A Langley sister and brother are rising stars in the sport of wakeboarding.
Willoughby residents Billy MacDonald, 11, and his sister Josie, 10, were crowned champions of their respective age categories at the provincial wakeboard championships held on Sproat lake in Port Alberni August 9-11.
Going into the 2019 Wake Provincials hosted by the Sproat Lake Water Sports Association, Billy was cautiously optimistic.
“I thought I had a 70 per cent chance,” McDonald told the Langley Advance Times.
It turned out to be more like 100 per cent.
Billy placed first for boys 13 and under for wakeboarding and also placed first for boys 16 and under in wakesurfing.
Josie was confident going in, but admitted to some pre-event jitters.
“I was a little nervous,” she recalled.
She got over it, going on to win first for wakeboarding girls ten and under and second for girls 16 and under in wakesurfing.
“I was pretty pleased with myself,” she said.
Next year, she will go into an older age category and has hopes of competing nationally.
Her brother could have gone to the national championships this year, but opted to stay in Langley for his minor hockey rep tryouts.
“He’s now been scouted by local pros to surf with them and be coached,” said mom Cathy MacDonald.
Dad Tim MacDonald, a former wakeboarder, likes Billy’s chances.
“He has a good shot at next year,” Tim said.
Despite their young age, the siblings have years of experience acquired during summer stays at their parent’s property by Osoyoos lake.
“They live there in the summer,” Cathy explained, and they are out on the lake almost every day conditions are good.
Both brother and sister say they liked the sport when they tried it.
“I love it,” Josie said.
Asked what advice he would give other kids his age who might bethinking about taking up the sport, Billy said, “keep your arms straight and you knees bent and have a lot of fun” and Josie said “just have fun and be yourself”
Wakeboarding is a water sport where competitors stand on a short board with foot bindings while they are towed behind a motorboat across its wake and especially up off the crest for aerial maneuvers
According to an online entry wakeboarding was invented by surfers who were looking for an alternative to surfing when the waves were down and the water was calm.
In the companion sport of wakesurfing, a rider trails behind a boat, riding the boat’s wake without being directly pulled by the boat.
After getting up on the wake, typically by use of a tow rope, wakesurfers will drop the rope, and surf the waves produced by the boat.
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