Emerald champion feet first into national barefoot squad
NIKOLAS Bray has every right to brag after winning Sub Junior Boy Champion at the 51st Barefoot National Titles and earning himself a spot on the Australian training squad.
The win makes it back-to-back titles for the 12-year-old, who won gold in tricks with a personal best performance and silver in slalom, nudging him ahead of his competitors to claim the overall title of champion.
The talented Emerald athlete is hoping to cement his place on the national training squad to earn a spot at next year's world titles.
Bray was joined by seven barefoot water skiers from Emerald, Blackwater and Clermont at the titles held in Darwin earlier this month.
The local contingent brought home the goods, including the Supporters Award and the prestigious Holland Shield.
Bray's dad and seasoned barefooter David Bray took out the Men's 2 title with gold in tricks, silver in slalom and a bronze in the jump.
David racked up personal bests in slalom and the jump event.
"It was a particularly proud moment for (me) to win a national title alongside (my) son Nikolas," David said.
New skiers Leanne Cross, of Blackwater, and Rebecca Comiskey, of Alpha, finished second and third respectively in the Women's 2 division, having to post personal bests to maintain their positions on the leader board.
Leanne won silver in tricks and bronze in slalom while Rebecca took home the silver in slalom and bronze in tricks.
Clermont's Pam Moller and Emerald's Jody Haylock, who only started barefooting five months ago, also competed in the Women's 2 division.