Sport

Young Cali and Kyuss on a high

HE’S STOKED: Byron Bay’s Kyuss King, who surfed his way into the 14 years boys final in the Australian titles at Roaring Beach in Tasmania.
HE’S STOKED: Byron Bay’s Kyuss King, who surfed his way into the 14 years boys final in the Australian titles at Roaring Beach in Tasmania.

PROMISING Cali McDonagh is aiming to raise herself for a final monumental effort and stake her claim for a place alongside the world's finest surfers.

The 16-year-old was due to start her campaign today at the final leg of the 2012 Rip Curl GromSearch event on the Sunshine Coast.

A good performance could see the Lennox Head-based representative earn a spot at next year's International GromSearch final, held in conjunction with the Association of Surfing Professionals' World Championship.

Having underlined her promise with a title at last week's Australian School Surfing Association titles in Tasmania, Cali is searching for more glory.

"I was pretty exhausted when I came back from the nationals," she said.

"I've rested up now (though) and I'm feeling good.

"To get through to the (internationals) would be unbelievable. Some of the guys there are my heroes, so to be there with them would be amazing.

"Hopefully I can do it."

Byron Bay High School student Cali earned her spot at the tournament with good performances at earlier events in the Rip Curl GromSearch series.

Previous event winners and ratings leaders go head-to-head to claim the overall top prize.

A strong display could earn competitors places at the world championship event at Bells Beach in Victoria next year.

Cali's first target is to get through two rounds of heats and finish in the top eight of her section, earning her a place in the final.

Speaking yesterday from the event's base at Caloundra, she admitted conditions already looked testing.

"The waves are about four feet, but they are pretty messy," she said.

"I think it's going to be about sticking to my preparations and surfing just as much as I can in the lead-up to my heat.

"I am feeling good and I have no negative thoughts.

"I'm ready to go."

Cali is not the only member of the McDonagh family flying high in surfing.

Young brother Mikey, who is 11 and attends Lennox Head Public School, is also a talented surfer and will be in action on the Sunshine Coast.

The competition runs until Tuesday.

Meanwhile, fellow talented junior Kyuss King is reflecting on a successful spell of competition.

The 12-year-old recently reached the finals of the 14 years boys division in Tasmania.

It was another notable achievement by the Byron Bay competitor, who has also been selected for a training scholarship at the Surfing Australia High Performance Centre.

"Every heat (at Tasmania) was like a final," he said.

"There were so many good surfers there. I'm stoked at how well I did.

"I have another year in this division and want to take to take the title."



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