A BURNHAM-on-Sea jet skier said he is ‘excited and nervous’ as he gears up to compete in his first international competition.

Roy Downing bought his first jet ski at the age of 18 and started learning tricks for fun with his friends.

He decided to take a break from the sport after meeting his wife but took to the water again in 2012 and came fourth at the British Jetsport Championships last year.

The 37-year-old said he is hoping to impress judges from the International Freeride Watercraft Association (IFWA) as he is set to represent the UK in the Freeride World Championships this summer.

Roy said he is excited to show off his skills on a world stage and is looking forward to the competition.

He said: “When I was growing up free-skiing was not very well known as a sport but in the last ten years it has really started to take off.

“Doing a back flip on a jet ski when I was younger was something that was wild but now it is just considered normal.

“Jet skiing has been a hobby of mine for a number of years but I only started taking it seriously about two years ago when I trained for the British Championships.

“I have spent most of my time riding in UK waters and the waves are not as high as in other countries so I am excited to go abroad and see what I can do.”

The free-skier and six of his friends will be travelling to Portugal for the first round of the World Championships from April 27 to 29 and Roy said he is thankful he is being supported by Tommo’s Dream Foundation.

The foundation was set up by Lynne Robertson in memory of her son, Tom Robertson, after he sadly died in a motocross accident in 2017 and aims to help people who are passionate about motocross and jet skiing achieve their dreams.

Roy said: “I knew Tom and we both liked motocross and jet skiing so it is great to have the foundation supporting me.

“We have raised the rest of the money through our own sponsorships so we can go on this trip and I think it will be a fantastic adventure.

“I am 37 now so this will be both my first and last World Championship but I will continue to jet ski as a hobby.

“I am really looking forward to the competition and can’t wait to see what the World Championships has in store for me.”