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

Maroochy Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - Carly Cullen Carly.Cullen@sc­news.com.au

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

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

WAVE OF EX­CITE­MENT: Melissa and Steve Farthing can’t help but smile af­ter this year’s event.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

WAVE RID­ERS: Melissa and Steve Farthing suc­ceed at the World Waveski Surf­ing Ti­tles (Steve pic­tured).

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