us in our boat and have taught them all to ski or going on the biscuit.
> You have been pretty successful over the years. What is the best part for you?
Jack: The best part was competing in my first Grafton Bridge to Bridge, which was 110km, and I was only thirteen. The thrill of everyone lining up for the start – there are over 100 boats in this event. We have met a lot of people through ski racing and often race behind other boats which we have made friends with. We also attend a ski school once a year through NSW Ski Racing; this is where we all just ski for 3 days and have fun on and off the water.
Brodie: The best of skiing for me is having fun and meeting new friends. I often sing to myself while racing to make the time pass.
> Do you have any memorable moments you’d like to share with us?
Jack: Winning the Qld under 13 State Titles 2007, fifth in the 2008 National Title at Grafton and finishing 2nd in this year’s State Title on my home river in front of all my friends.
Brodie: Winning the QLD under 13 State Titles in 2008, which Jack previously held.
> Do you compete locally, or do you have to travel to events?
Jack: We travel all over the state competing at various locations. We have been lucky the past two seasons, because we have had the NSW State titles at Port Macquarie.
Brodie: Like Jack, my team travels everywhere. We compete in the Queensland series days at Grafton and also compete at Region V at Toukley. We also do all the river endurance races such as the Grafton and Sydney Bridge to Bridge.
> I’d imagine you would have to be fairly fit to ski behind a boat doing 140km/h? Do you have a training regime that you follow?
Jack: Val at Wauchope Fivestar Fitness has just given us sponsorship this year, helping out with our strength and cardio training. We used to just ride our bikes up to 75 km a week before major races. We also do a lot of practice on the water at Wauchope, spending a lot of time practicing our skills on the Hastings River.
Brodie: Fivestar has sponsored me as well; I am going to the gym three times a week doing cardio and strength training. Jack and I spend a lot of time on the water
practising our starts and general fitness on the water.
> Where would you want water skiing to take you in the future? What are some of your ambitions and/or dreams you would like to achieve?
Jack: My long term goal would be to compete in the World championship, which has just been held in Belgium. The championships are held every two years. I would really like to make the Junior team in 2011.
As a short term goal I would like to win a major Bridge to Bridge race behind our family Boat Per4ma.
Brodie: My dream is to win an Australian Title and make it to the World’s either in 2011 or 2013 in the juniors, with all my family with me.
> Thank you Jack and Brodie.
Jack & Brodie would like to thank all their sponsors over their short career: The Port Macquarie Hastings Mayors Sporting Fund, JBL Glass, Brandon Calder Homes, Gotke Signs, Clarence Street Newsagency and Fred Williams Water Skis.
We would also like to thank the Maxwell family of Wauchope for helping in their first races ski dragging, Cliff Bamford for providing on-water tuition and equipment and Brandon Calder for providing his own race ski for Jack to ski on. Jack and Brodie are about to compete in the Hawkesbury 120 race. This is the longest river race in the country, and they have moved up to the very competitive under 16 boys division, competing against the current world champion, but their philosophy is you never give up, as anything can happen in racing. We wish you all the best guys.