Ella Williams: World Junior Champ
A photographic dedication brought to you each issue, to blow your mind, make you scream WTF, or make the words "That's choice as" roll off your tongue. There are a lot of things that one could consider 'Choice As'. The waves during the weekend, the party Saturday night or that hot chick or dude you met at that same party, or even the new board that your shaper just tuned out. But when it comes to 'Choice' things, not much can beat winning a World Title. We catch up with Whangamata's Ella Williams on her 'Choice' new title 'The ASP World Junior Champion'.
Firstly congratulations to be the WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPION must be a surreal feeling. THANKYOU SO MUCH! It is the most incredible feeling ever. It's something that words cannot explain really. I am just over the moon with the win! I don't believe it has sunken in yet! I think something this life changing or big in your life won't sink in for a while. The smile on my face will stay for a long time!
How did entry into the comp come about? It was crazy how it happened! One and a half weeks before I was working in the shop with my brother, all of a sudden I got an email saying "urgent please reply ASAP!!" I opened it up and it said that a girl just before me on the rankings had pulled out because of injury. I was next on the ratings to get in. So I made the call and secured my place and ran with the golden ticket!! Did getting that last minute call up take the pres
sure off in the buildup? Yes, I think because of how fast it all happened I was just taking it all in and anything was a huge bonus to me. Thinking everyone knew they were going to be there so they had time to plan, whereas I didn't and was just so happy to even be involved and get there. It was so funny because every athlete there had a proper coach, trainers and everything!! I just turned up with my mum, no coach, trainer, nothing. Just my mum, and won the contest!
How were the waves and the venue for the event? The waves were fun most of the time, it changed a lot, as a lot of beaches do. One of the first days for the comp it was really solid so they put the boys out. From that day on it just started to drop off but still stayed a contestable size. But I was just happy to be surfing a beach break because I'm used to surfing beach breaks at home (Whangamata) so I felt very comfortable and happy with my surroundings. You've had a stellar year with a fourth place at the ISA World Surfing Games in the Open division, then you won the NZ Surf Festival to go on and compete against the best women surfers in the world, did all these events prior to the World Junior Champs prepare you for what was in store? I knew the level was high and all the girls are surfing so so strong. It was going to be hard, I knew that. But I was there to win and I would do whatever it took to take the win! You arrived home to a reception that has historically only happened to Rugby Teams, yet the whole town of Whangamata and more turned out for a street parade to celebrate you surfing success, how did this feel? It was AMAZING!! The whole community's support has been incredible, for me to have such great people behind me and for them to all put in the time and effort every little detail did not go unnoticed. I'm even lucky enough to be
getting my own seat made for me in honour of the achievement. It makes me feel so lucky to have all of them, and supporting me in the way that they do. Very grateful. You are an inspirational young woman that sets goals, this year you surfed in a CT event and now have a World Title to your name, where to from here? Thank you very much! From here onwards I am going to try and qualify for the Women’s World Tour. As soon as I'm on the World Tour I'm just in the hunt for another World Title! And to always be a happy person, have a positive outlook on life and keep growing with my surfing. Once again a huge congratulations from NZ Surfing Mag we are so proud of your achievements and the way you carry yourself while you represent our country and our sport, keep up the great
work! Thank you so much! And also I would just like to say a huge thanks to my family Dean, Janine and Braedon for their amazing support, I couldn't have done it without you! I'm forever grateful. And to my sponsors that have been fantastic to me, Rip Curl, Weet-Bix and also Reef and Peter Anderson surfboards and New Zealand for all of you support, all of your messages, letters, phone calls, txts! Everything you have done, I truly will never forget it and really do appreciate it so much!
The World Junior Champion out surfing on her local Whanga Bar, who would have ever thought! Photo: Cory.