COOLANGATTA, QLD/Australia (Monday, September 24, 2012) – Rebecca Woods (Central Coast, NSW/AUS) is one of the top three longest serving members of the ASP Women’s World Championship Tour’s elite top 17 competitors, and she’s only 28-years-old! The Copacabana beach local had an up-and-down year on tour in 2012, but after a solid 3rd place finish at the ASP 6-Star Women’s EDP Surf Pro Estoril in Portugal over the weekend, she has all but sealed her spot on next year’s ASP Women’s WCT.
ASP Australasia recently caught up with Rebecca to find out her thoughts on her lengthy career at the elite level.
Tell us about your year on tour this year.
This year has been a bit of a roller-coaster for me, but I’ve gone into it with the mind set to just enjoy it and give 100 percent in every heat so I could walk away satisfied.
We have a majority beachbreak tour so you have to stay fit and agile to be competitive. I feel like I read the ocean well in these conditions and have about 4 million heats of experience to draw on and have been using that to the best of my ability.
I had an injury last year and lost my major sponsor so mentally I took a few knocks, but this year I was happy to be healthy and fit and to be in the top of my sport. Finishing 11th can be looked on two ways, so agonisingly close and now I have to chase the rest of the Star rated events, but I am happy I was in the mix, I had a few first round wins and had a much stronger year than last year. At least I won’t die wondering.
How was the tour different in 2012 from other years?
This year was different as there was many energy shifts, no heat is an easy heat and the level is way beyond natural ability. The amount of work these young females as athletes are putting in to be the best they can possibly be is amazing and every heat entertaining. It is great to be a part of that.
You’re only 28, is it strange to be called a tour veteran?
No it’s not strange, it was strange when I was 22, it irritated me then, but now I have been on the top tour for eight consecutive years so I am a veteran in comparison to the majority of the women on the tour and I like to use it to my advantage. What I dislike about being called a vet is that sometimes it has negative connotations, people talk about ‘new blood’ and ‘out with the old – in with the new’, but this is not a new story it is just a cycle, I was the new blood once. Everyone on tour should be given respect for retaining a spot on the elite tour, it is not easy and to get there, you have to earn it, regardless of age, end of story.
Tell us about your breakthrough event this year in Sydney where you finished equal 3rd.
Yeah I had a good event in Sydney, it was nice to have support, being so close to home, from family and friends. You don’t get that often at WCT events especially on a tight budget.
The waves were tricky and similar to what I grew up in, so I felt pretty comfortable and just enjoyed the event. Layne Beachley puts on an amazing event and I had a few little tricks up my sleeve to battle through some of the heats and found some flow after a difficult start to the year.
There are some high profile names on the qualification bubble, you, Sofia Mulanovich, Pauline Ado, Sage Erickson, was 2012 your toughest year on tour ever?
No to be honest 2011 was a lot tougher for me mentally. I had to go to the last Star event and had to get a result to ensure qualification battling through injury and losing major sponsorship and I qualified. So this year I will draw on that experience and enjoy my journey as not many people in the world get to experience everything associated with being a professional surfer, life could be worse.
What are your plans for the remainder of 2012?… And 2013?
2012 well I have just become a qualified lifeguard on the Central Coast for summer time and will be in Victoria for a few weeks working with Surfing Victoria on the Play it Safe by the Water surf scheme for girls.
I have just got a new PR and marketing team on board, aligned with a nutritionist which is great because it fits well with my interests in health and fitness. Basically I will be doing all I can to remain in the top of my sport for as long as I can because I enjoy the game, the lifestyle of surfing and all the positives that come along with it.
Note: There is only 1 remaining Women’s ASP 6-Star event for 2012, Rebecca is in a very good position to Qualify for the 2013 Women’s WCT, currently sitting 5th on the ASP Women’s World rankings.