Jetty swims prove ideal prep for Japan
METTE Klinkers has represented at an international surf lifesaving competition at the Sanyo Bussan Cup in Fukuoka, Japan.
The 15-year-old has followed in the footsteps of Sawtell ironwomen sisters Bonnie and Courtney Hancock and another Coffs Coast local Kayla Russell in competing in the Japanese event, which was recently held in its 10th year.
The Coffs teenager raced against the best competitors in the world from Australia, New Zealand, USA, South-Africa, Japan, Hong Kong and The Netherlands.
Having two passports Mette was able to race for the Dutch team.
All of the competition was open age, meaning Mette raced against Aussie Nutrigrain guns Maddie Dunn and Naomi Scott.
The races were held at a man-made beach where there are no waves.
"We knew that it was very likely to be like a lake...so I practised a lot at the Jetty,” Mette said.
Her best result was a fourth place in the individual board race, with a one-two for Australia by Maddie Dunn and Naomi Scott and a third place for a New Zealand competitor.
"I was able to stay with the top three until halfway,” Mette said.
"They were able to keep up the high speed all the way to the finish.
"But I am happy with my place, leaving lots of fast girl behind me.
'The Japanese people have been so friendly and are really interested in our sport. It has been an unforgettable week for me,” she said.
Mette also raced with her team to a fourth place in rescue-tube-rescue in the swim leg and a fifth place in the taplin race, being responsible for the board leg.
Next on Mette's competition and travel plan is the European Championships in Belgium, early September.