Riding the big waves

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•Border’s No1 to take on SA’s best, while eyeing world champs

‘Surfing is all a mind game. You have to believe in yourself’

GOOFY- footed surfer Danica Stockigt, 16, is ranked first in Border and third nationally, with much hope of victory in the upcoming Under 20 SA Champs in Cape Town next month.

The Merrifield College pupil achieved fourth place in both the Roxy JBay Junior Pro event and the Tigers Milk Classic over the last month, where she gained much experience surfing with a pro from Hawaii and three South African champs.

Stockigt said she was “really stoked” on discovering her rankings this year, although she aims to shoot higher.

PROVING HERSELF: Danica Stockigt , 16, is headed for the Under 20 SA Champs in Cape Town after coming fourth in both the Roxy JBay Junior Pro event and the Tigers Milk Classic recently. She is ranked first in her age group in Border and third nationally
PROVING HERSELF: Danica Stockigt , 16, is headed for the Under 20 SA Champs in Cape Town after coming fourth in both the Roxy JBay Junior Pro event and the Tigers Milk Classic recently. She is ranked first in her age group in Border and third nationally

“Surfing is all a mind game. You have to believe in yourself to get the results,” said Stockigt.

“I believe that my strength is having the right mindset for contests and getting the board around,” she added.

“Out of everything, the feeling of riding a wave gives me the greatest pleasure in the world. It’s more than just a sport to me – it’s a lifestyle,” said Stockigt, who spends at least two hours a day in the water.

She hopes to claim victory at the SA Champs on August 25 and perform well at the SA Junior Champs in September.

Her ultimate goal is to qualify for the World Championships next year.

Stockigt’s coach, and role model, Greg Emslie, described her as a talented, dedicated and hard- working surfer, with the potential to go far.

“She trains hard and is talented. She is good at big manoeuvres and needs to work on her heat strategies in order to win in Cape Town.

“She has progressed well over the last three years and listens well and puts into practice the things I teach her.

“She is very friendly and kind, and this is possibly a weakness because she needs more aggression in the heat,” Emslie said.

Stockigt said she advised young surfers to “go for it” and not be afraid of what they look like in the water.

“The amazing people in surfing inspire me to do my best.

“I focus on the surfing and trust and believe in myself to get the results,” she said.

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