Mayor Cllr Martin Reilly has extended his congratulations to 18-year-old Derry native Jake King after becoming the Surf Kayak World Champion at Maroochydore beach in Queensland Australia at the weekend.
The Mayor said he was delighted at the Eglinton native’s success in this challenging and competitive sport. “Jake is a great sporting ambassador for the city and region and we are all delighted at this remarkable achievement. It’s a fantastic accolade for him and I am delighted that his hard work and determination has paid off. His family and friends here in Derry and in Australia are very proud of him and wish him continued success.”
Jake’s father Paddy King explained that he won the competition after several weeks challenging the best surf kayakers in the world. “In the final Jake prevailed against the current men’s longboat world champion Edu Etxeberria , the reigning masters world champion Darren Bason and the reigning junior short boat champion Julen Arrizibala. Jake has been surf kayaking with the CANI surf kayak club since he was 10 years old. The Club has had tremendous success over the years producing five previous world champions and now Jake adds his name to the list, Chris Hobson, Jonny Bingham, Andy McClelland, Kevin Quinn and Jake’s older brother Corin. Jake is no stranger to success having won European and British titles as a junior and competing at the last world championships as a junior was placed 2nd, but winning the world title as an 18 year old has surpassed all his expectations.”
Ashley Hunter from the Canoe Association of Northern Ireland (CANI) said this is a great achievement for Jake especially at such a young age and so far from home. “Jake’s achievement adds to a long history of success for N.I surf kayakers at world level and will inspire the next generation to achieve their dreams of success on the world stage. CANI run a development squad with kids aged 12 – 18 and we hope that this will develop the future talent and we hope that Jake will pass on some of his skills to this group on his return.”
The Mayor said he would be making contact with Jake to formally extend his congratulations on behalf of the people of the city on his achievement.