Peninsula Essence May 2017

Page 20

By Melissa Walsh Photos Yanni


eorgia Fish wakes up in the morning, walks out her door and straight down to the beach to practice her surfing; it's an easy walk for the athlete down the clifftop face of her Flinders property. Often her two dogs might follow and frolic in the water or chase a seal or seagull. Somewhere there’s a wave out there for her. The warm, salty water crushes over her as she waits patiently for the universe to send her the one wave with her name on it.

When it’s time for breakfast she treks back up to the family home and blends up a healthy mixture of green vegetables and blueberries or perhaps some blackberries she has picked on the way back from her surf. She checks some emails and gets stuck into her weights or yoga depending on her mood. She might even meditate. Sounds like a cruisy life but don’t be fooled; this 23 year old is more driven and determined than most people twice her age which is how she became a pro surfer since her teen years, and has already made the quarter finals in the world championships four years running. At the moment she is training for the Rip Curl Pro so has pumped up the training schedule even more. Georgia has never been one to sit on the beach watching. Ever since she was a little girl, she tried her hand at anything, and was determined to succeed at whatever she did, even making the state diving team at just 10 years of age. At 23, the peninsula girl is a professional surfer, traveller, writer, yogi and health mentor. “It all started with nippers when I was a kid. We were living in Brighton and would come down to Flinders to do nippers on the weekends. I loved it and felt at home straight away in the water. One of the girls I became friends with asked me to go surfing with her and I was hooked. We would go to little shore breaks with her dad and it was awesome,” said Georgia, whose own dad had also been a surfer back in the day. “Even my dad started to get back into it, and then my sister followed and now even mum surfs.” By the time Georgia was about to start high school, the family decided on a sea change and bought their first property in Flinders. Georgia and her older sister, Alex, went to Toorak College where the girls learnt to get into surfing even more. Even now, Georgia still holds an affiliation with the surf program the school runs and has been a judge on occasions. “I started out doing grommet contests and quickly learnt that it is a very male dominated industry, which has made it challenging over the years. Getting sponsorship as a woman is really difficult as a lot of the surf companies put money towards the male athletes. At this level the prize money is substantially different as well. When men and women’s contests are aligned, men get priority over the waves,” said Georgia. “I understand why it used to be that way as men were substantially better than the women in the early days. In the past their abilities have been superior but it is continued next page...

E ssence


May 2017

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