Gosfield School pupil Ben Turp is hoping he can prove himself against the country’s best at the National Championships which start this morning.
The 14-year-old water skier has moved up a class for this year’s event, and will therefore be one of the youngest of the eight competing in the under-17s category over the next three days.
However Turp is hopeful of claiming high finishes across the three disciplines of slalom, tricks and jumps.
“I’ve moved into a new category which will be a lot tougher,” he said. “Before I’ve been the defending champion but now I’ve moved in with the older boys, and will be up against 17-year-olds.
“The slalom is my strongest event I feel, so I’d like to finish third or fourth. In the tricks I’m looking at fourth or fifth and in the jump fifth.”
The Championships are set to take place at Gosfield Lake Water Ski Club, which is where the teenager has called his home since moving there six years ago.
“All the training I’ve been doing in the last whole year has been dedicated to this weekend,” Turp said. “I’ve competed in the European and World Championships before but this is one of the big ones.
“It’s rare to get everyone in one event. In the Nationals you get all of them in the competition.”
Turp’s performance at Gosfield Lake this week will also have big implications on whether he gets selected for the Team GB Under-17s team for the European Championships next summer.
“It’s extremely important,” he said. “If I go out and do terribly in all three I probably won’t be picked for the team.
“We’ve been doing two-hour drives to different clubs to get different coaching. All the coaches say you can only do as much preparation as you can. It all comes down to on the day.”