Hetherington beats swell for double win

PORT Fairy surf lifesaving talent Jake Hetherington overcame the biggest swell he’s ever tackled in competition on his way to two wins.

Hetherington, 18, won the under 19 board and ski titles at Life Saving Victoria’s summer series final round at Fairhaven on the weekend.

It was his third board win of the six-round series and first triumph on the ski.

“It was the biggest surf I have ever competed in,” Hetherington said.

“It was dropping out of the sky, it was huge.

“They could have called it off but they handled it well.”

Hetherington said the waves, which swelled to nine or 10 feet (three metres), made it difficult for competitors.

“We are used to waves down here so it helped us against the bay clubs in Melbourne,” he said.

The Emmanuel College graduate managed to get through the ski despite a wave hampering many in the race.

“A few got out but I got out cleanest,” he said.

“A few lost skis and one of my teammates was absolutely pole-axed.”

Hetherington will now switch his focus to the Victorian and Australian titles.

At the Ocean Grove-based state titles he will compete in the individual board and ski sections and in the relays with Port Fairy teammates Isaac Martin and Daniel Murrihy.

“I’ll be hoping to win the board and hopefully medal in the ski,” Hetherington said.

Hetherington said the national championships in Scarborough from March 30 to April 6 would be his biggest test.

He competed at under 17 level in Queensland in 2013.

“I went last year and hoped to make a final there,” he said.

“I made a couple of rounds in the board and was aiming to make the final but didn’t do that.”

Port Fairy won the reserve grade surf boat section at Fairhaven.

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