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Jet Ski Champion Brothers

Jet Ski Champion Brothers

With 260km of passable waterways and 57km of some of the best coastlines in the world, the Gold Coast really is a paradise for those wanting to pursue a sport in jet skiing. Local brothers, Jake and Cooper Beekman, have truly embraced their locality. These up and coming jet ski champions, aged only 14 and 18, frequently compete in Watercross Championships across Queensland and interstate. Between training at their local private dam, you will often find these talented adventurers racing their stand-up Superjets in many a competition across Queensland, interstate and soon to be overseas.

Jake and Cooper have long been fans of water sports after growing up by the pristine waterways in Jacobs Well, a boating and fishing enthusiast’s haven. Jake says, “I have always grown up on and around the water since a young age. I have done many water sport activities, but nothing caught my attention more than jet skiing. I had always wanted a jet ski. It was just something about them that got me excited – probably the two-stroke smell!”

This love of water sport runs in the family, with Dad Charlie also competing in jet ski competitions at a younger age. As the saying goes, “Like Father, like son.”

Jake’s first jet ski was a 2012 Yamaha Superjet, a high performance, stand-up jet ski, which younger brother, Cooper, still rides to this day. The boys both prefer the challenge of riding a stand-up jet ski to a sit-down model; hence, needing to demonstrate more balance and finesse due to the nature of manoeuvring a long handle pole while balancing standing up.

“By the time I got my first jet ski, I was just shy of 16 years old,” says Jake. “I definitely prefer a stand up jet ski as it’s a lot more challenging to ride. Anyone can ride a sit-down.’

Cooper agrees. “I definitely prefer a stand-up jet ski because you need to practice to become really good and it is a challenge.”

In the last couple of years, these talented brothers have scored highly in a succession of competitions. Earlier this year at the Queensland Personal Watercraft Club (QPWC) Summer Series round 2 in Redcliffe, Jake won first place at the PRO AM LTD Ski, and second place in the AM 1500 Lites Ski Circuit. Jake also came second place in the PRO/AM Ski Modified at the 2019 Lake Macquarie Big Weekend PWC Race Series in Newcastle where he competed against some of Australia’s highest performing PWC racers. “The feeling of winning is what gets me excited again and again,” says Jake.

Cooper is also currently the two-time Junior Champion in Queensland after winning first place in the QPWC Summer Series Round 2 in Juniors for two years in a row – a great achievement, with a total of 60 round points and 120 series points. “I love the adrenaline I get from jet skiing,’ says Cooper. “I completely change when I am racing and don’t worry about the fear. I just enjoy the moment.”

But it is not all about the competition and winning for the brothers. The social aspect of jet skiing has been a huge plus for Jake and Cooper, who have made many friends from the sport, not only in Queensland but also interstate. Jake and Cooper both agree that making friends is one of their favourite things about jet skiing together with “the feeling of winning, going fast and competing”.

“It is a great sport that encourages comradery between the different states,” says supportive Mum, Belinda. “Although it is a competition, the kids meet some great people and make long-lasting friendships from this.”

As racing is only for six months of the year, Jake and Cooper still have plenty of time to be teenagers. Cooper spends his spare time not only jet skiing, but also engaging in a variety of other adventurous water sports including tubing, wakeboarding and knee boarding. “I like adventure and trying new things,” declares Cooper.

Jake spends most of his time around competition, studying and learning to fly to become a pilot at the Australian Wings Academy. To keep up his fitness, he trains four nights a week at his local gym and follows a healthy diet. “I also enjoy making videos and taking photos,” adds Jake.

Jake and Cooper’s parents play a big part in their success. “We take them to a private dam for training quite frequently and they train when time permits,” explains Belinda. “It can be quite an expensive sport with travelling interstate and locally, mechanical aspects, time and fuel costs, but of course it all makes it worthwhile when you see how much enjoyment they get from it.”

Cooper has also battled with an autoimmune condition, which requires ongoing support from his parents. “Cooper has been a type-1 diabetic since he was 18 months old, so we are constantly monitoring his diet, exercise and blood sugar. It is ongoing,” discloses Belinda, who together with Charlie, is very proud of Cooper’s success in not letting the diabetes stop him from pursuing his dreams.

Safety is also a priority for this family. “They wear back braces and helmets,” says Belinda. “Of course, there is danger in the sport, but it goes with any sport. You just have to make sure that it is always safety-first, and hope for the best.”

Jake is looking forward to continuing to race in Australia and competing overseas. He is currently training for the next big surf race in Mudjimba on 20 October. Cooper is currently working towards winning first place for a third time in the Queensland Junior Championships QPWC Summer Series next season, making him a three-time Junior Champion. His long- term goals are to win an Australian Title and follow Jake’s footsteps in competing overseas. (You can follow Jake’s jet skiing adventures on Instagram @jake_beekman.)

Good luck boys! You make us Queenslanders proud!”

 

By Sonia Wilkinson

 

Published in the Jan-Mar 2020 edition.