PHUKET: The Phuket Gazette recently caught up with hometown hero Miss Annissa Tita Flynn, to talk about her recent accomplishments. If you haven’t heard much about this 14 year old surfing starlet, “Anni”, as her friends call her, has been travelling and competing in recent months on the 2012 Asian Surfing Championship tour (ASC).
Phuket Gazette: What is it like to be the youngest competitor on the ASC Tour?
Annissa Flynn: It’s really good, I get to hang out with my friends in really good surfing spots… and I get off school.
PG: Is that really true? Where do you go when you get time off school for surfing?
AF: I go and hang out with my surfing buddies at world famous surf breaks like ‘Uluwatu’ and ‘Chengu’ in Bali, ‘Macaroni’s’, in the Mentawais Islands off the coast of Sumatra, ‘Cimaja’ in West Java and ‘Cloud 9’ in the Philippines.
PG: Tell us a little about what it’s like to be on tour.
AF: “It’s really good fun, I get to travel with my dad, surf these incredible waves, and during competitions there are only four girls on the wave, so it’s heaps better than free surfing.
PG: How do you keep up with your homework?
AF: I take some class notes with me, but it’s pretty hard to concentrate on maths when the waves are pumping and the sun is going down, and to be totally honest with you, my dad’s a bit of a pushover, so mostly I just catch up with schoolwork when I get back. Last year, I had to attend summer school over the holidays and re-sit the exams I missed.
PG: What was the best place you surfed this year?
AF: I’m a goofy foot, so for me – Macaroni’s in the Mentawais was definitely the best.
PG: What’s a Goofy Footer?
AF: A Goofy Footer is a surfer who puts their right foot forward, so if the wave breaks left, your left foot is back, and your chest faces the wave. This means turns are easier and it’s more fun…and Macaronis is a left.
PG: The most beautiful place you’ve been to?
AF: Cimaja in West Java. It has thousands of polished black stone boulders, with smaller rounded rocks in between. It was like a Japanese garden.
PG: What’s your routine when you visit a new break?
AF: I watch the water first, look for the currents and rips, where to go out. I talk to everyone, and when I go out into the water, I ride the smaller waves first and then get bigger ones as I get more comfortable. Eventually you get right out the back…and I try not to think too much, just watch the waves and wait ’till a good one comes and I try and catch it.
PG: Do you ask for advice when you’re out on the water?
AF: Well, usually people talk about everything. Everyone knows each other so there’s a lot of joking around. There’s always one surfer, who’s a local, who’ll be giving everyone advice about where to sit and what to look out for.
PG: We hear that you are doing well on your second year with the ASC tour.
AF: Yes, I’m really stoked, I’m in first. Bonne Gea is right behind me on points. She’s the four-time Indonesian champion, and Brenda Lee from Malaysia is close as well while Nelbie from Philippines has won back-to-back competitions in Cimaja and Cloud 9. So the competition is strong now.
PG: When and where, does the ASC Tour finish?
AF: The ASC tour finishes here in Phuket, at Patong Beach, the Quicksilver Best Event . It will be held around September 17 – 19, so I have to wait a while.
PG: Who are your sponsors, and people that you might like to thank Annissa?
AF: I’d like to thank mum, dad and my school, Satree Phuket, for letting me compete internationally; Roxy and the Quiksilver Team for sponsoring me. I also want to thank Adam from Ark Surfboards, Phuket Cable Ski, Gecko Glue, SaltWater Dreaming and everyone at my second home at Nautilus Surf Shop in Kata Beach.
Annissa is the youngest competitor and current leader of the ASC tour.
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