A WORLD series jet skier completed a 400-mile round trip just to take advantage of the waves at Seaton Carew.
Enthusiastic Graham Reid, from Northampton, loves nothing more than thrashing about in the sea on his jet ski and he spent the day in Hartlepool at the weekend.
The 43-year-old runs his own engineering business back home but in his spare time he takes part in jet ski competitions and is set to compete in this year’s World Series event in France, Portugal, America and Brazil.
Graham, who completed the seven-hour round trip on Saturday, is a regular visitor to town and he jet skis with town daredevil Jason Bleasdale, who became the first man in Britain to hold three national jet-ski titles in 2011.
Graham, who is married to Pippa-Jane, also 43, said he follows “the surf” and as well as travelling to Seaton Carew, he also makes regular trips to south and north Wales and Devon.
He describes the conditions at Seaton Carew as “ideal” and a “safe environment”.
Graham, who was once ranked fifth in the world, said: “I have been jet skiing for 15 years and I follow the surf.
“I often make the journey up to Hartlepool and the waves at the weekend were big and rough, great conditions
“I have always loved the sea and I started to jet ski because I wanted some excitement.
“I love jet skiing at Seaton, the conditions are ideal, good access, plus it is a very safe and friendly environment.
“Jet skiers often get a bad press for being vandals on the water but we are very sensible and respectful of others in the sea.”
Graham, who also used to organise competitions in the UK, spent his time in Hartlepool honing his skills including the adventurous Madonna Back Flip, which sees jet skiers attempt a back flip with their left hand and left foot off the ski at the same time.
In May, Graham will be competing in the World Series event in Bordeaux, France and in Lisbon, Portugal, before jetting off in September to Portland, America and then onto Brazil in October.
It will be the third time he has taken part in the complete World Series after spells in 2008 and 2009 but he has competed in France for the past five years and is confident about doing well this year.
Graham said: “I am feeling fairly confident.
“In each round there is about 25 riders and ideally I want to be top five.”