BORDER water-ski star Josh Briant is a fully fledged Moomba master.
The 18-year-old last weekend produced two stunning runs on the Yarra River to break 11,000 points in the tricks section of the event — the first for an Australian. It smashed his own Moomba record.
It was the first win as a professional for Briant, a winner of junior events at the Labor Day weekend water-ski event.
The teen defeated world champions and runners-up to top the podium.
The win was even more remarkable, given the heavy taping on a badly damaged left ankle.
Briant said he knew he had finished in the top two when he landed the last trick.
“When I stood it up on the last run I thought I’d done enough,” he said.
“I was the second last seed on the dock so I’d seen what everyone else had done and knew it was up to the last skier to beat me.
“If not first, I thought it was at least second.
“I was confident before the event, I’ve been skiing the best I’ve ever skied in my life.”
Briant, who will further his skiing in the US College system from August, damaged his left ankle last May.
“I did it just before the World Cup and did it again in the week before the US Masters,” he said.
“I had a two months off then hurt it worse than before on a jump.
“I was in a walking boot and off the water for another two months.
“I only started training 10 days before the under 21 worlds in Florida where I managed to win the trick title.”
The Moomba win qualifies Briant for the US Masters in May.
It also takes his water-skiing to a new level — those he looked up to now see him as a threat.
“It was quite an amazing feeling to win my first pro title — I wasn’t really expecting it and it feels very different,” Briant said.
“I’ve always looked at those guys as better than me and people I hoped to compete against in the future.
“But I’m definitely competitive now and they are looking at me a little differently.”