Young gun keen to keep improving into the senior ranks and he knows what he wants to achieve.GEORDIE COWAN February 8, 2013 2:37pm
Water skier Jack Houston is on the cusp of realising his dream at this year’s Club Marine Southern 80.
The young star, who has twice been the junior world champion in 2009 and 2011, is so close to his maiden classic win that he can almost touch it.
But it has not been a simple progression from the lower classes for the 18-year-old.
‘‘Coming up through the ranks is always tough, because whenever you go up an age class or any class, you’re always at the bottom and you have to really try to make a mark,’’ Houston said.
‘‘You’ve just got to step it up each time.’’
The Sydney resident has been skiing for about 10 years, following in the wake of his father, Greg, himself a four-time world champion.
‘‘Dad’s always been at the top of the ranks and I’ve seen him win a couple of world championships,’’ Houston said.
‘‘Ever since 2007 at New Zealand, my dream was to be the world champion.
‘‘Both those (junior world) championships were the pinnacle of my ski racing career.
‘‘It’s given me the drive to actually go out and do it.’’
One person who has travelled alongside Houston in his rise through the classes is Echuca’s Lloyd Woolman.
‘‘Ever since under 10s I’ve skied against Lloyd,’’ Houston said.
‘‘It’s been great to grow up with those guys that I’ve raced against and to race against him in the world championships was awesome and for him to come second was an awesome effort.’’
The drive and determination which Houston has shown has elevated him through the skiing classes and this weekend he will compete in the President’s dash and unlimited inboard expert.
Competing in these classes sees the youngster against some of the best in the sport and it is not easy to overcome that knowledge.
‘‘There are still names in superclass and unlimited that I always looked up to when I was growing up, like Jamie Oliver,’’ Houston said.
‘‘When I was a little kid they were racing and winning and to go up against those guys can be a bit daunting.
‘‘It’s exciting and daunting at the same time.’’
Although not as physically strong as many of the other competitors in his class, the mental side of racing was arguably more important, Houston said.
‘‘I think that ski racing, like any sport really, is 70 per cent mental and 30 per cent physical,’’ he said.
‘‘You have to get in the right frame of mind to do well at anything.’’
Another aspect to his ascension through the classes is the added commitment which is required to compete among the best.
Last year, Houston’s team — comprising driver Greg, observer Kevin Boylan and skier Ben Hackett — behind Stinga, finished third outright at the Southern 80 and then finished runner-up in unlimited at December’s Bridge to Bridge Water Ski Classic in Sydney.
‘‘We are getting to the top level of the sport,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s a bit of a reality check that we’ve got to keep that training because as soon as we drop that off, it can become unsafe.
‘‘If you lose that commitment, you lose physical fitness and you’re not up to the level of the other crews that you’ve got to be on top of.’’
To maintain that competitiveness, Houston goes to the gym four times a week as well as a one-hour session on the water.
‘‘My end goal is to win a classic outright, one of those classics being either the Sydney Bridge to Bridge or the Southern 80, the two biggest races we have in the country,’’ he said.
‘‘We’re hungry now.’’
Coca-Cola Amatil has confirmed it will be pressing on with its $100 million redevelopment of SPC Ardmona.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Mary and Molly Byrne are urging others to support National Bandanna Day today.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
The annual Deniliquin Garage and Town Sale event is being held tomorrow, and more than 16 homes are registered for the bargain day.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.