Daredevil Jason is jet-ski champ

A HARTLEPOOL daredevil is celebrating after making a splash in a national jet-ski competition.

Jason Bleasdale has blown away the competition to become the National Amateur Champion in freestyle jet-ski.

Despite only being in the sport for 18 months, the Hartlepool lad has mastered a string of spectacular stunts.

The 24-year-old's impressive performance in the final round of the nationals, at Stoney Stanton, Leicestershire, last weekend, clinched him the title .

Jason, a car transporter, from Greenfinch Close, Throston Grange, Hartlepool, said: "I've won two titles this year already. I won the Fosse Hill Championship in Hull two weeks ago, and now the national amateur freestyle title.

"I won four out of six rounds and came second and fifth in the other two."

In the freestyle heats competitors have two minutes to perform as many tricks as possible and impress a panel of five judges with their moves.

Riders are marked on the number and quality of tricks they can fit in, and the style with which they link the stunts together.

The Jet-Ski Freestyle National Tour is Jason's first major win, and he hopes it could be his stepping stone to the British championships.

The former Manor College pupil and Hartlepool College of Further Education College student first got into jet-skiing on a water sports holiday in Fuerteventura, in the Canaries.

From then on he was hooked and bought a stand-up jet-ski as soon as he got home so that he and his fiancee, Kimberly Brown, 24, a beauty therapy lecturer at Middlesbrough, could both do the sport.

Kimberly rides at the quieter times but Jason can be spotted cutting up the waves in Hartlepool Marina with World Champion Ant Burgees and former British Champion Dan Rowan.

The trio train all over the country, perfecting barrels, nose dives, back flips and other dangerous tricks.

Thrillseeker Jason said he has picked up plenty of tips from the pros, who he met at a competition after he was spotted up by their sponsor, Loki Customs, a jet-ski engineering firm.

Jason and Kimberly have kitted out a camper van to allow them to travel to competitions all over the UK. The couple, who have been together for seven years, hit the roads and the water every weekend to practise their skills.