Nick reaches Masters semi-finals
NICK Purcell took on the world and beat a fair few of the best skiers in the business on the Yarra River.
The 20-year-old member of the Maryborough-Hervey Bay Waterski Club showed no signs of being overawed on his first professional outing as he reached the semi-finals of the prestigious Moomba Masters International Invitational Championship in Melbourne.
Purcell contested the open men’s slalom division, a division which included the current world champion and the world record holder.
He finished as the third best Australian skier, none of whom managed to win a place in the final.
Not surprisingly, Purcell, a member of the Australian team that beat New Zealand in a Trans-Tasman team showdown in Auckland earlier this year, said he was pleased with the finish.
“To get to the semi-finals in such elite company feels great,” Purcell, the current Queensland under 21 slalom champion, said.
“It feels even better knowing that I knocked off some of the big names to do it too.
“Winning a Moomba Masters slalom title is one of the hardest feats in tournament water skiing and it is a prize cherished by the world’s best.
“Hopefully I’ll get a few more chances to win one in the future.”
While Purcell, was happy with his finish in an event dominated by skiers from the United States (six of the eight finalists were from there), he said he wasn’t thrilled with some of his runs.
“I skied alright at times but not as good as I wanted,” Purcell said.
“Saying that, it wasn’t easy on the Yarra.
“The currents and tides can play havoc with conditions.”