Warrnambool Surf Life Saving Club's Brayden Casamento wants to go one better at next year's Australia Surf Life Saving Championships after being named Youth Athlete of the Year by Life Saving Victoria.
Casamento was presented his award at the annual awards of excellence in Melbourne on Saturday.
The board paddler was rewarded for his performances in Victorian carnivals and championships and his stunning second-placing in the under 19 board race at The Aussies in April.
It was an almighty feat considering Casamento, 18, competed as a bottom-age athlete in the under 19 race.
Cheered on by his mum Rebecca and family friends, the youngster was thrilled to accept the award.
"It was good, I'm pretty humbled to get it," he said.
"All the other finalists had good years as well."
The Warrnambool-product, who also represented Victoria at interstate competitions, was one of four finalists for the award.
He was full of praise for his long-time coach Stephen Kerr.
"He's been coaching me since under 11s," he said.
"He's basically got me to where I am today.
"I look up to him heaps, he's an exceptional board paddler as well.
"He does so much for us kids."
Casamento, who is strongest at board paddling, is building for a big summer.
"I've been trying to improve on my ski and ironman events," he said.
His goal is to compete in the ski at The Aussies next year.
Casamento's pre-season has consisted of boxing, gym work and swimming.
He has Victorian carnivals to look forward to in early December, the Manly freshwater event on Australia Day weekend and the Victorian titles at the end of March.
Out of the surf, the teenager has be studying commerce at Warrnambool's Deakin university.
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