Twin sisters set for Showdown at Lennox Head
By JANE GARDNER
LENNOX Head twins Grace and Annie Fuller will hit the surf this weekend to compete against each other and some of Australia's finest all-girl surfing talent.
But there wasn't a hint of sisterly rivalry between them as they braved the blustery winter surf at training on Sunday.
"I don't know who is going to win, depends on the waves I guess," Annie said.
Grace and Annie are two of the younger competitors in this weekend's ICON All Girls Surf Showdown.
"We started surfing about five years ago," Grace said.
"I love the freedom of it and the adrenaline. It's hard to describe the feeling of being on the waves."
According to All Girls Surfriders club ex-president Mel Mott, there will be no shortage of fine sporting action from some of the region's top female surfers at the comp.
"One to watch is Rachel Bonhote-Mead, who is surfing in the open division, and Lyla Wright in the 16 and under," she said.
"Steph Sallis and Steph Single are also quite talented." The annual competition attracts women from all over Australia and this year, a few from New Zealand will compete.
It is seen as an invaluable stepping stone event for women who aspire to make it on the professional surfing circuit. Mel believes women do surf a little differently to men, but don't make the mistake of calling them 'gentle'.
"I think the gap in the standard is narrowing all the time," she said.
"Women can't generate as much power as men, so sometimes the manoeuvres won't be as critical, but elite women surf better than 70 per cent of normal men.
"They tend to flow with the wave a bit more, instead of hacking into it."
On Sunday, about 15 girls tested their surfing prowess under the watchful eye of last year's open pro division champion Jenny Boggis.
Jenny gave advice on where they could improve.
The 15th ICON All Girls Surf Showdown will be held this coming weekend between Lennox Head and Ballina, depending on the surf.
Pauline Menczer, Nicola Atherton, Kathy Newman, Jenny Boggis and Laurina McGrath, will headline the event, starting at 7.30am Saturday.