Australian representative Denni Purcell goes through her paces on Tinana Creek on Saturday.
Australian representative Denni Purcell goes through her paces on Tinana Creek on Saturday. Jocelyn Watts

Siblings ski way into NZ showdown

IT'S not only being related that Nick Purcell and his sister Denni have in common.

Both are talented water-skiers and both have been selected for Australian duty next week.

The pair, who are both members of the Maryborough-Hervey Bay Waterski Club, will head across the Tasman to take on the Kiwis in a team showdown just north of Auckland.

The four-day tournament will feature the four best skiers (two men and two women) from Australia against the best from New Zealand.

Nick, the current Queensland under 21 slalom champion, is in the starting line-up while 18-year-old Denni, who finished third overall in the under 21 age group (she did three events – trick, jump and slalom) at the nationals last year, is a reserve.

Those in the Australian team were selected on how many points they had secured during the season.

Needless to say, the Purcells featured strongly at the end of the year after another successful campaign out on the water.

It’s the first time either Purcell has been selected for Australian duty, and not surprisingly, 20-year-old Nick said he and his sister were both feeling really happy about it.

“It’s fantastic,” the former Australian under 21 men’s slalom champion said.

“It doesn’t get any better than getting the chance to represent your country in any sport.

“We are both really looking forward to it.”

To help prepare for the trip, the Purcells were hard at work in Tinana Creek together for most of Saturday.

Nick backed up by doing it all again yesterday while Denni, who is at university on the Sunshine Coast, had to head back south early in the morning to go to work.

Nick said the pair were certainly grateful for all the rain last week.

“There was a real lack of water in the creek before the rain and that meant we couldn’t train as much as we would have liked,” he said.

“The rain couldn’t have arrived at a better time as far as we’re concerned – conditions were great for us for this session.”

But did the pair make the most of the favourable conditions?

“I skied alright,” the modest Nick said.

“Denni skied real well, something she’s done all season.”



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