Big, Big, Big…Merika.

 

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It’s been a fast and bustling 2 weeks – the first time ever to mainland USA, hanging out in San Clemente, California supporting the team at Trestles – thanks to Billabong!

It will take a while to digest all the experiences – but here are a few that come to mind:

  1. Hanging and surfing with the pros at Trestles – always so friendly and welcoming! It’s special to see world tour surfers just relaxing and goofing about with their families and friends – being so ‘normal’. My heart melted when little King (Yadin Nicol’s son) gave me some shells he had found – so sweet! And thanks for all the surfing advice Leo!
  2. Learning more about California culture. Watching the Dodgers play baseball, singing with a mega massive crowd, sightseeing in the Hollywood hills and people watching in Venice beach.
  3. Watching the girls rip in the Trestles comp. Especially supporting Macy Callaghan in her first tour event as a wild card – so inspiring!
  4. Friendly, friendly people, welcoming and helpful – big smiles and a real community feeling in San Clemente.
  5. Big cars, big roads, big roads, biiiiig meals…After a month of French pastries, the US serving sizes had me running up and down stairs with Tanika!
  6. Glowing skyline – everything shines – watching the planes circle to land and the full moon rise – California doesn’t sleep…
  7. Shooting with new photographers (Tim Kothlow and Nico Guilis) and learning more about creating our own (with Alex Hayes and Tanika Hoffman)
  8. Contemplating fires and floods and the state of the world and what to do about it as Hurricane Irma comes barrelling through the Atlantic.
  9. Billabong hangs – so good to catch up and chat and share and laugh with the international Billabong team, surfers and supporters. So good to see Laura, Courtney and Alessa again and cheer them on!
  10. Meeting Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, someone who inspires so many young people to stand up for what they believe in – especially now that the impacts of climate change are becoming more and more obvious…

Goodbye for now, and Thank-you.

Mexico tomorrow!

Bonjour France!

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Brisbane/Melbourne/London/Amsterdam/Bordeaux – I finally made it to France!

My second solo international trip and I have a feeling that, even when challenges come my way – things will always turn out right in the end and a smile goes a long way!

I was welcomed to Hossegor with a familiar faces from a warm, open family that we initially got to know through Snapper Rocks board riders club  – and I felt instantly at home! Surfing and hiking with the boys, spending time catching up with besties, learning french ballads on my ukulele, learning more about (crazy – in a good way 🙂 ) Basque culture, gorging on chocolatins and other delicacies, discovering new parts of south west France through Billabong photo shoots – the first 2 weeks went in record time!

But I’ve actually come to France to compete in two WQS competitions; the Caribos Lacanau 1500 (where I made it through to round 3) and the Pro Anglet also a 1500 (where I unfortunately lost in the first round). The organisers make sure that there was plenty to do – bands, performances – even fireworks, so even when the waves are small and laydays may be called, there’s always something on.

The positive vibe from South Africa is flowing on – proving that surfer girls can still be best of friends while competing against each other! The fun balances out the pressure in gaining all important points in building up your ranking. And, did I mention the boys outnumber the girls who compete in surfing more that two to one., so there is always lots of entertainment in the water and on the land – hehehe!!

Hanging out with familiar faces as well as meeting new people who become friends in an instant, I have loved every moment of my time in France so far and look forward to the next few days before I head over for my first ever visit to mainland USA.

Click for a little gopro clip from a hike in the Basque country

 

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!

Never Give Up

If you could either spend the school holidays with all your friends or renovate a house 16 hours drive away, which would you choose?
I ended up renovating a house. Hahaha.

During the Easter holiday, my family and I drove up to North Queensland to renovate our old house in Ayr. We were renting it out and found out that it was trashed. I grew up in that house and my first tooth is still lost somewhere in the master bedroom 😂.

When we arrived, we were disgusted. Holes in the walls, infested with fleas (at one point, the people had 6 dogs), the kitchen had a leak and the wood around it was rotten, dirty paw prints lined the basement, the basement was COVERED in dog poo, the lawn was horrible, our fruit trees were poisoned and the list goes on.

Luckily, Mum hired the best person for the job… Me! Hahaha! Nah I did work very hard those 3 weeks and so did my mother. Just like the guy in karate kid – I worked my arm muscles painting – stroke up, stroke down…for hours…Yani didn’t really know what to do most of the time, so we sent him to the skatepark.

We also were there when cyclone Ita was about. Boy, that was pretty freaky!

By the end of it, the house looked pretty again and we can hopefully find someone who loves it to buy it! The reason I went was because Mum said she would pay me for my help and I was saving for a new winter wetsuit – I definitely reached that goal 😊.

When we got back, I immediately started looking for a wetsuit.
One afternoon my Mum gave me strange looks of disappointment and said we needed a serious talk downstairs with my grandma.
I nervously walked down, turned the corner and saw her smiling (yes, our family is full of tricksters!) – she said that someone from Billabong had called and they would like to support me!

I thought my mum was joking until she said that we had to go to a Billabong shop in Burleigh to meet the marketing manager and the team manager! I was jumping up and down! I still can’t believe it! Everyone were so friendly! I got to have a tour of the place and later talked with the team manager – I was so stoked to find out that I could get a wildcard entry to ‘The Occy Grom Comp’ and…. A NEW WETSUIT!!! I was frothing! I worked so hard to buy one and now I can keep that money for traveling! It was crazy, they let me pick out a wetsuit and some things from the shop!
I just couldn’t stop saying thank you.
Basically never give up your dreams, because if you work hard enough, you will get there.

Check out this video for the before and after photos

Rad Vibes
Pacha 😎.

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