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Racer of the Fortnight – Jack Houston

Aussie Ski Racer, Jack Houston, took some time out of his busy training schedule, to sit in the Racer of the Fortnight hot seat and answer some questions about his stellar career so far and what’s next for the current, defending, Junior Boys World Champion.

What team are you from / do you ski with ?
Team Stinga Racing / Tuff-e-Nuff

When did you start ski racing ?
When I was 8 in 2002

Where are you from ?
I am from Wilberforce, Sydney, NSW.

Do you get much on water training there ?
Only about once a week. Botany Bay is where I do most of my on water training

How do you prepare for each race?

I have a set routine in the morning, which involves 3 Weetbix when I get up. Before a race, I like to isolate myself from everyone else, I have a certain warm-up and stretching session and I eat a packet of red frogs and a banana.

What classes do you like to compete in most ?

Junior Boys, Social Men, F2.

Which race venues do you enjoy racing at the most and why ?

The Hawkesbury River, because its basically my home and Botany Bay because this is where I do mostly all of my on water training.

What sort of titles / championships do you have under your belt ?

I have won 5 NSW State Titles, 6 Australian Titles and 1 Junior Boys World Title.

Who’s been your biggest influence on your ski racing career?

My father has been my biggest influence on my ski racing career. When I was younger I was inspired by him winning all of these races like the Bridge to Bridge, driving the boat ‘Stinga”. One day I wanted to ski behind him and win some races of my own, so I stepped on a race ski, raced my first race and won. It also happened to be my first National Title too.
I loved the feeling of winning so I kept at it and my ability grew and grew as well as my love for the sport. This then got me to achieving my goal of getting to the top of winning a World Championship.
Without my father pushing me along I wouldn’t be where I am today. And I am sure that I have the same influence on him because if I weren’t racing, he wouldn’t be either.

What’s a memorable moment, ski racing, that you would like to share?

The most memorable moment for me was in 2009, winning my first ever World Championship. I will never forget the fourth race at Viersel, when I crossed that line, the pride that I felt was like nothing else, because I knew that I had truly achieved my goal.
That moment was even more special because I had my family and my close friends by my side throughout my whole campaign.

What are the challenges for you each race?

Well being the current World Champion, my biggest challenge is my competition. All of my competitors are out to get me on the water and beat me.
It is almost like I have a big target on my back, and I have to make sure that they don’t reach that target.

What drives you mentally to train and grow as an athlete ?

The feeling of winning keeps me going because there is nothing better than winning in my eyes and if I don’t feel like I have skied well or have gotten beaten. I will go to the gym the day after and train as hard as I can until I feel like I am ready to do my best again.

If a younger or newer competitor was coming through the ranks what piece of advice would you offer?

I would try to stress to them that it is important that no matter how big your goal may be, if you put the time and effort in, you can achieve that goal.

Do you have some hidden talent ?

I do! I can play the guitar and I can draw fairly well too. But other than that I am not too good at anything else.

What are your goals for 2011 and beyond ?

My ultimate goal at the moment is to win the 2011 World Championships in Queensland and to become the first Skier to win two Junior World Titles in a row. I have already achieved my first step of being the number 1 skier for Australia in Junior Boys.

Would you like to thank any supporters or sponsors?

I would like to thank DC Waterskis, Wizard Wetsuits and Coldy’s for supporting me. Without them my Worlds campaign would not be possible.
Also my family and the Keys family for taking me training, also the Boylan family for their contributions.

** Footnote..- Jack has just won Intermediate Mens @ Catalina 2011, backing up from his win last year in Juniors. He has also won the SRNSW Male Skier of the year for the 2nd time in a row.

…Some movies of Jack in action..

Team Stinga Racing @ the 2009 Belgium Worlds (part 1)

Team Stinga Racing @ the 2009 Belgium Worlds (part 2)

Jack and Ben Hackett behind Team 50/ Tuff e Nuff @ the 2010 Mildura 100

Jack and Ben Hackett finishing Grafton Bridge to Bridge 2009

Gosford World Team Selection Race 2008

*Photography kindly contributed by Linda Keys, Rob Storum, Vanessa Eyles, Billy Lacroix, Craig Coffey, Kate Houston

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