Carly has tricks up her sleeve for Australian titles
SURFING: Wooli's princess of the waves Carly Shanahan is gearing up for what will be her toughest assignment yet at the Surf Dive n Ski Australian Junior Surfing Titles at Phillip Island.
The 13-year-old surfer will take her place on the Havaianas NSW Junior team surfing in the Under 14s age group alongside fierce rivals Cedar Leigh-Jones (Avoca) and Nyxie Ryan (Lennox Head).
It will be a step into the unknown for Shanahan as she prepares to surf a break at Phillip Island she has never experienced before, but it is a challenge she has prepared well for.
"I am pretty nervous, but I am way more excited then that,” she said. "I have never surfed there, but I think the waves are supposed to be punchier.
"I have been spending a lot of practice time chasing different swells from my main spot at Wilsons, to Angourie and down to Woolgoolga.
"That way I am ready for whatever conditions the surf down there throws my way.”
Shanahan will be coming up against the best surfers from across the country but she is not scared with a familiar face sitting in her corner.
"One of the NSW coaches is my Coffs Harbour coach Lee Winkler so that makes me feel so much more confident.”
While this year has been one of immense growth for the Wooli junior she admitted there was still plenty she had to learn and the National titles would be one of the best places to do so.
Shanahan has been putting more focus on her work off the board with dad, Kevin, in a way to get her more mentally prepared for championship events.
"It is all about analysing the conditions and climbing the steps and getting in rhythm with the ocean even though I am not out there,” she said.
"I'm trying to get my schedule perfect before I hit the water, so I am completely confident I will do well in that heat. It is a mental game.”
Shanahan said she had a few extra tricks up her sleeve that the national judges might not have seen before as she searches for her maiden title.
"I have been working on a grab rail cutback and a layback snap that I have watched (2016 women's world champion) Tyler Wright do this year,” she said.
"It is about showing the judges something new, something innovative and that way you can score big.”
The Australian Junior Surfing Titles will get started tomorrow with an opening ceremony before surfers take to the waves from Sunday.