Hawaii’s Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) left, and Ella Williams (NZL) right. Pic ASP/Smorigo
COOLANGATTA, QLD/Australia (Thursday, November 7, 2013) – One month ago 18-year-old Ella Williams (NZL) from Whangamata, New Zealand wasn’t even planning on attending the HD World Junior Championships in Brazil. That all changed after the last minute withdrawal by ASP Australasia’s top seed Ellie Jean-Coffey (AUS), and Williams, who was next in line on the rankings was given her golden ticket to compete for an ASP World Junior Title. Taking full advantage of her opportunity, Williams went from event outsider, to darkhorse, and less then a week ago was crowned ASP World Junior Champion after defeating Hawaii’s Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) in an exciting Final.
We caught up with Ella as she was making final preparations for her long journey back to New Zealand to talk about her historic win.
How does it feel to win an ASP World Junior Title?
The feeling is amazing! Words really cannot explain how thrilled and over the moon I am! It was one of the best days of my life! For me, it is my dream come true. I have worked so hard for this ASP World Junior Title, I didn’t think it would be quite this early in my career. It’s just such a big, positive step for myself and New Zealand surfing.
Tell us about your last minute call up into the event.
It was so crazy! Three weeks before the contest I didn’t even think I would get a look in. As soon and I got the call we booked our tickets and luckily in NZ we don’t need visas to travel to Brazil, then we went on our way. It was like it was meant to be.
Tell us about your run in the event.
All the girls are such strong competitors. They are the best from around the world, and to be in the mix was just amazing, I was so happy to be apart of it, and anything that happened for me was a bonus. It was eye opening for me, I have learnt so much in a small amount of time.
Talk to us about the Final.
I was just so happy that I had made the final in the first place. As the siren went off there was a few sets coming through, some went quite fat and faded out quick, so picking one off with a good face on it was important. We were half way through the heat and time was ticking by, and I needed some good scores, and there was a moment in my head when I thought ‘wow, I could actually win this’. From there on I just put my head down and went to work. Making the best I could out of the opportunities I was given in the water. When the siren went I was quite numb thinking – ‘Did that just happen to me?’ Then they called it out that I’d won and I couldn’t believe it, I was so happy!
What does this event mean to you?
This means the world to me! It’s my best result ever. My dream is now a reality. I’m so thankful to everyone that has supported me along the way – my family, friends and sponsors. I’m forever grateful to them all for always believing in me.
What are your plans for the rest of this year and next year?
I’m heading home to Whangamata, to see everyone and enjoy the moment with family and friends. After the celebrations I’ll just surf and prepare for 2014 the best way I can. Next year I plan to do as many ASP 6-Star competitions as possible and to improve, learn and experience new things. Then I’d love to qualify for the ASP Women’s World Championship Tour.
Did NZ declare it national holiday when you won – Ella Williams day?
It’s funny you say that because apparently something big is happening at home, I have no idea what, because I’m not back yet. Surfing and sport is massive in NZ and I’m so happy to do everyone proud. I’m just ecstatic to go home and take it all in and celebrate with everyone. I really felt the love and support so thanks to everyone back home.
For highlights of the Women’s HD World Junior Championships presented by Devassa log on to http://www.hd-wjc.com