Star set to shine brighter

ROBERT Jones will aim to improve on his efforts which saw him take out this years’ Wellington Sports Star award.

The Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club member, who competes in surf ski, said he was attracted to the sport after witnessing fellow surf club members practicing.

“I joined (the surf club) in 2009 and took it (surf ski) up three years ago,” he said.

“I saw a couple of people practicing, jumped in and paddled in a few kayaks.

“Ben came to me and said to do a competition. I went to one, did alright and have never stopped.”

A surf ski is a long, narrow, lightweight kayak with an open cockpit, usually with a foot pedal controlled rudder. Competitors launch forward from the starters mark, racing around barrels and back to the flags.

After competing in several competitions in locations along the Great Ocean Road, Jones went to the state titles in Ocean Grove, where he won four medals.

Those efforts saw him compete at the Australian titles in Queensland. Despite an indifferent finish, Jones rated the Australian titles as a highlight and is driven to improve this season.

“That was pretty cool, it’s probably the highlight,” he said.

“I finished 12th. I was paddling, just about at the flags and I stuffed up a little and a heap of us crashed into each other.”

After slogging it out over the winter months, Jones will now taper his training as he aims to improve on his performances.

“Winter you do the long stuff to hold up your fitness then into summer do the shorter (distance) rowing,” he said.

“I will do the Anaconda in December, start doing the Ocean Grange tournaments, then on to states and the nationals.

“Hopefully I can win more gold medals and aim for a second at the Aussies.”