Kiteboarder surfs to victory
By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.com.au
TANNUM Sands kiteboarder Campbell Barker is the toast of his home town after cruising to victory at the Australian Junior Kiteboarding Championships in Geraldton.
The talented 15-year-old was in hot form during the six day event and comfortably accounted for his under 18 rivals in what was an awesome display.
Barker was ecstatic with his first national championship victory.
"I was rapt to win, to go over there and win was just sick,'' Barker said.
"It was pretty easy in the end because I won the freestyle and wave sections of the competition so nobody could catch me.''
Even with the ease of his win, Barker was tested by the windy Western Australian conditions and believed his ability to handle those conditions was a key factor in his success.
"The wind was really heavy during the championships,'' he said. "It was really too windy to perform at your best.
"But saying that, I thought I handled it better than the rest of the competition and that was probably why I was able to win.''
The talented Barker is rated as one of the world's rising young kiteboarding stars having toured and competed in the United States and Cyprus last year.
His experience, mixing it with the world's best kiteboarders, has given him added confidence in his ability and Barker believes he has improved as a result.
"I had a great time over there,'' he said. "To see and compete with the best kiteboarders in the world was magic. "The sport is huge in America and to see the type of support they have over there is amazing, I want to go back. I have worked on my moves and really lifted my game.
"There has been a big improvement since I have come back home.''
Barker is now looking forward to the Tannum competition on the Easter weekend later next month.
"It should be a good comp, I am going to work on some new moves until then and hopefully get a hometown win,'' he said.