Inspired Anderson in hunt for wildcard

PHILIPPA Anderson will take inspiration from close friend Dimity Stoyle’s upset win at Surfest when she tries to repeat last year’s victory at trials for the World Championship Tour event at Snapper Rocks today. 

The Merewether natural-footer will compete against the likes of Stoyle and four-time world champion Lisa Andersen today for a wildcard into the WCT season-opener starting tomorrow.

Last year Anderson won the one-day, 12-woman trial to earn a maiden WCT appearance, where she was beaten by 2011 world champion Carissa Moore then Brazilian veteran Silvana Lima.

‘‘I got to surf against one of my heroes, Silvana, that was so cool, even though I got comboed,’’ Anderson said yesterday from the Gold Coast.

This year the South African-born 21-year-old heads to the trials with victory in the China Open for Australia and the thrill of watching Stoyle win the Surfest’s Women’s Classic behind her.

Stoyle defeated world No.2 Sally Fitzgibbons in the final of the six-star World Qualifying Series event, where Anderson bowed out in her second heat.

Anderson and Stoyle are close friends and have been travelling companions on the WQS  but the Sunshine Coast surfer was battling before the Surfest triumph.

Anderson said Stoyle’s breakthrough victory out of adversity gave her hope in her pursuit of a coveted WCT berth.

‘‘Dimity had a few bad results last year so it’s given me a push to see her come back so well early and take out Newcastle,’’ she said.

‘‘Her sponsors dropped her last year, so it just shows no matter who you are, even if you’re not Sally [Fitzgibbons] or Steph [Gilmore], you can do it.

‘‘We were all so stoked that she won $8000.

‘‘The first thing she said, ‘I can do the QSs with you; this will pay for all my flights.’

‘‘We were so happy for her, because all the girl surfers know how hard it is paying for travelling, accommodation, food. 

‘‘It takes a lot of money and there is a lot of pressure on us to get points early so you might not have to do the last legs of the tour, because it so expensive.

‘‘We’re all trying to do our best, but it’s getting harder.’’

Stoyle’s win gave her 3500 points and puts her in an excellent position to make the elite tour in 2014.

She and Anderson, who surfed together yesterday, have been close since their rivalry on the professional junior circuit.

Stoyle spoke of their friendship  after Anderson and Fitzgibbons chaired her up Merewether beach following her win.

VICTORY RIDE: Dimity Stoyle is chaired   by Sally Fitzgibbons, left,  and  Philippa Anderson at Surfest.  Picture: Brock Perks

VICTORY RIDE: Dimity Stoyle is chaired by Sally Fitzgibbons, left, and Philippa Anderson at Surfest. Picture: Brock Perks

Unlucky break for world champ

JOEL Parkinson fears wild weather which has battered the Gold Coast may nullify his edge in local knowledge as he begins his world surfing championship defence.

Heavy seas and winds have smashed beaches all along the Gold Coast and Parkinson doubts there will be much surfing at main venue Snapper Rocks when the WCT men’s pro begins at the weekend.

Already organisers have moved the trials to nearby Rainbow Bay, after the big swells created a big hole out the back of Snapper Rocks.

Parkinson said using Rainbow Bay would take away much of the advantage he and fellow local Mick Fanning had over rivals including American great Kelly Slater and rising South African Jordy Smith.

‘‘Snapper and Rainbow are right next to each other, they’re shoulder-to-shoulder, but they’re completely different waves,’’ Parkinson said at the event launch yesterday.

‘‘Snapper I’m very familiar with, and I think Mick would be the same. But Rainbow is a lot like any other break in the world. Snapper is really unique. You’re still going to have an advantage, but I don’t think it’ll be leaps and bounds like Snapper is.’’

A new swell is expected to hit the Coast for today’s trials, which will determine the last wildcard entrant for the event, and a further swell is  forecast to build when the main event starts tomorrow, but the large waves have organisers confident both the men’s event and the women’s season-opening event will be completed well before March 13, the last day of the waiting period.


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