Cabarita girl has world?s surf at her feet
By TANIA PHILLIPS
THE world is at the feet of Cabarita surfer Ashley Smith.
The 18-year-old has earnt a wildcard into the trials for the WCT's Roxy Pro at Duranbah later this month, and been picked in the Australian junior team to compete in the Quiksilver ISA World titles in Portugal in May.
It's a familiar double for our local surf stars, with Smith's good friend and former Kingscliff High schoolmate Stephanie Gilmore having achieved both honours, going on to win the Roxy Pro last year. Gilmore steps up to make her debut on the World Championship Tour this year.
Smith earnt her world title place after a 10-day Australian Surfing Team camp at Casuarina's High Performance Centre earlier this month.
The natural-footer's selection follows a stunning second-place performance at last year's under-18 Australian Grommet titles, which also gained her the wildcard.
But Smith wasn't waiting around for the good news yesterday, she was already on her way to her next contest, a Billabong Pro junior event at Coffs Harbour starting today.
"She thought she had done well at the camp," her proud mother Margaret said from the family's Cabarita home yesterday.
"Now she gets to surf against the best young surfers of her age from around the world."
The initial world title squad of 21 was cut back to 12 after the camp, with four surfers selected in each of the three age divisions ? under-18 boys, under-18 girls and under-16 boys.
The family is now planning to fundraise the $2500 needed to help get Smith to Portugal.