Hall of Fame surfer still going for it

8th March 2018 8:52 AM
CHAMP: Pauline Menzcer pictured at home in Brunswick with her 1993 world champion's trophy. CHAMP: Pauline Menzcer pictured at home in Brunswick with her 1993 world champion's trophy. Christian Morrow

BRUNSWICK surfing champion Pauline Menczer was back in the limelight this week after being inducted into the Surfing Australia Hall of Fame on the Gold Coast.

But far from easing into retirement the 1993 Women's World Surfing Champion is raring to compete again.

Last December she underwent hip replacement surgery and following a months worth of recovery she will be be back in training for the Azzores World Masters to be held in September in Portugal.

And just like in the old days, when she struggled to find sponsors, she is once again looking for a local company to support her on her journey to Portugal.

Known for her 'take no prisoners' surfing style in the early days of the Women's World Surfing Tour, Pauline's acceptance speech kept the crowd entralled.

"Speaking at the ceremony it really felt like naughty Paul was back,” she said.

"I love to entertain, whether its my surfing or when I speak- its one of the things that's sustained me over the years.”

Always regarded as one of the best surfers going round then and now, commercial and official recognition was hard to come by during her career.

Her astounding record of winning 20 major surf events, including the 1988 World Women's Amateur Championship, the 1993 World Championship and WQS champion in 2002, were achieved without major sponsorships and all the while battling bouts of crippling rheumatoid arthritis.

"As I said in my speech its better late than never to be inducted into the hall of fame,” Pauline said.

"Surfing Australia actually apologised over the delay, but in the end I am glad this recognition has come later. I've gone through some transitions and had time to reflect.

"The recognition is a little like being back on the scene in the old days. Its was really lovely to feel the affection from the audience.

"I'm was so happy to have my partner Sam there, Steve Foreman and representatives from the All Girls Lennox Head Surf Club and my twin brother.”

Menczer's induction was one of a number of presentations as part of the 2018 Australian Surfing Awards.

It was a family affair for top individual honours with 2017 WSL Women's World Champion Tyler Wright and brother Owen winning the Female and Male Surfer of the Year awards.

The Peter Troy Lifestyle Award, presented to the person who has given his or her life over to surfing, and in doing so has enriched the lives of other Australian surfers over time was awarded to David 'Rasta' Rastovich who took a different line through a surfing life, devoting himself to a better understanding of the natural world and of human relationships within the sport.