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




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

State of Origin 2016: Cooper Cronk will play for Qld

Cooper Cronk will play for Queensland tonight.

Cronk, who has been undergoing intense physio, made decision today

Work starts on $85m makeover for former school site

COMMUNITY HUB: An impression of what the residential and shopping complex at Silkstone will look like.

CONSTRUCTION has started on an $85 million development at Silkstone.

Your guide to the best live music in Ipswich

Bring your guitar and jam on Sundays at Brothers.

Check out some live entertainment this weekend

Latest deals and offers

Beyonce is better than Beethoven according to your dog

Sony research shows that dogs prefer Top 40 over classical.

Research commissioned by Sony shows that dogs like Top 40 more than classical.

Police continue dig at Carole Park site

Police search for remains of Sharron Phillips in Cobalt St, Carole Park. Sharron Phillips went missing in 1986.

Police continue the search for the remains of Sharron Phillips at Carole Park this...

Kevin Walters has done his homework on Moylan

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - MAY 29:  Coach Kevin Walters during a Queensland Maroons State of Origin training session on May 29, 2016 in Gold Coast, Australia.  (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Qld Couch Kevin Walters is aware of NSW fullback.

The reason families are moving to Ipswich

WORKS PROGRESS: Construction of the District Park, which will include a Splash’n’Play Water Park and adventure playground, is well under way.

Better roads and more jobs making Ipswich attractive prospect

Own Sunshine Coast property? You’re about to make money

UP AND UP: Property owners are likely to win from rent and price increases but tenants and first home buyers might not be so happy. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

Good new for property owners, not so good for buyers and tenants.