"Layne Beachley is a seven-time ASP Women's World Champion and one of Australia's greatest athletes. Layne is one of six legendary World Champion surfers competing in the Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy, taking place at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa from August 29 to September 5, 2011. She's the only female competitor in the all-star line-up.
1. Have you ever surfed in the Maldives?
If yes, please share with us what you find most memorable and exciting about the destination and surfing there. I haven't been there but have only heard wonderful things about the destination and I am really looking forward to my first Maldives experience.
2. Please share with us your most memorable / exciting surfing moment within your career?
My most memorable was when I successfully rode a 50 foot wave off the outer reefs of Oahu. I was towed in by a jet-ski and even though I was afraid, it was one of the most adrenaline filled experiences of my life. I hope we don't have 50 foot surf while I'm in the Maldives!? The most exciting moment of my career was when I won my 6th consecutive ASP Women's World Championship.
3. Do you have any tips / tricks / advice for a beginner surfer?
Be patient as it is not as easy as we make it look. I recommend learning at a surf school as they will provide you with quality and safe equipment, basic knowledge about the ocean and etiquette in the line up and a strong foundation to progress from.
4. Please share with us what surfing means to you and what appeals most about surfing to you?
Surfing is my solace. It keeps me connected, happy, relaxed and the ocean is the one place I love to escape to. The minute I dive in, the ocean cleanses my body, mind and soul. My life wouldn't be completely imbalanced with out it.
5. Please share with us your thoughts on being part of the Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy – what it means to you, what you hope to achieve?
At this stage I believe I am the lone female which I'm proud of. I'm really looking forward to surfing with and against some of my friends who are also surfing icons and great champions. I have never competed in an event of this nature so it will be entertaining to see how we all adapt to the variety of equipment and conditions. I'm incredibly competitive so of course I compete to win.... let there be waves!
6. At what point did you know surfing was going to be more than just a hobby for you?
Surfing was a hobby until I won my first event at the age of 15, which was the Regional Scholastic Titles. That gave me an enormous amount of confidence and drive to focus my energy on becoming a world champion.
7. What advice do you have for young female athletes, hoping to compete in sports that are dominated by guys?
Participating in male dominated environments can be quite intimidating but if you are passionate, positive, confident and willing to learn then you will always be able to find your place. Avoid playing the female victim, communicate clearly and be willing to compromise. Boys don't like being beaten by girls but they will always show respect towards athletes that have respect for themselves, regardless of gender. Be prepared to stand up for yourself and surround yourself with people that are supportive, encouraging and positive.