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By CHRIS DOBIE
YOU would be forgiven for thinking
that Shoalhaven daredevils Josh
Sanders and Robbie Maddison are
They look alike and their drive, sin-
gle-minded determination and cho-
sen careers are incredibly similar.
The boys are actually related - by
marriage. Robbie is married to Josh's
younger sister Amy and looking back
at the pair's rise to international suc-
cess it appears it was meant to be.
Talk wakeboarding and you talk Josh
Sanders. World famous for his creativ-
ity on a board, Josh is regarded as one
of the sport's most skilled and experi-
Sanders fell in love with the sport of
wakeboarding and excelled so much
he helped shape its future.
"At first, no one could fly really high
off the wakes and we started doing
that. Then people starting talking
about flipping and we mastered that."
Meanwhile a young apprentice elec-
trician and junior motocross racer
called Robbie Maddison found him-
self at the crossroads, wondering if
there could be a future in the new
sport called freestyle FMX.
"I was watching the sport's big
names pulling off mind-blowing tricks
and developing the sport," says
"I went to a Crusty Demons show
and that is what really inspired me."
Maddison was working at the steel-
works and the day after Crusty
Demons he decided where his future
"I was standing on top of blast fur-
nace number five covered in coal dust
thinking, 'What am I doing here' I
needed to do something different."
Down on the banks of the
Shoalhaven River Josh Sanders was
also making decisions that would
change his life.
"I went to America in 2000. I was still
a kid and the sport was huge in the
States, it wasn't easy to get started," he
"I spent a lot of time sleeping on
friends' couches and doing the real
hard yards, struggling to get by."
Sanders finally hit the big time, win-
ning the US Open wakeboarding
"I was the first international to win that
event and that's what finally got me
Robbie's exploits on his bike back
home were also getting him noticed.
"I was getting scouted by Red Bull.
"Josh was already sponsored by Red
Bull, was running the Gravity Games
event in Perth," remembers Maddison.
LEFT: Josh Sanders gets some air in
front of the Shoalhaven Bridge.
ABOVE: Robbie Maddison with his
son Kruz and Josh with his two boys
Jet and Cash enjoying family time
on the banks of the Shoalhaven
Unit 3/10 Central Ave, South Nowra (just past Good Guys)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 4422 6629
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