The West

Kitesurfer benefits from experience
Port Kennedy kitesurfer Trevor Turnbull

Port Kennedy kitesurfer Trevor Turnbull believes the experience of having completed last year’s Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton will serve him well when the 2012 race begins next month.

Turnbull was one of a 110-strong field to start the 2011 event, which attracted a virtual ‘who’s who’ of the sport’s biggest names.

Billed as one of the toughest open-water races in the world, and the longest in Australia, the Lighthouse to Leighton starts at Rottnest Island and finishes 19km later at Leighton Beach.

For Turnbull, the race represents an opportunity to line up alongside some of the sport’s leading local, national and international exponents.

Last year’s event did not go as planned for the 36-year-old, however, he is confident of an improved showing at his second attempt.

‘‘Last year I didn’t really do as well as I thought I could have,’’ Turnbull said.

‘‘I had a pretty bad start, but I’m hoping to rectify that this year.’’

This year’s race is expected to be headlined by Frenchman Alex Caizergues, who won the 2010 edition in a record 24 minutes.

The 19km journey is not something attempted on a whim and Turnbull has been in regular training along the Safety Bay foreshore.

He said aches and pains were common upon crossing the finish line.

‘‘You get sore thighs and pretty sore calves by the end of it,’’ he said.

‘‘The following day you tend to be a bit sorer and have a few aches.’’

Turnbull, who began kitesurfing in 2002, said balance and an understanding of the natural elements were among the main skills needed to master the sport.

‘‘You’re going up against the wind and the waves, so it makes it a bit more interesting than being stuck on a cricket field for a whole day,’’ he said.

The Lighthouse to Leighton gets under way from Rottnest Island’s Point Phillip at noon on December 15.

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