Watershed year for wave gals on coast
THIS year has seen some amazing surfing talents arise within the women's ranks.
It's been a watershed year for the young women of the waves highlighted by Stephanie Gilmore's maiden WCT win in front of the home crowd at Snapper Rocks for the Roxy Pro.
The 17-year-old Princess of Kingscliff who rides for the Snapper Surfriders club has been invited to compete in the trials of the Roxy Pro in Fiji to be held next week (April 17th - 22nd) at Tavarua.
It's famous for the left-handers at Cloudbreak (outside reef) and Restaurants (inside reef).
The Roxy Pro is the richest women's event worth $US75,800 and the third ASPWCT event on the women's calendar.
Hawaii's much rejuvenated performer 27-year-old Megan Abubo holds a narrow lead over current world champ 21year-old Sofia Mulanovich of Peru in the current ratings.
* * * *
THE latest surfing sensation in the Gold Coast ranks is former New Zealand open and multi age champion Airini Mason, 14, who took out the U18 girls final in the FCS regional junior titles at Palm Beach on the weekend.
This exceptional surfing talent from Gisborne comes from a full-on surfing family.
Her dad Chris Mason was well known in New Zealand as a surf manufacturer making Mason Boards and is now working with the Coast's best shapers at The Base.
Airini is the third of six children, her 13-year-old brother Canning also im- pressed at the regionals with a win in the U14 and will join Airini at the FCS state juniors in the Sunshine Coast in June 18-19.
Canning is also a red hot skater.
And following not far behind in the pecking order is 10-year-old Sarah who placed third in the U14 girls final of the regionals.
The baby of the Mason family Molly, six, is warming up on her foamy.
Their Maori mum Rere was so stoked with the Gold Coast after travelling around the East Coast contest circuit with her surfing tribe that during the Billabong Pro Teens in February, they settled down at Tugun.
Of course when Billabong Australia signed Airini up for a five-year contract that really helped the family decide that the Goldie was the place to be.
* * * *
MIAMI High School which will be celebrating its 35th anniversary this year and this week has taken on a California High School for a surfing school match-up.
Laguna Beach High group of 17 students, teachers and folks hail from a surfing area between Newport Beach and San Diego.
The super-stoked Seppo's arrived on the coast last Sunday and were frothing over the Super Bank at Snapper Rocks and looking forward to taking on the Aussies.
Miami High's 'Mr Tibbs' aka Richard Jones a former student and seasoned Miami teacher and a dead keen surfer was hoping for good waves on the Miami stretch of beachbreaks in front of Santa Monica Avenue (almost sounds like something out of the latest TV series OC.)
The goodwill surfing exchange took place yesterday.
* * * *
Hawaii's King of Cool, Bonga Perkins heads to WA with fellow Hawaiian and world ASP rated number two Kekoa Uemura to contest the two WA legs of the Suzuki Pro Longboard Tour.
Both the Hawaiians tackle a field which some of the best longboarder surfers in WA brothers Paul & Neil from Margaret River, Jarred Foster and Jock Bahen from Perth.
The Thompson brothers are notorious for their exploits in the water especially if the surf is sizeable, and will be hard to beat, while Foster gained considerable experience as part of the Australian contingent at last years ASP World Titles in Biarritz and will be looking to showcase what he has learnt.