Sylve?s taking on the Pipeline
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
NOW that she's earned her stripes bodyboarding in world tour events around the country, Sylve Colless is getting ready to show her talents overseas for the first time.
The 19-year-old Bellingen girl is getting set to travel to Hawaii for the Pipeline competition to be held early in March and she can't wait to get there.
"Hawaii is the second biggest international event there is on the tour, Portugal is the highest in terms of points," Colless said.
"Hawaii is the most critical competition though because it's the biggest and most dangerous there is at Pipeline.
"It's a pretty exciting opportunity to have to be able to surf such a heavy wave."
While finding it hard to hide her enthusiasm for the event, Colless is more than aware of the reputation that Pipeline has as a break that deserves the upmost respect.
"But I'm hoping that it's not going to be too big," she said.
"I'm hoping to get some really fun waves and to get the biggest barrel of my life."
Travelling around Australia with the world tour has been an amazing introduction to the professional ranks for the girl who grew up surfing at the Gallows and Hungry Head but Colless hasn't been left to fend for herself while on the road.
"There's a whole bunch of girls that travel around and do the tour and some of the best girls are from Australia, we're one of the strongest countries," she said.
"Kira Llewellyn is the current world champion and she's from the Sunshine Coast, Mandy Zieran is third in the world at the moment and they're two of my really close friends that I do a lot of the competitions with."
Not only are her friends keeping an eye out for the tour rookie but they're also indirectly helping her to reach greater heights.
"If you're doing it with your friends then you push each other as well," she said.
"If I see the girls out there on a big day and I'm a bit tentative then I'm going to go out too because they're out there and I want to be doing what they're doing."
And the improving results that Colless is recording is proof enough that the guiding hand her more experienced colleagues are offering is starting to pay off.
"My first world tour comp I came 17th and then the last one I did was at Port Macquarie and I came fifth," Colless said.
"To finish in the top 10 I'm really happy with that at the moment."
The recent strong results have given the rising star the security of a couple of sponsorship deals that greatly reduce the financial burden that travelling around on the tour creates.
"I've just recently teamed up with the guys from Funkshen, a Western Australian bodyboard company so I'm really excited to be riding for them, that's a really big thing," she said.
"I'm also with endlessbodyboarding.com which is an online store and they've been really supportive of women's bodyboarding."
Her sponsors won't need to dig too deep into their pockets this season though as Colless will be concentrating hard on her tertiary studies that the Bishop Druitt College graduate is about to commence.
"I'm actually doing uni this year, this is my first year that I start," Colless said.
"I'm doing Visual Arts at Newcastle so I won't be doing too many competitions, I'll just try and do more major ones."