FESTIVE RAIL: Carly Shanahan was getting into the Christmas spirit on the waves at Wooli this week.
FESTIVE RAIL: Carly Shanahan was getting into the Christmas spirit on the waves at Wooli this week.

Only one major gift on Shanahan's wishlist

SURFING: There is something extra special about this time of year for Wooli surf grom Carly Shanahan. She just loves the Christmas spirit.

"I mean, I'm Irish, we have a massive love of Christmas," she said. "It's pretty much my favourite time of the year.

"Our house is covered in Christmas decorations, my grandparents house is covered in decorations. It's just great."

After coming off the back of a "disappointing" finish in the RipCurl Grom Search, the 14-year-old surf queen is needing all the extra cheer she can get.

Shanahan seemed almost assured of a spot in the GromSearch semi-finals after posting the highest individual wave score in her quarter-final heat, but a last-ditch effort on the siren by her opponent had Shanahan miss out by a mere 0.37 wave score.

"It was tough to take the result but it's all right, that competition was only a last minute decision for me after a few friends were going up," Shanahan said.

Now the junior surfer has her sights set on her first Subway Pro Junior Surf Series event and she is already asking Santa Claus to deliver one big present for that day.

"I have my first event at Bells Beach on January 6," she said. "That is an iconic break in Australian surfing and I have never been there so it is going to be awesome.

"My Christmas wish is that it is not cold and the waves are sick. I might be aiming a bit high."

After a hectic year in and out of the water Shanahan said it was also good to use the Christmas period to take a step back and focus on family and home life.

That is why she has been taking her six-year-old nephew out into the waves at Wilson's Beach to teach him how to surf.

"I love getting to be Aunty Carly, I have put all my focus into getting him heaps of presents for Christmas and making this holiday special," Shanahan said.

With a jam-packed schedule already on the horizon for early next year, Shanahan will have to make the most of her limited time out of competition.



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