JET-SKI star Brad Rickaby has become a world champion at the age of just 18.
Rickaby, who only took up the sport four years ago, saw off the challenge of some of the world’s leading riders to win gold at the IJSBA World Finals in Arizona.
His first place finish in the Novice Stock class eclipses his fourth place finish in the same event last year and his British Championships crown.
The former Hall Cross pupil now hopes to compete on the European circuit and enhance his already impressive reputation within jet-ski circles.
Proud father Barry said: “Brad did exceptionally well to win it.
“He had to come through two qualifying heats just to reach the final and he was up against people who have a lot more financial backing.
“There were no slow boats and no slow riders out there – so he can be proud of his efforts.
“He’s a mature lad and he won’t let this go to his head,” added Barry.
“If anything, he’s got to go the other way a bit and start promoting himself more.
“The next step for him is to race in Europe as well as competing in the British Championships.”
Rickaby, who also finished second in the Novice Limited class in Arizona, teamed up with the UK’s top senior rider James Bushell at Lake Havasu for the showpiece finals of the jet-ski calendar.
The two-man team was outnumbered by several of the competing countries but the pair still guided Britain to a joint third placed finish in the Nations Cup behind the United States and Kuwait.
The Hatfield teenager only started jet-skiing – for fun and to pass the time – with friends at Lindholme four years ago.