Surfer returns to a hero's welcome
SURF star Adam Melling returned to a hero's welcome at Lennox Head last week and the party is still going.
Fresh from a podium finish at Jeffreys Bay, South Africa, the humble 25-year-old is trying not to get swept up in the hype as he sets his sights on a top-10 finish in his first year on the ASP World Championship Tour.
“Everyone was so pumped when I got home,” Melling said.
“The support is great; they've gone mad.
“I reckon some of the crew are happier with the result than I am.”
Lennox's new hero was bombarded with thousands of phone calls and plenty of beers shouted at the pub over the weekend.
But Melling is all business as he chases his dream of a top 10 finish – made much easier with his recent result that lifts him from the doldrums to 19th in the world rankings.
“It has taken the pressure off in regards to the mid-year cut which allows me to surf a bit freer,” he said.
And surfing free he will need to be when he tackles the legendary left-hander at Teahupoo off Tahiti.
Melling has only surfed the famous break once when on a shoot for sponsor, Oakley.
But he will be heading over a week early to get some practice in – you could call it overtime, but that isn't how Melling sees it.
“Ever since I made the tour I have been looking forward to surfing Tahiti and J-Bay,” he said.
“I haven't surfed them much and they are some of the best waves in the world so getting out there with just one other person is a huge thrill.”
Melling now knows that he belongs on tour amongst the best but that could add to his nerves as there is now expectation around him after finishing second at J-Bay.
“I wasn't nervous going into that contest – I had nothing to lose and just wanted to prove that I could compete,” he said.
“That might change now, but I don't know, I don't think too much about nerves or pressure or expectation.
“Everyone throws stuff at you but I'll just surf – I'll just go out there and do my thing and if I do it well the results will come my way.”