Tyler's right for Lennox
Rob Wright yesterday confirmed he and wife Fiona, along with their five children, were leaving their Culburra Beach home just months after their daughter Tyler helped put the tiny town on the map.
Tyler, 14, shocked the international surfing community last month when she took out the Beachley Classic at Manly Beach.
The feat made her the youngest surfer in history to win an Association of Surfing Professionals World Championship Tour event and saw her name and Culburra, on the NSW South Coast, splashed across back pages all over the world.
But Rusty Gromfest co-ordinator and surfing guru Max Perrot said Tyler and her siblings had been big names in local circles for years.
“All the journalists that wrote about her success at the Beachley thing were miles behind the pace,” Perrot said.
“About five years ago when she first started competing in the Gromfest, I said to everyone she was going to be the world champion.
“The judges couldn’t believe it – the first wave she caught in her first contest, they gave her a nine, and the only reason they didn’t give her a 10 was because they thought she could do better.”
Tyler has won four Gromfest titles as has her older brother and under-16 world champion Owen, while sister Kirby has won one and baby brother Mike has been runner-up twice.
Rob said the family trips to contests held on Lennox’s main beach helped convince them to make the move to warmer waters.
“There are numerous reasons: having a change, a warmer climate, more consistent surf and it’s closer to some of the surf action yet it still has a country feel about it,” Rob said.
“We’ve been coming up for a long time, about eight years doing the Gromfest and every time we come up we have a great time.
“We’ve noticed whenever we go up there the kids are always in the water.
“It’s going to be hard to leave Culburra – it’s a great community – but it’s good for the kids to have a change in their lives, too.
“You get pretty comfortable in your corner. We’re looking forward to having a change and meeting new people. It’s a bit of an adventure for us.”
The family has a place at Skennars Head and the kids are enrolled at Xavier College for 2009.
Rob will move up mid-December and after the World Pro Junior events in Sydney and a contest at Bells Beach the family will settle in over the holidays.