Determined Mikey sets sights on the surfing world tour
EVER since Lennox Head's Mikey McDonagh was old enough to stand on a board, he has wanted to be a pro-surfer.
Earlier this year the 17-year-old got to experience a glimpse of his dream when he received a wildcard to compete in the World Tour at the Ripcurl Pro Bells Beach, Victoria.
"Ripcurl has a wildcard into the event which I got given through my sponsors,” McDonagh said.
"Getting a wildcard into that event at such a young age... it never really hit me until the event was done.
"That's always been a dream of mine and coming true this year it was pretty surreal.”
Not only did he get to compete but this young surfer also met his idol, surfing great Mick Fanning, in one of his last competitions.
Over the weekend, McDonagh has been competing in his seventh Skullcandy Oz Grom Open at Lennox Head.
"I love competing at home and sleeping in my own bed,” he said.
"It has always been my favourite event... it always brings a bit more of a buzz and bit more meaning behind it and there's definitely a bit more pressure, but I just try and block that out.
"These events set you up for a big future, getting your name out there and winning these big junior contests.”
The teenager has his sights set high, going for a permanent spot in the surfing World Tour.
"The main goal I have had is to be named in the world tour still being a teenager,” he said.
In training and preparation, McDonagh spends up to four hours a day in the surf.
"I've always been a really competitive kid, ever since I was little,” he said.
"There's never a time I don't enjoy it but I definitely have times when I'm tired and worn out and I just wish I could have a break.
"But once the time comes you are switched on and in mode.”
Skullcandy Oz Grom Open continues until Wednesday at Lennox Head.