Steph starts favourite

THE surfing superstars of tomorrow will be out to make an impact in the 2011 All Girls Surf Showdown at Lennox Head this weekend. Among those leading the charge will be Ballina hopeful Stephanie Single – she will compete in the 16 and under, and the junior pro division.

“I've been competing in All Girls for a few years now and hoping to get a win this weekend,” Stephanie said.

“It's great to surf at your home break and have your friends and family come down and cheer you on.

“I came second in my age group at the Australian titles last July, so I've been pretty confident since then.”

Event director Max Perrot is expecting big things from Stephanie in the 16 and under division.

“I'd rate her as equal favourite. She keeps improving every year and will probably go neck-and-neck with Kirsten Ogden (Suffolk Park),” he said.”

The open and junior pro division will be hotly contested with defending champions Dimity Stoyle and Phillipa Anderson both away competing overseas this weekend.

“Hopefully that will leave the field wide open and anyone will have a chance of winning on the day,” Perrot said.

“It's always a pretty hardcore surf contest. We cater for all ages and skill levels.

“It's a great weekend and the event has such a good reputation.”

“I believe we were one of the first competitions that recognised kids were capable of winning events against older competitors.

“We have girls as young as nine and women as old as 50 competing now.

“When we first started in 1993, there was nothing like this in surfing.”

Being earmarked as one of the top local juniors doesn't bother Stephanie.

“Everyone has been talking me up a bit, but I'm just looking forward to getting out there and having a bit of fun,” she said.

“In the future I'll probably get a bit more serious with it.

“Right now I'm just trying to get as much experience as I can.

“I've surfed with Tyler Wright and I really like her. I hope I can reach her level one day.”

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