New Under 18 World Champ Laura Enever is looking to test her skill in the open category.
New Under 18 World Champ Laura Enever is looking to test her skill in the open category. Doug Eaton

Back as world champ

NEW Under-18 world champion surfer Laura Enever is stepping up into the open pro category at the All Girls Surf Showdown this weekend.

Less than a week after beating the world's best grommets in France, Enever will paddle out against seasoned competitors and former All Girls winners Pauline Menczer, Stephanie Sallis and Laurina McGrath.

The 16-year-old has travelled from Sydney to Lennox Head for the competition for the past four years and is the defending 16 years and under champion.

She also made it to the 2007 Under-21 final despite being clocked by a rogue water bomb while warming up for the semi-final.

"A couple of the local kids thought it would be funny to throw a water bomb at my face," she said.

"All the boys were throwing them at each other and I think one guy ducked and it hit me.

"I couldn't paddle out because my nose was bleeding so badly and I was scared of sharks.

"They had to call the competition off for 25 minutes. It was probably the worst nose bleed I've ever had.

"They felt pretty bad but I forgave them and they bought me an ice cream."

Enever eventually stemmed the bleeding and went on to win the semi-final only to go down to Stephanie Sallis in the final.

This time she will be still on a high from a superstar reception at Sydney Airport on Wednesday.

"I got back and my friends had made posters of me and were cheering at the airport," she said.

She had one day to relax at home before jumping in the car with her mum for the drive up to Lennox Head.

"I've been coming up every year since I was 12," she said.

"I just like the atmosphere and seeing all the girls and catching up.

"It's something special."

But this year brings an added challenge.

"This is my first year at open level so it will be a big change," she said.

"All the older serious girls will be there so hopefully I can step up.

"They've been surfing for a long time probably as long as I've been alive  so hopefully I can learn from them.

"I just want to get some good waves and surf my best, and hopefully I can just do well."

Enever will also compete in the Under-21 category.

Competition starts from 7.30am today and runs all weekend.

The finals are on Monday.


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