Coconet?s Tim Straatmans and Coconet Classic event coordinator Justin Diehm
Coconet?s Tim Straatmans and Coconet Classic event coordinator Justin Diehm

Barker in top board form

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TANNUM Sands wunderkind Campbell Barker is just one name in a field boasting some of Australia's best kiteboarders at the upcoming Coconet Classic event at Tannum Sands.

Barker is in top form, having recently won his second successive Australian Junior Championships title in Geelong, but will have to be at his best if he is to win on his home beach against a top class field on the Easter long weekend (April 14-17).

The Coconet Classic, a freestyle event in which all competitors take the air at the same time, has already drawn big names of the sport including fellow Tannum competitors Tony Prest and Zac Leschniok as well as Zebb Peters, Paul Jackson, Tania Campbell and Angela Van Hoof.

The event, which will be followed by a second CocoNet Classic event in Bowen in September, has grown in popularity since its 2004 debut with its originator and sponsor Tim Straatmans boasting big plans for its future.

Straatmans said the event would also be staged in Fiji next year with a greater expansion into other countries beckoning. "Eventually, it will become a world series with each country having their champions compete in the final. Tannum will always have the final ? it's the home of the event,'' Straatmans said this week.

"I'm very confident that within three years from now, six or seven countries will be involved.''

Straatmans has talked to industry representatives from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, South Africa and Fiji about his plans with Fiji already indicating its willingness to participate.

Coconet Classic event coordinator Justin Diehm said the freestyle nature of the competition ensured a colourful spectacle for the public and the laid-back, friendly nature of the event had proved popular with spectators.

Diehm said this year's Classic would also feature other forms of entertainment in addition to the kiteboarding, designed to make it a family fun day out.



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