Young aims at maiden world title in special year
SURFING: Angourie longboarder Nava Young is focused, driven and ready to emulate what her father, surfing legend Nat Young, was able to achieve 50 years ago - win her maiden world title.
Young has her sights set on the 2016 Jeep Longboard Championship at Riyue Bay in China as she attempts to clinch the event on the sixth attempt in her career.
But the mum-of-one will not be alone as husband and fellow professional long boarder Taylor Jensen - the 2016 men's long board tour leader - and three-year-old daughter Jagger will be right alongside her in her quest.
The goofy footer will be in her element in the sweeping left break at Riyue Bay but she admitted living five minutes from one of the best right hand point breaks in Australia did make training for the conditions tough.
"Being a goofy foot the left hand point break is a dream for me although due to growing up on a perfect right point at Angourie and always surfing with my dad, brothers and husband who are all natural footers I'm honestly probably better on my backhand," she said.
"I feel my preparation for the championships is as good as it can be. I have been working hard trying to improve and we are going to China 10 days before the event starts to give ourselves the best chance of doing well."
Young has battled her way back on to the world tour after severely breaking her back during the mishandled birth of Jagger in 2013. The ensuing chronic back problems have hindered the long boarder surfing at a competitive level but it is a fighting spirit instilled by
her family that keeps her going.
"I have had surgery, cortisone injections, MRIs, CTs and seen nine different doctors, physios, chiros and healers including the best spine orthopaedic surgeon in Sydney but nothing has helped 100% and I'm still in pain," she said.
"It has effected my surfing in that it forced me to spend time out of the water and I can't surf for more than two hours a day without paying for it but my level surfing performance wise is back to normal.
"Honestly I feel after having that experience and being as hurt as I was I am very, very lucky to be alive and am incredibly grateful that I can surf at all."
It has been an incredible comeback for the Angourie professional who enters the world championship as the number one ranked longboarder in Australasia.
Young will meet Coolangatta's Chelsea Williams - the 2014 world champion - and after losing out to Williams at the Whalebone Classic in Perth earlier this year, Young is ready to return serve.
"We've have some good battles in the last year - she beat me in WA but I got her in Taiwan," she said. "All the girls on tour are friends as longboarding in particular is a small tightknit group of people.
"Honestly I've found I perform better if I don't care who I'm surfing against. I just focus on my surfing and doing my best; I don't think it helps in a heat to worry about what the other girl is doing."