Collie vet Nick Hamill is preparing to take on the biggest challenge of his kiteboarding career this weekend.
Hamill was one of 135 competitors selected to take part in the annual Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton race this Saturday.
The race sees world-ranked international kiteboarders take on local amateur races to travel the 19 kilometres from Rottnest Island to Leighton Beach in Fremantle in the quickest time possible.
Hamill said he was excited for the opportunity to take part in the race, which is in its ninth year.
“To kiteboard somewhere as beautiful as Rottnest Island, it’s a really unique experience,” he said.
Hamill said he had been working on his fitness for the race, which is one of the longest in the world.
“It’s a pretty unique event – kiteboard races exist but there’s not a lot over this sort of distance,” he said.
“The interesting thing about the race it’s not just 19km, but it’s 19km in the one direction. Usually in a race, you’re moving in different directions and utilising different muscles but this race is all one way so it will be tough. General fitness is going to be a big part of it.”
Hamill said he wasn’t worried about getting on the podium, but he was determined to cross the finish line.
“You’re competing in a pretty small space with a lot of other kiteboarders and there’s a fair bit that can go wrong,” he said.
“Completion for me is going to be the biggest aspect. I’m competing in the the division that includes the hydrofoils which are certainly faster than the surfboard I’m riding … [so] I’ll be happy just to cross the line and finish the race.”
Hamill said he was planning to learn how to ride a hydrofoil board, before having another crack at the Red Bull Lighthouse to Leighton race next year.