By STEVE SPINKS
A 35kg dynamo from Sydney earned the respect of competitors and spectators at Lennox Head's Seven Mile Beach yesterday when she tamed some challenging conditions to win two divisions of the ICON Australia All Girls Surf Showdown.
North Narrabeen's Laura Enever, a tiny 13-year-old, looked entirely comfortable in the heavy two to three metre swell.
Enever was the epitome of cool in the tough conditions as she successfully defended the Under-14 title and also won the Under-16 division of the 13th Showdown.
"I love the big waves," enthused Enever after the presentations were made.
"I wasn't really expecting to do that well (in the Under-16s) but I jagged a couple of good waves."
To highlight how difficult the conditions were, Lennox's main beach was deserted by recreational surfers, while one competitor had to get assistance from lifesavers because she was close to exhaustion and in difficulty in a rip.
Matching Enever for wins was the Open Pro champion and the Under-21 division winner Nicola Atherton of Bronte in Sydney.
Atherton also excelled in the big swell, but she admitted to being drained at the end of four gruelling half-hour semi-finals and finals in the space of a few hours.
"I was very excited when they decided to hold it here this morning," Atherton said.
"But I'm happy that I train a lot.
"I'm buggered ... getting out the back was an achievement today."
The 19-year-old's twin victories were her first in four years of trying at the Showdown.Enever and Atherton are both gunning for a spot on the WCT.
For Atherton she hopes to break through to the top tour in two to three years.
Enever will have a longer wait, but the pocket-rocket is not worried.
"I just want to have fun and try to surf the biggest and best waves in the world," she said.
"My dream is to get on the WCT and travel the world."
Open Pro: 1st Nicola Atherton, 2nd Jenny Boggis, 3rd Cathy Newman, 4th Ebony Laird.
Longboard: 1st Tessa Davidson, 2nd Amy Clarke, 3rd Angela King, 4th Kirsty Webster.
Open B: 1st Bianca Linton, 2nd Michelle Kent, 3rd Sophie Butler, 4th Stephanie Smith.
Over-28: 1st Cathy Newman, 2nd Cathy Ryan, 3rd Sandra English, 4th Julia Reynolds.
Under-21: 1st Nicola Atherton, 2nd Renee Hyman, 3rd Jessica Hickson, 4th Meischa Davis.
Under-16: 1st Laura Enever, 2nd Sally Fitzgibbons, 3rd Phillipa Anderson, 4th Eliza Roberts.
Under-14: 1st Laura Enever, 2nd Aurora Ericson, 3rd Phillipa Anderson, 4th Claudia Kiernan.