Blast Off! Travels, competitions and fun times!

The last few competitions have seen epic adventures, great travels and some good results…this surfing life is expanding!

1) Kirra teams challenge September 21st

I was invited to compete in the Kirra Teams Challenge event at D’bah, NSW in September by my friend. At first I didn’t really know who I was representing and what division I was in – but it all ended well, Very well! I ended up surfing for Alley Boardriders (even though I’m a member of Snapper Rocks) in the U14s girls. I got to surf perfect off the wall D’bah, low tide, and no wind and glassy. I can’t believe I got a 9.5 in my score line for the win! It was only 0.1 away from the highest heat score of the event! I was just so happy to have had a good heat – filling me with confidence before we drove all night down to Sydney for the BL’s Blast Off.

2) BL’s Blast Off 22 September, Northern Beaches, Sydney

We took off on a road trip! Long journey but fun times, camping and living out of the car!! Last time we were in Sydney was when I competed in State Cross Country in 2012…It was a little traumatic – mum got stuck in the inner city and had me to guide her- which was not very pleasant ha-ha. This time we ditched the inner city and went straight to the Northern Beaches and parked in Palm Beach (where they film ‘Home and Away’). It was a beautiful spot with many rocky cliffs and orange sand.

What a great competition! So many great little things going on, yoga, refilling water, beach clean ups , good vibes and lots of fun games! Through out this competition, there was MANY give away for example, treasure hunts and beach clean ups with prizes such as caps, t-shirts, stickers and exclusive electric watches, which was epic! During a BBQ, there was a free raffle for a gopro! People are so generous in this comp!

Day 1 of the comp was fun, but the surf was quite large and I was a bit freaked out watching a boy in the U12s division snap his board in his first round! So I was a little hesitant for my heat. As the day went on, the tide dropped and the wind turned on-shore, typical surf comp conditions! I didn’t go very well in my first heat coming 4th out of 6 but in the BL, there were 3 rounds and then a semi before the final, so there was still hope!

That evening was one of funniest nights of my life – my friends and I were in the corner store and one of them said “Hmm, I have a song stuck in my head.” And another started singing ‘This Is How We Do’ By Katy Perry, so all of them just had a full on groove sesh singing and dancing to the song! Ha-ha! In the middle of the chorus, one of my new friends tripped over in the crowded shop and we were literary rolling on the floor laughing! Then to top it off, we went outside and started Irish style dancing to entertain a little girl on her skateboard! I was laughing so hard I think I grew a six-pack!

My mum made Yani and I perform in the BLs Blast Off idol…which she said was ‘her birthday present to herself’ ..uuggghhh – I mean I have been performing since I was 3 – but doing it in front of people I basically would spend my whole life with in the surfing world was a bit much! Anyway I sang ‘Never Let Me Go’ by Florence and the Machine, all about the power of the ocean and then Yani played a Cold play mashup on the keyboard- and I sang along. Despite the nerves, we came 4th place and got a lot of positive feedback – which was awesome!

Next was Round 2 – also held in on shore messy conditions but I really wanted to get a better result so I spent hours analysing and focusing on the challenge ahead – it paid off and I came second! Round 3 was even better with less wind. I seemed to sit in the perfect spot in the right moment in this heat and I thank Huey so much for blessing me! I surfed my busiest heat and came away with a 1st! I was ecstatic!

Finals day was the most intense day of my life! After breakfast, my friends and we decided to play Marco Polo on the bunks beds of their cabin room of their cabin but I tripped and smashed in a wall, in the process, I sprained my thumb and couldn’t put any pressure on it – just what I need for my final!

Once I arrived at the contest site, I went for a fun free surf but as I caught a wave in, I realised that it was dying out, so without looking, I went left. Then suddenly, a boy was going right! We both pulled off…at the same time!! I heard a loud ‘CRACCKKKK’ and I was in shock. He said, “What are you doing?” in like a tone where I was in the wrong, I stuttered, “I was going left! I couldn’t see you!” I check my board and a massive, massive ding was all the way through my surfboard! The nose of his surfboard stabbed my board!!

I burst into tears. I couldn’t believe it. He just paddled back out to the line-up and didn’t even check if I was okay. Something smashed into my face, just next to my eye, that left a bad bruise. But my emotions were in overdrive. All these questions flashed through my mind. ‘I have no board to ride in my final, what am I going to do? “Will I have to forfeit?

I stepped back and reviewed what happened- First of all, I needed some chocolate and to take a few deep breathes, second of all, I needed to ask someone who has just about the same board as mine for the all important final. The legendary Bartholomew family came to the rescue and loaned me Jaggar Bartholomew’s third back up board (Thank you!).

But the drama wasn’t over! As I was getting my rashie, I saw a massive black cloud crashing over the hill making its way to the beach! All the girls and I paddled out only to see a wave of black, fearsome clouds approaching! We waved our hands around to see if they would carry on with the final – but we couldn’t see anything through the thick rain.

Just then a huge crack of lightning struck the beach, followed by an earth-quaking thunder clap! We literally jumped out of our skins. We paddled as hard as we could on any wave that came- our only goal was to get to shore – fast! We ran up the beach to hide with our parents under some bushes and wait until it passed. What a way to bond with all the girls in that final – so memorable!

The moment it stopped raining, we ran down the beach to talk with the comp officials and waited for the next call. (Barton Lynch wanted the storm completely out to sea before he sent us out). Once the storm had passed, the wave at Wedge turned on. Clean, glassy, perfect peaks arose and we got the most amazing conditions to surf in.

After the final, I gave all the girls a big hug because I knew how amazing that situation was for me. I went away from the wonderful comp with a 4th place in the U14 girls and that was what I hoped for.IMG_8136.JPGIMG_4760.JPG

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