Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Where: Northern Beaches Sydney Australia.
When: Autumn still warm.
Where to eat: The many cafe's at Dee Why
Where to go out: Oxford St Sydney... Always an eye opener!

So Dee Why Sydney was our last event in a string of four in a row and it was nice to be back into God's country (aka Australia).
Some times after four events in a row you can become a little burnt out and I think this was the case with a lot of the girls.
For some they have been away from home since February and were looking forward to the event running so they could go home.... So it was always going to be that after our first and second round heats the ocean would go completely flat and we would all be waiting around until the last day of the waiting period to run!
Things could definitely be worse and Sydney is such an amazing city to cruise around you can never get bored. Staying on the Northern Beaches you can jump on a ferry ride under the Harbour Bridge and be in the lively and entertaining hustle and bustle of the CBD in no time.
I went to hang out at the infamous Bondi Beach for a friend's birthday, chipped my tooth opening a bottle (don't tell my mum), rode a mal and a fish, went to a cool pub and then an art show all in one day and was home in time to be asleep and ready for my next day of competition... which wasn't for another 3 days.
The Beachley Classic fell this year on the Anzac Day long weekend and it was awesome to go and pay respect to the troops who fought for the freedom of our country. In Australia it is tradition to attend a dawn service and then head to the local pub for some beers and 2 up. Which is a game of heads or tails with three coins and a lot of betting

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Beachley at Dee Why

And back to Australia for us again! I think it is quite good for us Aussie’s to have three events of the first four in our country… Well it has definitely been to Stephanie Gilmore’s advantage!
This is me on finals day enjoying the sun with the crowd.

The Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic held at Dee Why beach on Sydney’s Northern Beaches this year fell on a national holiday long weekend. This weekend being Anzac Day long weekend and is generally spent going to a dawn service to pay respect to those digger’s who committed their life to protecting our fine democratic country which I for one and very thankful for. Then most Aussie’s head to the pub to drink a huge amount of alcohol and stand around a circle and yell heads or tails at each other (with 3 coins you call whether you think there will be more heads or tails in the 3) in a game known as Two Up and exchange bets, this is what the digger’s did in the trenches.
For me this year it was only Two Up and no alcohol because though we had run through round one and two in the comp the ocean went flat for four days and we were left with one lucky last day to run through the rest of the contest. Sally Fitz is in the photo here with her 2 buck bet for 2 Up.

So on the last day of the waiting period the swell picked up and after four big events in a row over six weeks this was the completion.
Again we found ourselves on a right hander. When I first started the tour we had such a large variety of events from Snapper to Teahupoo, from Fiji to France and Sydney to Hawaii. Now we seem to have a lot of right handers well really pretty much all small right handers and a whole bunch of young whipper snappers on tour. It has forced me to work even harder on my small wave surfing and especially my forehand skills as I grew up on a left point.
I lost my round three heat in what can be described as disappointing high tide waves where all I could manage was two round house carves per wave. Carissa Moore managed a little better but in the end it was a very low scoring heat I had a three point ride and a four. Carissa had a four and a five and that was the end of the contest for me. I was pretty disappointed to go out like that because I felt though the waves were tough everyone has to surf in the same conditions and my mind really let me down. Well I really let myself down so I need to work harder to not let the conditions get to me again like they did in New Zealand and Sydney.  Next week it is Peru and time to roll again.

This photo is Dee Why beach the calm before the storm. Such a beautiful autumn beach day!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Stop number 3 New Zealand!

TSB Bank Pro 


I chose to cruise NZ in a camper van, which is the thing to do there if you’re a tourist because the camp grounds are epic overlooking the whole coast with wireless internet! Just remember to put on your hand-break because you often pull up on cliff drops and maybe share the driving with someone who can drive a manual, my friend Sarah never learnt which meant I was numero uno driver as you can see below! Teach your kids the stick shift parents it comes in handy.

We were welcomed with open arms by the locals who did the tribal Haka which would be intimidating if you were a guy but for the girls it is quite attractive to watch fit men in small shorts with 6 packs being all manly… not that I was looking or anything…
I do also have to say the trek to the contest each day was a little tricky as most kiwi’s seem adept at driving to the middle of no where and following some random paddock to find the surf. If your from any other country you end up in the middle of some small town with the locals laughing at you for how far you have come and thinking you’re an idiot!

“Oh yeah, Jim and Nancy let us use their property for the day for the contest so thanks to them for having us”… Meanwhile Jim and Nancy just happen to own the land with one of the most playful right-handers around out the front of Sally the sheep’s paddock! And I am still driving down the coast because I missed the 54th right turn silly me!                                                                           

                                    ^See above for the need for comment

The highlight of my trip was jumping on a helicopter ride with Fuel TV and taking in the breathtaking scenery around the coast of Taranaki and the mountain behind it with Sally Fitzgibbons who was recounting as many helicopter crash stories and burning helicopter scenes from movies that she could remember which made the adventure all the more enjoyable! 

                                                                                    above, view of Mt Taranaki from Heli ^^

Below: Sally Fitzgibbons and I pretending to be on the helicopter sky traffic alert...
The contest ran the first day down the coast 20 minutes from Oakura and then moved to Fitzroy Beach  or the later rounds due to a massive cold, rainy and rather large change. I had my 3rd round heat yet again against Paige Hareb and coming up against the local town hero in this event was somewhat a little unnerving. Paige got me back for the last two events and moved through to quarter finals. 
It was a hotly contested event and the door was wide open with the upset of the event seeing Steph Gilmore going down to tiny wildcard Sarah Mason. Carissa Moore the eventual winner displaying epic new school moves mixed with a strong solid back hand attack. She also donated her prize purse to the local Boardriding club (a cool 22 000 NZD) which was a completely selfless and kind hearted thing to do.

Next stop the 2010 Commonwealth Beachley Classic, Dee Why, Sydney Australia!  For all the action go here:

For more pics and info on the NZ COMP go to !

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hells Bells and that's for sure!

< HERE BELLS BEACH: morning glory.


Where: VICTORIA Australia
When: March-April autumn has begun!!!
Where to eat: Swells cafe, Jan Juc.

Where to go out: The local Torquay pub, though it's so  crowded you may have to jump the fence.

For me Bells is one of those places I either love or hate depending on my mood. Generally I won’t lie I have a passionate hate for Torquay. I drive down the Victorian roads with an overly anxious feeling in my chest, generally to do with the fact I know there are 114 speed camera’s out to catch me (myself and the people I was traveling with had 4 speeding tickets in one week on double demerit point weekend last time I was here), not that I am a big speeder, I like to think I am a cruiser but in Victoria if your doing 106km/hr in a 100 zone then you get booked, no word of a lie, which makes it the police revenue raising capital of Australia so watch out on the roads!
So yeah I drove into the town with a close eye on the speedometer and checked the beach. It was flat, we had a one week waiting period and no swell was on the way. Not good news. Then the freezing southerly wind picked up fresh off the bottom of the world Antarctica and I thought yep welcome back to the Rip Curl Pro. 2010 was shaping into an excellent year for Bells.
Some people may call this negativity, well the positive people in the world but from a pessimists perspective this is what I call reality.

Ok, ok I will say I then went and met my old friend whose family I was staying with at Bells. There house is warm, the family is awesome, there were easter eggs, I had a comfortable bed and what the natural environment lacked this year with waves and warmth, the people made up for, as always. You will find the Victorian’s some of the more friendly people in Australia. Melbourne being the closest major city from Torquay also being one of, if not the best city in Aus, with amazing culture, food, people, street scenes and shopping.
The first day of the waiting period was Tuesday the 30th of March. The girls were called on in what I can only describe as horrid conditions. Check it out here , two foot and onshore, I was in the first heat, which was stacked with the ‘grommies’ Sally Fitzgibbons and Carissa Moore.
Sally had a couple of low scorers, Carissa had one wave and I needed a two to progress with seven minutes to go and the ocean went flat. Off to dredded round two for me!
I will not waffle about the contest too much, the conditions pretty much stayed the same, dribbly and hard to contest, when the waves are like this it does become a bit of a job, especially for someone like myself who has been competing since the age of fifteen, but you can’t control mother nature and I progressed into the quarter finals for another match up against Steph Gilmore.
I was feeling good and felt loose on my first wave. It was then about fifteen minutes into the heat I made a fatal error. I was sitting 2 metres from Steph and a wide wave swung in. I will ask .. have you ever been paddling for a wave and you are just too deep and you know it. Your instinct tell you your too late, don’t go and you listen. Then you instantly regret it as the wave reels perfectly down the line? Well imagine doing that and watching the World Champ in your sport love the fact you didn’t go and smash every section on this particular wave perfectly, flaring with brilliance. I wanted to go underwater and bash myself up, I had visions of punching myself repetitively but I stayed above water hating myself and watching a natural phenomenon of a water spout (which is a water tornado) touching the water about 200metres from me. This was the end of my Bells contest and onto NewZealand now on the plane with two major lessons learnt from Steph in the first two events. DON”T GIVE WAVES TO WORLD CHAMPS!! Even if you do go over the falls and get flushed and look like a kook!
On the plane now on the way to the next stop New Zealand.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Gimpy to Wimpy to Snapper 2010!

The last few months have been quite intense and the new competitive year crept up quicker than I expected.
With exciting things like moving house, dealing with contracts, university exams, doing tax, Christmas/New Year and a knee injury from pulling into a wave in Maui way too late, smashing my whole body on my board, resulting in eight weeks out of the water and a medial tear later. Crunch, crunch The Roxy Pro was walking up the drive way about to knock on the door.

I spent much of the eight weeks talking to my knee every day (yes my knee) willing it to get better before the first day of the Roxy Pro started on the 27th of February. One week before the contest commenced I got the OK to surf from my physio and I couldn't get out there quick enough! Well actually I couldn't get out there quickly at all because I had spent eight weeks out of action (admittedly I was doing other training but no training is better for surfing than surfing itself) and was completely wimpy as some of my friends were referring to me.
After a week of surfing my muscles were slowly reviving themselves and after seriously thinking about pulling out of the event due to the knee pain and poor preparation, something just clicked inside and I thought I should go for it... the reason being if Snapper is pumping i will never forgive myself if i pull out and watch perfect flawless Snapper Rocks with two people out. Such an opportunity only presents itself rarely and i was not going to miss it!

Where: Gold Coast Australia
When: Feb-March Summer time!!!
Where to eat: Bellakai restaurant, Greenmount.
Where to go out: Numerous event parties and The Cooly Hotel.

The Contest:
Making it through my round one heat with a fair bit of hustle and bustle between Claire Bevo, Coco Ho and myself was nice as you avoid round two which is always pressure plus.
I then made it through my round three heat which can be seen here:
It was a closely contested and exciting heat. Snapper lived up to it's expectation. I was so happy to be given the opportunity to surf out at Snapper with one other person... being Paige Hareb and even happier with my decision to compete on my knee.
I then came up against Steph 'magic 3' Gilmore in Quarter final number two. Somehow managing to over commit myself on waves when it really wasn't necessary and not finding a score in the messy conditions. Steph managed to put two average scores down then went on to win the whole event and full respect must be given to her as she is an amazing competitor!
At least I can say the winner took me out huh! Next week is Bells Beach Australia for stop number two.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Zealand Bro! 09

Arriving in the wonderful world of Kiwi land on my way home from the US Open of surf, the contrast could not have been any more extreme. Huntington Beach can sometimes be a little overwhelming for a small town Aussie girl, from megaphones and signings and an absolutely packed beach, to a ten seater plane and warm and frie
ndly 'Welcome to New Zealand' in that distinctive Kiwi accent and single lane roads had me feeling like I could breathe again! 
Photo 1 : Myself and Paige doing the Kangaroo and Kiwi respectively.

So the trip started like it should, lots of sheep noises from the Aussie's (yes we are original)
 and rugby jokes, but all in all Jessi Miley-Dyer, Sarah Beardmore and myself were very grateful to Paige Hareb baaa (sorry it came out of no where) and her family for having us! 

We started our trip by checking out Paige's local spot 
Stent Road and the surrounds of Taranaki,  with rolling green hills running alongside the volcanic coastline and the snow capped peak of Mount Egmont peaking through the cloud layer, New Zealand is an environmentalists dream. We even saw a calf, just born, trying to stand in a freezing field and stopped to take photos which I wont include because as beautiful as the calf was the rest of it was kinda gross!

We then made the trek slightly north to Rotarua, where Kiwi's and tourists alike head for the adrenaline rush of their choice. Our pick for the day was Zorbing. Some will never have heard of it, but you basically get put in the middle of a giant ball and get pushed down a hill. While I have always wanted to do it I have had visions of my ball over running the hill and ending up on a major highway (luckily the major highway is one lane in enzed), the instructors insured us this could never happen, so we were zipped into the ball with some warm water and flung from top to bottom. All in all a very fun experience and no black eyes! 

Above is Sarah and I after our trip down the hill.
To the right our excited jump for the Zorb crew!

Zorbing one day and snowboarding the next, we moved o
n to Taupo and Mount Ruapehu (left) where the sun was out and a fresh dump of snow made for the best snowboarding experience of my life. Generally in Australia when you fall 
on the snow (well I fall and fall hard and am 
definitely not quitting my day job) you land hard on your knees, on what feels like rock and to avoid knee surgery you put your wrists down. If your lucky enough that they don't snap you roll 
onto our back to avoid the rock coming up and land sideways in a tree! Well I may be exaggerating slightly but in NZ there are no trees, no rocks and thick, fluffy, white and dry snow!
Fortunately us Aussie's picked up where we all left off a few years ago and could still turn and by the end of day two we were even following Paige and attempting tricks and boxes, some successful and some not so much but it made for more enjoyment when we each had a go of falling and getting  pointed and laughed at. 

Our bright attire above                                              The amazing slopes NZ style!

Where the mountains meet the sea, I think that may have been a book?
Anyway we came down from the amazing heights and
 spectacular scenery of Mount Ruapehu and went to capitalise on the offshore winds blowing clean up the faces of Stent Road. Surfing with a snow capped mountain in sight was a first time experience for my brain and body. The surf was so unbelievably fun, with long, walled right handers perfect for carves I had an awesome time and the 4/3 solution wetsuit helped! However, from first hand experience, when your body starts to do the opposite of what you direct it to do and your speech is slurred due to hypothermia setting in I suggest you go back to land!

Here is Stent Road freezing perfection! 

 So to anyone thinking of going to New Zealand, you should do it because you will live it, you will love it and you can surf, what more could you want ay bro, wicked baaah!

Here Paige as a grommet and jessi maybe not as cute in the goggles!