South Yorkshire jet ski star is just champion

Aaron Cantwell on the water. Photo by J L Dunbar Photography
Aaron Cantwell on the water. Photo by J L Dunbar Photography
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A South Yorkshire schoolboy knocked unconscious in a jet ski contest has become a British champion in the sport.

Aaron Cantwell, of Herringthorpe, Rotherham, has become Jet Sport Racing Association British summer junior champion – just two years after he started riding on his own.

The 14-year-old became interested in the sport when his parents, Stuart and Lynn, started taking him out on the water on one of their three jet skis.

The Oakwood High pupil, who trains at Rother Valley Country Park, began riding a stand-up jet ski on his own in 2012 and is already making waves in the jet skiing world.

Dad Stuart, aged 45, said: “Aaron has been a passenger for a lot of the time just sitting and riding around.

“When there has been no-one on the lake he has been allowed on at slow speeds.”

Aaron was crowned this season’s champion at an event at Lakeside in Doncaster - the same venue he was knocked unconscious at the year before.

The three-day JSRA Jet Ski Championships attracts thousands of spectators and the world’s top riders.

Stuart said: “Last year at the same event he had an accident and was knocked out and was face down in the water. That was awful.

“When it happened we weren’t told anything. We were sat around and it was really silent.

“We weren’t sure what happened. It happened so far away. We think the edge of his jet ski came together with another.

“Aaron has no recollection of what happened, but it didn’t put him off.

“At that point I said were are going to sell all three skis and he was devastated.

“We got him back on the water and he was fine.”

“Going into the last meet in Doncaster he was in first place. A girl was his nearest rival.

“There had been six different venues where they had completed and they always shared first and second place.

“He lost the first race and everyone was on tenterhooks.

“All the adults were giving him advice and he rode the next two races brilliantly.

“When he finished it was relief more than anything. He has come such along way.

“The adults were saying he has a lot of potential and is one to watch.”