4 X WORLD CHAMPION WENDY BOTHA GSN 48HR TAKEOVER
Four time World Champion surfer Wendy Botha spent the past 48 hours in full control of the Girl Surf Network social platforms. She did use it wisely though. :) Wendy pulled out the dusty old newspaper clippings and polaroid photos from under the house to share a few stores with us all. Enjoy. x
1. A few years back I was invited to Noosa for a longboard surf festival. I had a surf in the comp, sort of like a heritage round with a few other ex-pros like Layne Beachley and Thomas Carroll came out for a few waves in the womens heat. After the event a few of us went on a bit of a local wave hunt. I won’t name exactly where this wave was but my god it was unbelievable! Seriously the best wave I’ve had in Australia and one of the most memorable surfs I’ve ever had…Ever! It was a complete fluke to get a session at this break so good. Thanks to Simon Anderson for the laughs, Serena Brooke & my son Ethan for the memories, Sharon Anderson for the pic & a shout-out to the locals for being nice.
2. This selfie of World Champion Stephanie Gilmore was at the Roxy Pro on the Gold Coast about six years ago. I was in the athlete tent in the comp area and left my phone on the table for a few unsupervised moments. Steph must have seen it sitting there and took this classic selfie like a silent ninja. I didn’t even see her do it! It wasn’t until a few days later my son found it in the image gallery and was like ‘MUM! What the? Have you seen this?’ haha! Love ya Steph!
3. 1993 Sports Illustrated Cover Photo by Peter ‘Joli’ Wilson.
I remember this day so clearly. I just won a world title at the last event in Hawaii. I spent the next few days surfing Off-The-Wall. Maybe it was the thrill of winning… But I remember these few days free-surfing in Hawaii as some of the best.
From memory this was the first ever surfing shot on the cover of Sports Illustrated AU, let alone a female surfer. I was so unbelievably stoked. This is the only other major magazine cover I’ve ever had, apart from Playboy (which is another story entirely).
4. 1992 with Kelly Slater. Kelly just won his first won his first World Title and I just won my last. I had my mum, Joan on tour with me this year. It was a really special year for me. Mum was soo chuffed. She took this photo of us. I’ve had it sitting in my archives ever since.
5. Circa 1990, Hossegor, France. This shorey gets so massive sometimes! Such a heavy wave. I’d get sooo flogged that even my one-piece would get ripped up over my head. Can’t remember the photographer sorry. Another from from my archives.
6. Back when I was a mini grom in South Africa. This was the year I really started to get into surf comps and loved every minute of it. The year before this I remember doing a comp at J-Bay and I didn’t even know how to duck-dive properly. I got absolutely flogged that year! Haha! It was good to come away with a few wins the next year in Durban, South Africa. It wasn’t too long after this photo that I packed my backpack & surfboard & headed over to Australia to pursue my dream of being a pro surfer.
7. Circa 1990. Somewhere in Hawaii. My memory is getting pretty bad these days haha. There were three photographers in the water, right in the zone. A few of the shots were published in some surfing mags too. I just can’t for the life of me remember the photographers. Sorry guys! A lot of the photos in my archives are photos of photos that I’ve collected over the years. This was all before social media and the internet was widely used.
8. 1987 Sitting waiting for the final of the Agree Pro at Maroubra against Pam Burridge. There was cash & a car up for grabs the only time in my career. I wanted to win so bad! I lost to Pam this day. 😔 But I got over it.
9. This photo was one of the waves I got in the OP Pro at Huntington Pier. No idea what year sorry. I just remember it was massive. I got soo flogged trying to paddle back out through the pilings! This pic is soo grainy because (again) it’s a photo of a photo. I was walking down the main street just after the comp and saw this pic on the cover of USA Today newspaper. I was soo chuffed! All the newspapers were in those vending machine things on the street. I only had enough money to buy one copy. I’ve still got it at home but it’s looking a bit worse for wear.
Follow Wendy on Instagram @wendy_botha