9 February 20
Just 24 years old, Poeti Norac died last weekend on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, after moving to Australia just weeks before to follow her surfing dreams. The cause of her death has not been released to the public or media, but the news has shocked people in France, Australia, and all over the world.
The French Surfing Federation sadly remembered the late much-loved surfer: “The surfing community has lost a family member, a beautiful person with a radiant smile, an artist on her board and whose enthusiasm radiated in the Vendee and everywhere else.”
The Surfing Federation added that “she was also an outstanding educator” who had generously transmitted her passion for surfing and the ocean.
Our condolences, thoughts and love to her family and friends.
There’ve been many tributes in newspapers and online arond the world, including the following from CNN in the US:
Norac, a longboard surfer who finished runner-up in the French national championships in 2018 and third in 2016, had moved to Australia for several months and died last weekend on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
The federation did not confirm a cause of death but said their statement is being made with her family's agreement.
She recorded 10 victories in the Coupe de France including the 100% Girls competition in 2017.
"The surfing community has lost a member of its family, a beautiful person with a shining smile, an artist on the longboard whose enthusiasm radiated from (her region) Vendée and everywhere else," read a statement on the French Surfing Federation's website.
Norac started surfing with her father at the age of six in her hometown Les Sables-d'Olonne on the east coast of France. She had been competing for 10 years having transitioned from short to longboard format.
A number of Norac's sponsors paid tribute to the surfer.
"It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of our young ambassador Poeti Norac," lifestlye brand Oxbow posted on Instagram.
"The youngest of our family of ambassadors for over four years, Poeti had moved to Australia several months ago to perfect her English and ride the lovely Australian waves.
"Her father informed us of her death on the Sunshine Coast last week, and it is in agreement with the family that we publish this terrible news today."
UWL surfboards wrote that Norac "forever etched in us her smile and sparkling eyes every time she came to see us over the last eight years. All our thoughts go to her family and friends."
Koalition Surf, meanwhile, posted a black image with the words "too young to leave, have a safe ride."
A ceremony honoring Norac's life will be arranged soon.