Breaking Waves and Breaking Barriers

Published on 17/03/2023

Over 160 females of all ages and abilities ventured to Shelly Beach on the iconic Central Coast to participate in the weekend’s first 2023 Her Wave Teams Classic tag team event. Dubbed a huge success by the competitors, spectators, workshop and brand activation holders, the event spanned over two days where teams from as far south as Cronulla and north to Newcastle made the most of their stay by enjoying everything the region has to offer.

The sun was out all weekend, with cheers of encouragement heard throughout the competition area as surfers as young as seven were pushed onto waves by parents and women up to their 60s carved their way back to shore, enjoying the ambience and sport they have loved for decades. 

Among the teams of women, local and interstate industry legends participated in the weekend’s events including Surfing NSW Lifetime member, 16x Australian and World Masters Title holder Sandra English who led two ‘Women in the Waves’ teams, continuing to be a role model to the youngest groms in the water. Professional surfer and big wave rider Felicity (Flick) Palmateer (WA) was on the ground to support, encourage and provide tips to the teams, as did professional surfer Nikki Van Dijk (VIC) who took to the waves for a free surf with many of the competitors. 

After two incredible days of tag team competition, Merewether Surfboard Club were the stand out team with each competitor cheering on not only their team but everyone else around them. Although this event was not judged like a traditional surf competition, the teams were excited to see the results. Merewether scooped up the highest number of points throughout the weekend coming in first on the ranking, whilst one of their youngest members Ava Robertson was awarded the “Her Wave of the Weekend” award with a 9.33 score. Merewether received a $1,000 Camplify gift voucher for the team to use on their next surf trip.

Shelly Beach produced small yet clean swell all weekend, accommodating all board disciplines and surfing abilities including Para Surfing World Title runner up Sarah Gibson, a vision impaired surfer from Macmasters Beach who carved it up with the assistance from her ‘spotter’ and husband Brett Gibson. The couple also joined the female commentary panel to discuss their experiences, challenges and triumphs.

The energy was felt in and out of the water, with a great itinerary of workshops available for all to participate in throughout the weekend. From ocean photography to short and long board technicals, to a Surfers Rescue 24/7 and TacMed trauma response course, spectators and competitors were given the opportunity to upskill and learn something new. Next to the workshops, brand activations provided pockets of “wow” throughout the event site, with Pukka Tea’s ‘Calm Corner’, Camplify’s spin the wheel and FWD FORM’s stall which powered the competitors with its nutrient dense natural products.

In the lead up to the Her Wave Teams Classic event, Surfing NSW hosted a Junior High Performance coaching session on Friday afternoon which saw over 50 local Under 18 females participate. Local super surf coaches and legends Glenn ‘Micro’ Hall, Amee Donohoe, QS surfer Tru Starling and Big Wave rider Felicity Palmateer assisted the session by dividing the groms into groups to imitate the same structure as the weekend’s tag team event. This session not only saw incredible participation but provided the younger competitors with the opportunity to learn from some of the industry’s greatest minds as the session concluded with a panel discussion and Q&A. 

To align with the Her Wave ethos of providing more opportunity and career pathways to females, the weekend saw an all female judging panel, beach and media crew, whilst many workshops were conducted by females or female-owned businesses. 

The Her Wave Teams Classic Central Coast presented by Sisstrevolution would be not have been possible without the support of Regional NSWSisstrevolutionCamplifyFWD FORM and Pukka Tea.

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