Jet ski: Rickaby targets number one

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Six-time British champion Brad Rickaby has had one of his finest seasons and has a message for his competitors next year - “I want to be number one”.

The 20-year-old jet ski champion raced to glory on home soil when he won his sixth title at Lakeside this year as Doncaster hosted the British Championships.

Hatfield’s Rickaby, who also put on an impressive show at the European Championships in his hometown, has won the British Runabout Pro-Stock title for the second successive season and has kept his GB number one spot in what has been a phenomenal season for the race ace.

The self employed electrician has barely taken any time away from the water with next season in his sights and training already underway.

“This year has been brilliant for me,” said the former Hungerhill and Hall Cross School pupil.

“Winning my sixth title at Lakeside just made it so much better because it was in my hometown.

“Winning it in front of my family and friends was a really big highlight for me this season, I was buzzing when I heard the competition would be held at Lakeside.”

And Rickaby, who was nominated in this year’s junior sports personality at the Doncaster Sports Award, has one goal in mind.

“I want to be number one next year,” he told the Free Press.

“I’m getting ready for the big season next year.

“There’s a lot of racing to be done and I’ll be moving into the Pro Super Class category so it will be tougher. The boat is more powerful and it will also be more expensive in terms of working on the boat and making sure it’s up to a high standard.

“I’ve been racing in a less powerful boat compared to what I will be in next year so I need to be ready and that means plenty of training and preparation.

“There’s no rest for me really, I’m fitting in as much training as possible.

“I will be training hard throughout the winter.”

Rickaby has always had a need for speed ever since he watched his dad race superbikes. Later, one of his friends had a jet ski and after racing one, he never looked back.

He claimed his first British title in his early teens when he was racing against people in their 20s as Team GB came calling.

But Rickaby’s brilliance has come at a cost with the champion having to raise at least £7,000 to compete at the highest level. It costs even more for this month’s World Championships in America which the Doncaster athlete has had to reluctantly forfeit.

But the one-time World Champion has been thankful for the financial boost from sponsorship.

“It is an expensive sport. Competitions alone can be thousands of pounds, you have to be serious about it,” he said.

“But I love it, I love competing and I just want to get better and better.”

Doncaster has plenty to be proud of in the water after Bessacarr’s Emily Tucker was crowned British Champion freestyler at the competition in Lakeside.