Emily Lethbridge. Pic: Andrew Carruthers
Frank Murphy. Pic: Blainy Woodham
Tully White. Pic: Mark Morgan
Declan Wyton. Pic: Mark Morgan
29 March 19
Made up of four surfers ranging in age from 18 to 21, the Australian team has been selected for the 2019 ISA World Longboard Championships and it's no surprise to see this young crew - they've most definitely earned their spots over the past couple of years.
After successful campaigns at the 2018 Australian Titles, new National Champions Declan Wyton and Tully White and runners up Emily Lethbridge and Frank Murphy will head off in May to compete against many of the world’s best longboarders on the beachbreaks of Biarritz in France.
Last year at the ISA World Championships in China 22 nations competed, and Australia’s young team (which included Emily, Tully and Declan) came away with a silver medal in the Aloha Cup teams event, and an overall 6th place against many teams which featured world champions, along with individual placings for Emily 6th, Tully 9th, Will Crowe 11th and Declan13th within the men’s and womens’ divisions. And they learned plenty from the experience.
"Last year in China was our first time competing in an ISA event for Tully, Emily and myself. We were blown away with the level of surfing and how professionally run the contest was. It was amazing to represent our country as a team and travelling to Hainan Island to experience a new culture", states Declan. "We are a very young team ranging from 18 to 21, and we have received some partial funding from Surfing Australia but the costs involved in attending the event unfortunately come with quite a financial burden."
While this is a fantastic opportunity and a chance for one of them to be crowned the World Champion, the reality of self-funding a trip overseas is challenging. And now with the inclusion of new WSL World Longboard Tour featuring four global stops this year including Noosa, Spain, New York and finishing in Taiwan, the four Australian reps dream of continuing the circuit throughout the year.
Said Emily: "It is ultimately going to come down to which events we can afford. We are all working in multiple jobs, studying at university, while juggling our training and local surfing competitions across Australia. It certainly makes it difficult to compete for the World Title without the support of sponsors. We are all hoping that sponsorships could come our way and ease some of the burden. In the meantime we hope to continue to be fantastic representatives for Australia and the wider longboard community and we hope to pave the way for the younger surfers who are starting to compete in the sport of longboard surfing."
"We are very pleased to have been selected for the ISA World Championships and can't wait to wear the Green and Gold again”, says Declan.
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