Sport

Surprise packet Laura has the goods: coach

THOSE in the know reckon Moffat Beach’s Laura Poncini – given the right wave conditions – has the talent to give established professionals a run for their money.
THOSE in the know reckon Moffat Beach’s Laura Poncini – given the right wave conditions – has the talent to give established professionals a run for their money. Contributed

THE former coach of Laura Poncini suggests the talented teenager could trouble the world's best surfers if she gets a wildcard entry into the Breaka Burleigh Pro.

The 14-year-old is leading the professional competition's Win a Wildcard promotion, which started early last month.

And if the Moffat Beach goofy-footer does claim a berth in the ASP 6-Star women's event, she could cause quite a stir, according to renowned Sunshine Coast surfing mentor Ian Portingale.

"She could surprise everyone," he said.

"If the surf is that little bit small or inconsistent and there's a touch of luck in it, she could quite easily sneak through a few heats."

Portingale believes the diminutive prospect is emerging as a genuine threat in the surf.

"She hasn't fully developed yet but she's definitely got some really nice moves and she has a supportive family which means she's going to have some good training along the way," he said.

"And the fact that she is willing to learn; that's one of the biggest things. She's the type of person who is happy to improve all aspects and with that attitude she can go a long way."

Poncini featured in the under-14-and under-16 national finals of the Rip Curl Grom Search at Coolum Beach last month. She also claimed victory in the All-Stars schools division at the Australian Junior Surfing Titles in Tasmania, alongside fellow Sunshine Coast surfer Sophie McCulloch.

"She hasn't got that power at the moment because she's still only young and quite small and frail. But she knows where she needs to put the board and as she keeps developing she'll put more power into it," Portingale said.

Portingale believed Poncini could be a real contender if she claimed a spot in the event, especially if it is moved to the smaller surf of Burleigh's beach breaks.

"Burleigh itself can be a top-to-bottom barrelling wave from take-off to finish, a 200m barrel, sucking sand," he said.

"It's the classic kind of surf. They used to say if you can't get tubes at Burleigh you're never going to get tubes in your life.

"If the surf is pumping a bit she might find herself a few points short, (but) if everything falls her way and it's inconsistent and a little bit small, she's contest-savvy enough and has got the moves to probably sneak through.

"I'm sure people like (Buderim surfer) Dimity Stoyle are among those she has looked up to, so just to come up against them will be a good experience for her."

Poncini, now coached by Gold Coast's Mark Richardson, is one of three still in the running for the women's Win a Wildcard spot. The others are Hollie-Sue Coffey and Lucy Callister.

Meanwhile, Coolum Beach's Kelly Norris, 17, is leading the men's standings, ahead of Nick Callister and Eli Jacobs.

"It's a really good opportunity for Kelly and I to get into the contest and test our skills," Poncini said.

"It would be so good to compete. It would really push our surfing and would set us up and give us a good start to the year."

Topics:  laura poncini, surfing




Long love affair with sport

DRESSED TO WIN: The Waratahs women's basketball side from 1928.

Times Past with QT columnist Beryl Johnston

RSPCA vs AWLQ: The truth about kill rates

POUND PUPPY: This little pig-dog cross is one of dozens of puppies that may be put down if no home is found for them, or they remain unclaimed by their owner. Photo Lisa Machin / Dalby Herald

'It happens and is unavoidable'

Latest deals and offers

Dazza's polite moviegoer tips

Photo: Trevor Veale / The Coffs Coast Advocate.

Hidden cost of a cheap movie

MOVIE REVIEW: Life on the Road

Ricky Gervais, Ben Bailey Smith and Foregone Conclusion (Steve Clarke, Andy Burrows, Stuart Baxter Wilkinson, Michael Clarke) in a scene from David Brent: Life on the Road.

Ricky Gervais has brought David Brent back to life on the big screen

Jessica Alba wants tequila shots served at her funeral

Businesswoman and actor Jessica Alba

There won't be mourning at this funeral

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Noosa mayor on "red alert" over planning court decision

Mayor Tony Wellington hands down his first budget.

Mayor upset at lack of say about look and feel of Noosa