New Cairns talent's making waves
THREE years ago, Rebecca Petre didn't know how to water ski.
Last Sunday, she was almost crowned junior national champion.
The 17-year-old finished second overall in the junior girls category of the Nautilus Marine Ski Racing Championship after competing in three separate rounds across Australia starting back in September last year.
"I went out and gave it everything I had ... to finish off second was just amazing," the St Monica's College Year 12 student said.
"The girl that took out first place (Rachel Stapleton) was always just in front of me, so it was quite challenging to push myself that little bit further."
With Round 3 finishing up in Newcastle last weekend, Rebecca said she was stoked by her achievement and would now push for selection on the Australian team to compete in the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation World Championship later this year.
"It is a bit hard to gauge where I would be sitting, but I kind of do think I have a good chance with the Australian team," she said. "To get picked for this team would mean everything."
Rebecca, who only began her water ski racing career in June 2010, became the first junior female skier to complete the Green Island Ski Classic and Cairns to Cooktown Ski Race in the same year.
Her success on the podium was replicated by Cairns ski racing veteran Wayne Mawer in the Men F1 category, who went one better to take out first place overall at the nationals with his 99 Psycho Clowns Racing team.
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Rapid rise: Rebecca Petre took out second place in a national ski racing contest. Picture: MIKE WATT