Philippa Anderson, left, with Sally Fitzgibbons, Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and Tatiana Weston-Webb at a Surfest press call on Monday at Merewether Surf Club. Picture: Paul DanovaroAFTER the disappointment of falling just short again of the championship tour, PhilippaAnderson wasn’t sure if she would be back at Surfest chasing her dream again this year.
At 26, the Merewether natural-footer has finished 13thor better five times on the World Surf League qualifying series rankings and was within reach of the CT again in 2017.
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Last year, Anderson fell one short of the quarter-finals at the season-ending 6000-point Port Stephens Pro when a chance of making the top six on the QS and securing a place in the dream tour.
“l was just really down, knowing it was just one or two heats,” Anderson said.
“The same again. It’s been like that for ages and I wasn’t too sure what I was going to do this year.
“I was kind of over it. Just over losing, because you put so much effort into it and to see it not pay off, you ask yourself heaps of questions. Like, what am Igoing to do?
“I just sat down with my team, and I was locked into another year of sponsorship with my mainsponsor ION, which was really good.
“And all my minor sponsors said they were going to back me again for another year, so to have that kind of family beside you and obviously just my normal family, my Mum and Dad, they thought to just give it another go.Then I just switched on and started training.
“It’s just that fire from losing and not qualifying for a few years and just trying to turn that into fire in the gym everyday. Waking up everyday and getting closer to your goal.”
Anderson, the 2009 Surfest champion and runner-up in 2015, was disappointed to bow out in round five of the 6000-pointRon Jon Florida Pro and semi-finals of the 1000-point Great Lakes Pro to start this year and was keen to hit back on her home break. She starts in theround of 48, against Brazilian veteran Silvana Lima, at Surfest’s Grandstand Sports Clinic Women’s Pro this week.
“I had a really heavy pre-season in the gym with Adam [Tyrpas], and that’s why I was thinking the first two events were going to go really well,” she said.
“It’s always heart-breaking when you lose, as athletes and even in your personal life when things don’t go your way, it’s hard to cop.
“But I’m just really grateful. My boards are feeling really good and with Surfest,I’m just really happy I’ve got no injuries, I’m healthy and ready for it, soI guess you’ve just got to look at the positives and take it heat by heat.”