PREPARED: Wooli grommet 13-year-old Carly Shanahan is ready for the Australian Junior Surfing Titles which kick off on Sunday.
PREPARED: Wooli grommet 13-year-old Carly Shanahan is ready for the Australian Junior Surfing Titles which kick off on Sunday. Ethan Smith/Surfing NSW

Wooli surf grom vying for Australian title

SURFING: It's been a tough run in chilly conditions, but Wooli's favourite surf grommet Carly Shanahan has carved her way through to the finals of the Surf Dive n Ski Australian Junior Surfing Titles at Phillip Island.

Today, the 13-year-old will face NSW rivals Cedar Leigh-Jones (Avoca) and Nyxie Ryan (Lennox Head), and Victorian Sage Goldsbury, in the Under-14 girls final for a chance to take the champion title back to Wooli.

Shanahan will also be aiming to surf her way to the top in the final of the School Sports' Under-19 girls MR Shield.

Her success in the water comes after a shaky start to the Under-14 competition, where she failed to launch in her first heat.

That took her through to the re-qualification round, where she placed second and edged her way back into the competition.

She has put in several good performances since.

"She's had to surf pretty hard to get into the finals, with four heats in a row on one day,” mum Melissa Shanahan said.

"It's freezing down here and Carly's wearing a 4/3-inch wetsuit, which is thickest she's ever worn, so that was really hard to get used to.

"But obviously it's paid off. For her to make finals in both divisions definitely exceeded her expectations.”

Mrs Shanahan said with the competition put on standby yesterday due to excessive winds, her 13-year-old daughter spent the day mentally preparing for the final.

"She'd really love to win it,” she said.

"There are three other surfers that want to win it as well, but Carly's absolutely going to do her best and just see how she goes.”



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