Teen on wave of good form
A FORMER Cabarita surfer has an eye on securing a professional tour place after finishing runner-up at the Australian Junior Surfing Titles at Phillip Island earlier this month.
Shaping as a major player for the future of surfing's elite, Sophia Fulton (14.3), narrowly missed out on claiming the title by an agonising .3 points to Western Australian Jamaica Selby (14.6).
Fulton beat Selby in the semi-final, but Selby turned the tables in the final to claim the title, on a day where six national titles were won.
"I've been surfing against girls that are older for a long time and I'm very happy with myself, I tried my hardest,” Fulton said.
"I think I surfed really well but Jamaica deserved the win.”
The positive attitude is a reflection of Fulton's application to surfing in her quest to be the world's best.
Despite being just 14, she has already claimed a NSW Open state title, and a National Grom Search title, and been a National Open championship runner-up to Tweed's Alyssa Lock, to go with an impressive string of Junior and Open results.
Born in Newcastle, Fulton spent time learning to ply her trade in Cabarita, but recently moved to Mollymook just outside of Ulladulla on the south coast of NSW.
Fulton missed the warmer waters of a Cabarita break but said Mollymook was the best place for her surfing apprenticeship for now.
"I love the surf here (Mollymook). The waves are more powerful down here and that's why we moved,” she said.
"I'm used to travelling, and being on the road a lot helps with competition as you're always on the move.”
Fulton heads to North Narrabeen on January 10 for the Rip Curl Grom Search national final, a competition she won last year.
She is strongly placed to claim back-to-back titles, after winning the South Australian leg of the tour in November.
She hopes a strong showing will propel her towards the world qualifying series and a future assault on the women's championship tour.
"My aim next year is getting into QS and reaching the quarter or semi-finals in them,” Fulton said.
"But I'd love to make it all the way to the world tour and compete on the world stage, that would be the best.”