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jettygirl online surf magazine's second annual new year's feature

Laurina McGrath, Second Annual Jettygirl New Year's Feature, 2009. Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine

Presented by Blue Surf Sanctuary

laurina mcgrath photo by chris grant

JettyGirl: While faltering economies, political turmoil and energy issues dominated most of the headlines during the past year, much of 2008's good news slipped through the cracks. What's the best thing that happened to you in 2008 and what are you most hopeful for in 2009?
Laurina McGrath: Best thing in 2008?? I had a really fun, consistant year competition wise but nothing really stands out. Being able to go back to Peru was amazing. I didn't have the best experience there the first time and was reluctant to go back. I'm so glad I did, it was definitely one of my favorite stops this year.

2009 will be a big adjustment as I'm not competing for the first time since I was 14. The tour is so expensive and without the support of sponsors I'm forced into early retirement. We'll see how long that lasts...

JG: Tell us about the first time you ever stood up on a surfboard. Where was it and what were you riding?
LM: It was at The Pass in Byron Bay. I was 13 and it was the most beat up, brown 6'6" heap of junk board. The first wave I rode was about 3 inches high and the fins were dragging in the sand with my dad walking alongside holding my hand. I'm sure it lasted about 2 seconds but it's still a really vivid memory.

JG: What is your current favorite board? In 2009 do you have any plans to experiment with different surfboard designs, materials or fin configurations?
LM: In 2007 my all-time favorite 5'11"got stolen from my rental car on the North Shore. To this day I'm shattered, however it forced me to start riding 5'10" backup boards. I got addicted to the shorter, slightly thicker boards, then started experimenting with fins. Trying different fins is where I'm at. It's all very subtle but makes such a massive difference.

JG: Do you have any heroes? If so, who and why?
LM: My mum's my hero. Also, people who dedicate themselves to others and do good things in this world without expecting anything in return. Very humbling.

JG: In 2009 we'll see the best single maneuver ever done by a female surfer. Who do you think will pull the move and what do you think it will be?
LM: It's too hard to single someone out but Steph Gilmore's been leading the charge for a while now. Rebecca Woods is challenging Sofia for the backhand power attack, but I'm going to say Sally will pull something crazy. Or Silvana...or Bartels. There are also many girls, Lauren Sweeney, Ornella Pellizzari, Nikita Robb who go under the radar and are totally pushing the boundaries every day and busting maneuvers the Top 17 would be stoked to make ...we just don't hear about it as much. But I'm still claiming it will be hard to top Silvana's air in Durban this year. Anyone who saw it will back me up, I'm sure :)


Next Surfer: Layne Beachley  


For those of you who like to jump around instead of going one by one, here's the complete list of surfers...

Alizee Arnaud Elizabeth Pepin Silva Kassia Meador Nicole Grodesky Schuyler McFerran
Amee Donohoe Erica Hosseini Kelly Nicely Nikita Robb Serena Brooke
Anna Garaway Frieda Zamba Kim Mayer Nikki Brooks Shaney Jo Darden
Anne Beasley Weber Heather Hudson Crummer Kim Mearig Paige Hareb Shannon Switzer
Ashley Lloyd Heather Jordan Kyla Langen Pam Burridge Silvana Lima
Bethany Hamilton Holly Beck Kym Campbell Pauline Ado Sofia Mulanovich
Betty Depolito Jacqueline Silva Lauren Sweeney Pauline Menczer Sormarie Nieves
Chanelle Sladics Jenna Balester Laurina McGrath Prue Jeffries Stacey Guy
Christa Alves Jenni Flanigan Layne Beachley Rebecca Woods Tammy-Lee Smith
Claire Bevilacqua Jessi Miley-Dyer Leah Dawson Rochelle Ballard Yvonne Mendel
Cori Schumacher Josie Drude Lynne Dickinson Rosy Hodge  
Courtney Conlogue Julie Cox Marissa Graham Sage Erickson  
Danielle Beck Kaitlin Maguire Mary Osborne Sally Fitzgibbons  
Darlene Conolly Karin Kendrick Megan Abubo Sam Haddad  
Donna von Hoesslin Karlee Mackie Nicola Atherton Sara Taylor  


Image Caption: I wasn't really paying attention to the actual results of each heat during the US Open this past summer but in my opinion, Laurina McGrath was one of the standout surfers at the event. She was throwing down huge hooks on the inside shore dump at the world famous Huntington Pier. Photo: Chris Grant /

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