Just watch the reaction below of a fan from South Australia, as six time world champion surfer Stephanie Gilmore makes her way over to say hello. It is priceless.
Within hours of posting this to Instagram, the video’s received more than 22,000 likes and hundreds of comments.
Gilmore is currently competing at the World Surf League Founder Cup. She’s captaining the team, with fellow surfers Tyler Wright, Mick Fanning, Matt Wilkinson and Joel Parkinson.
The teams of three men and two women are competing at Kelly Slater’s artificial ‘surf ranch’ over two days, a new twist on the sport that’s due to debut at the 2020 olympics.
Those competing get only a set number of waves, rather than being given a set time limit to surf the best waves available.
As Gilmore told The Australian, it brings a new form of pressure and thrill to the sport. “I actually think it’s harder because if you stuff up, it’s on you,” she said. “When you’re in the ocean you can kind of blame things on the ocean but out here, if you don’t perform at the best level, than that’s on you. It’s more nerve-racking in that respect.”
The number of girls and women surfing in Australia has been on the increase in recent years, with champions like Layne Beachley, Tyler Wright, Sally Fitzgibbons and Steph Gilmore certainly doing their bit to help.
One of the best parts of my job and the moments that make it all worth it! Incredible fans have travelled from all over the world to be here in Lemoore to see the #WSLfoundersCup ! ThankYOU for supporting us and making us feel so special (especially this sweet fan all the way from South Australia) #aussieaussieaussieoioioi 🇦🇺🐨⚡💫