ULTIMATE TEAM MATES
SPORT driven couple Melissa and Steve Farthing are travelling the world for their love of sport. Based on the Sunshine Coast, the pair waveski competitively at international level every two years. Their most recent competition took them to Spain and now
FOR one wife and husband duo sharing a love for sport came naturally.
Melissa and Steve Farthing are passionate about waveskiing, both training and competing at international level side-by-side.
The Alexandra Headland couple have returned from the World Waveski Surfing Titles in Spain where they cheered each other on as they competed for top spot in their own categories.
“The titles were held at Pantin at the renowned location for the annual WSL QS comp.
“We had challenging six to eight feet conditions and hurricanes off the coast.
“It made it quite difficult for the competition organisers and it was pretty scary at times,” said Mel.
During the event Mel finished second in the Open Women’s, retained her World Masters Title and won the Women’s Tag Team event with fellow Australian Jackie Dillon; and Steve succeeded in becoming the new Grand Masters World Champion (in the 50-60 years category).
Steve has been riding waveski’s on the Sunshine Coast since the 1980’s and has won multiple world masters titles in waveski surfing and surf kayaking.
“We both ride surf kayaks and they had a comp out there (Pantin, Spain) a few years ago, so we were familiar with the ocean for this year’s event.
The pro waveskiier said the event attracts competitors from 13 countries and has more than 133 competitors, but back home the sport is less well-known.
“Around the area we’ve started a community group with other wave skiiers. We get together to talk equipment, give tips, and practise.
“There’s about 15 of us and we started around 12 months ago, it’s growing slowly. It’s a smaller sport, but everyone involved has great respect for someone like Steve,” said Mel.
The waveski community is tight-knit and the athlete couple always do their best with encouragement of the sport.
During the event, Gold Coast’s Rees Duncan won the open men’s world title.
“At 46 he won his 11th world title and proved age is not a barrier to success.
“We all used to live together at Coffs Harbour and we cheered each other on from the shore,” said Mel.
The couple have now set their sights on the next event in Peru 2020 but they spend time training in the Coast’s waters and taking trips to Indonesia for extra practise.
Mel said “surfing with someone like Steve who’s so experienced pushes it to a new level.”
Steve feels lucky to share his love of waveskiing.
“I feel fortunate to be able to do a sport that my wife likes to do.
“Its not often that you see couples out in the line up together.
“We often surprise people in the Mentawai’s because it’s not often to see waveski’s surfing in Indo, and then to see a couple on waveski’s is pretty unique,” he said.
Although the pair have waveskiied around the world, for them, there’s no place like home.
“Having travelled the world and surfed many different places the Sunshine Coast still rates as one of the best places to live and surf,” said Mel.
We had challenging six to eight feet conditions and hurricanes off the coast.
— Melissa Farthing
WAVE OF EXCITEMENT: Melissa and Steve Farthing can’t help but smile after this year’s event.
WAVE RIDERS: Melissa and Steve Farthing succeed at the World Waveski Surfing Titles (Steve pictured).