WATER SKIING: Smith takes title in stunning season

Champion: Thomas Smith shows off his 2010 trophies and his new boat ' which boasts a 1075bhp Mercury race engine. Photo: SG081210-222TW (TIM WILSON)
Champion: Thomas Smith shows off his 2010 trophies and his new boat ' which boasts a 1075bhp Mercury race engine. Photo: SG081210-222TW (TIM WILSON)

THOMAS Smith’s promising career took another impressive turn as he finished the 2010 season as National Euro-Kids B water ski champion.

The Holbeach teenager, who stepped up a level this season after being crowned England’s national champion in the ‘Bambino’ class of the minority sport, blew away his opposition with a stunning debut year in his new class.

Smith, who is a pupil at George Farmer Technology and Language College, travelled all over the country and even ventured to Europe en route to securing his latest title.

Often reaching speeds of more than 70mph, the starlet picked up a spree of victories over the season, which saw him compete at venues such as Cardiff, Weston-super-Mare and Hunstanton.

But he needed a little help from family and friends along the way. Ski racing is the fastest form of water-skiing there is – and is very much a team event.

Fulfilling a vital role in the team is Smith’s grandfather Malcolm Roffe.

He travels everywhere with the youngster and drives the boat that he is hooked up to.

Jeff Ling also plays the key role of observer on a regular basis. He keeps a close eye on the skier, relays signals to Roffe and makes sure that Smith is skiing to the best of his ability.

Ling also ensures that Smith doesn’t take a fall and consequently lose vital time in the race.

The observer also has a close eye on the competition, and keeps the driver up to date with the situation.

Without the dedicated duo, Smith wouldn’t be able to achieve his goals.

Now in the close season, the Hunstanton club member will be practising hard – when the cold snap relents – ahead of a testing new season.