Tue, 7 September 2010

Blond, freckled and a fierce competitor, Chantelle Rautenbach has wrought havoc in women’s surfing recently. She won the Mr Price SA Open at Nahoon Reef and the Billabong Pro Junior at Herold’s Bay, and is one of only two girls who will represent her country at the ISA World Surfing Championships in Peru this October. Chris Mason caught up with her to find what’s behind those fiery eyes.

Chris: Hi Chantelle, congratulations on winning the Billabong Pro Junior and Mr Price SA Open! How was the competition in East London?

Chantelle: Ya it was a sick win! I always enjoy The Reef at East London and was so stoked to have such fun waves the final day of the competition. Surfing against Fellow SA team Member Stacey Guy is always going to be challenging because she is so talented and is capable to get any score. Alice is a local there and she's just as good knowing the wave there and being able to surf really well is also intimidating. Kirsty Delport, well she is really good on her forehand especially when the waves are slightly bigger, pulling out scores from nowhere. So that final was pretty loaded and I just made sure I go out there and do my job and not focus on the other girls, which must have paid off.

So you have just been in California for the Hurley US Open. What was that like?

The States where amazing. I got my best result at the US Open (9th place) The US Open is one of the bigger 6 star WQS events cause almost all the top girls in the world go to this event. I got to surf trestles and that was so fun! Did heaps of shopping and got to meet some really interesting new people.

So what do you think about the progression of woman's surfing?

In other countries I think it’s amazing and so good to see. SA is not so great because we hardly have contests and girls battle to find sponsors to pay for them. It’s not impossible but really hard to get. I would really like to see our country step it up and support us girls because we have proven time and time again that we are good enough.

Who do you look up to/ think is the best surfer, girl and guy?

Chelsea Hedges is definitely one of the woman’s surfers I look up to. I love her surfing and determination. Right now the men’s surfing is Jordy, he’s showing all the Zaffa (South Africans) that we can do it and yes, he's a freak but he has worked hard and never given up.

What are your aspirations for surfing/ life?

My biggest goal is to qualify (for the world tour) but I am really enjoying my life right now and would love to study, travel, get photos and just experience every bit of this life.

Do you have a philosophy that you use to keep you motivated?

It’s never over till its over. Lots of times I’ve thought that its done for me and something comes along to prove that there is always hope and that I must never give up.

If you could be anything else besides a surfer, what would it be?

Interior decorator, it’s what I wanna study.

If you were a sea animal, what kind would you be?

A shark, so I can bite all the fools who snake and drop in on me, haha. Jokes I’d probably like to be a clown fish.

What is your perception of sharks?

Haha, they ok. As long as they stay away from me! They just trying to survive in this world like us and we can’t accuse them of killing when everyday we do the same!

If you had to live somewhere else in the world, where would it be?

Bali, South Coast or Wilderness area. I love those places. I don’t really wanna go over seas but if I must probably America. A small town though not a big place.

Finally, what are your plans now?

I just found out that I got invited to the Oakley Pro Junior in Bali so I have to organise that trip because its just after SA junior champs in Cape Town and just before Worlds in Peru. I have a tight schedule for the next month or so but I guess that’s what it’s all about when you’re a travelling surfer.


granny tam
+1 #1 granny tam 2010-09-07 17:03
Chantelle, its so great to see your talent shining in some solid results!! Keep up the momentum!!
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