Flip side of D’bah girls team

The girls be­hind the na­tional ti­tle


❝The tag team for­mat is ex­cit­ing be­cause the strong­est surfers are not nec­es­sar­ily the peo­ple scor­ing the big­gest points...

— Freya Prumm

A COU­PLE of weeks ago I wrote about the Doyle Twins, Amiya and Brodie, and their part in the D’bah girls his­toric na­tional ti­tle teams win. But it would be re­miss of me not to men­tion the other mem­bers, twins Grace and Au­drey Sty­man-lane and Freya Prumm.

Like the Doyles, Grace and Au­drey are iden­ti­cal twins but the main dif­fer­ence is Grace is a nat­u­ral footer and Au­drey is a goofy footer un­like the Doyles who are both nat­u­ral foot­ers.

The Sty­man-lane twins started surf­ing at seven years of age at Palm Beach surf school in 2001, in­spired by world cham­pi­ons Chelsea Ge­orge­son, Lisa An­der­son and Steph Gil­more.

“Surf­ing to­gether is mostly a friendly ri­valry. Au­drey is su­per com­pet­i­tive although she’ll tell you oth­er­wise,” said Grace laugh­ing.

Freya Prumm grew up in Mer­im­bula where she caught her first wave, although a fear of the ocean and un­con­trolled eczema that stung in the salt wa­ter turned her off at first.

“Af­ter a hol­i­day to Coolan­gatta and surf­ing Green­mount, I re­turned home re­newed and have surfed con­sis­tently ever since. I was about nine or 10,” said Freya who comes from a surf­ing fam­ily.

Freya looked up to Taj Bur­row, Dane Reynolds and the depth of Kelly Slater but it’s the fi­nesse of Steph Gil­more that in­spires her.

“When­ever Steph is in the wa­ter I just stop and watch.” said the Grif­fith Uni phar­macy stu­dent. Freya has com­peted on the women’s WQS (World Qual­i­fy­ing Se­ries) and will at­tempt to qual­ify for the World Tour af­ter grad­u­at­ing.

Freya says com­pet­ing with the D’bah team is su­per fun and lots of laughs.

“There are two sets of twins and I just get to laugh at the twin ten­sion when the sit­u­a­tion is tight,” she said.

“The tag team for­mat is ex­cit­ing be­cause the strong­est surfers are not nec­es­sar­ily the peo­ple scor­ing the big­gest points; you’re largely at the mercy of tim­ing. Tac­tics do come into play for us, gen­er­ally I am the one to make up time, but it’s de­pen­dent upon the sit­u­a­tion.”

Their coach Ray “Poppy” Hel­ton, as­sisted by Julie O’neil said the for­ma­tion of the team dated back six years, with all the girls join­ing the club around the same time af­ter com­ing from var­i­ous dif­fer­ent places.

Poppy and Julie worked on the tactical or­der to set-up the win­ning strat­egy that has been used for the last four years.

“Every time we surfed we had all our surfers com­plete in the one-hour time frame. The girls are not self­ish and surf for each other and re­alise if they can all get a score of five for each wave and get the four bonus points for be­ing first team fin­ished they will be hard to beat,” he said.

It’s that type of team for­mula with con­sis­tency and con­sum­mate tim­ing that have given the D’bah girls the edge and four con­sec­u­tive na­tional team ti­tles. “All the girls have a com­pet­i­tive surf­ing back­ground and are very com­pe­tent surfers, travel to Indo, Hawaii and other places and can surf well in any con­di­tions,” added Poppy.


TOP MOVE: Freya Prumm shows off her strong back­hand snap for the Na­tional Tag Team ti­tle at Dbah.

DOU­BLE TROU­BLE: Au­drey Sty­man-lane, one of two twin pairs in the Dbah squad, is seen here pow­er­ing off the lip at D’bah as part of the Na­tional Tag Team ti­tle.

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