Lift Off!!!

I’m taking off to South Africa…Tomorrow!

Whaaaaat??? Did you say Africa??!!!

Beyond my wildest dreams – ummm Yep! , it’s definitely one of those pinch me moments…

So, how did this happen?

Well it started with my snow buddy and pro-surfer friend Tanika Hoffman putting the idea in my head of coming over to do some surf contests.  Then I discovered that my coach Clayton Neinebar (and family and little bro Yani) would be going over around the same time and then Billabong said; ‘yep – go for it’!  Finally, a lovely girl I met in the surf at Snapper, Sophie Bell, said – yeah, come over – we can do all the competitions together!

It’s made me reflect on just how lucky I have been and how grateful I am to everyone and everything that’s helped bring me to this amazing surfing life – to my sponsors; Billabong, Go Pro, Von Zipper, Shapers and Amazonia company. And big thanks also to my muscle master Peter from Source Condition Gym and meticulous surf coaching from Clayton – I can’t thank him and his family enough for all their support. To my Boardriders club Snapperocks and the Surfing excellence program at my highschool (PBC) for all the motivation. Thanks to the many wonderful surf photographers always sharing their images and to all the surf buddies sharing the waves. Thanks to my family for unconditional support, honesty and love and finally thank you to the Ocean for not only giving us waves, but the very air we breathe!

Africa – it’s Africa!!!

My main priority will be competing in the 6 WQS and Pro junior competitions – at the South Africa Open of Surfing in Durban, the Jordy Smith Capetown Pro and the Billabong Ballito (you can follow these via the World Surf League web page: http://www.worldsurfleague.com). Hopefully getting a ranking will help me get into more contests next year.

And did I mention IT’S AFRICA?!!

Land of wild things and inspiring peoples – I am so excited to learn and experience and share the story in this amazing country! I’ll keep doing the video logs and posting Instagram stories – so please feel welcome to follow along!

Sunny Sunny Coast

Unfortunately, for most of the time it wasn’t sunny in the Sunshine Coast, it was quite gray, but the experience that we as a family went through was quite extreme and definitely memorable.

We left the goldy with enthusiam buzzing under the surface but as we were on the road about 30km out of Coolum (where the Wahu Surfer Grom Comp was being held) smoke suddenly started rising up out of our car and the engine got really hot really quickly, so we had to pull over and my mum franticly called RSCQ and arranged a tow tuck while I texted all my friends that I knew who were going to the comp and could pick me up so I could make it on time for my heat. Luckily, Kate Leeuwendal asked Jacqui O’Sullivan to drive to where we were and pick me up in time for my heat. I was really stressed out because I didn’t know what would happen to mum (who had to be towed to a mechanic in Coolum) and if it would be expensive to fix- this was not really good for my mind set for the heat. I also didn’t go for a free surf before and I was not focused- which led to my horrible decisions out in the water and ended up with a 3rd in my first heat. This meant I had no chance in to get to the final- which was my goal. But before I knew how I went, Surfing Australia did an interview with me and I thought that only the people who win get an interview so I was really excited (you can watch it here: http://www.mysurf.tv/categories/loungeroom/satv/463-wahu-surfer-groms-comp-sunshine-coast-december-2014?page=4 ) until I saw that I got 3rd and my smile dropped. I calmed myself down and thought to myself, “I have to show them I can surf! I might not get into the final but this is my time to shine.”

That was my goal, not only to win my heat, but post big scores.

Our plan was to sleep in our car but since it was parked at a mechanic 20 Kim’s away we had to find another option. Luckily Kate graciously invited us to stay with her in her apartment with Shaye. It was so nice of them!

The next day I awoke with fire I my belly, I wanted this. I went out for a 45 min free surf and got my head in the right space. Mum helped me stay completely focused- conserving energy for my heat (which worked!). By the time I got my rashy, I was ready. I warmed up and paddled out with all the other girls in my heat, completely focused. Once the hooter blew, I got my game face on and waited for the first wave.

As the heat finished, I paddled in with a good feeling in my gut. When mum congratulated me, joy over came all emotions, I was so happy and grateful as everyone congratulated me as I walked up the stairs. I got a quick look at my scores and was so happy with my 7.83 and 6.0.

But I had not done enough to make the final, so I just cheered on my friends who made it and wasn’t so upset with myself because of my self-redemption in the last heat. Chairing up my friends was the highlight! I was sharing their joy and that made me feel so stoked.

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