Coalcliff surfer gets a chance at world title in Ecuador


She mightn't have known where Ecuador's Salinas Beach was a week ago, but for Coalcliff surfer Billie Melinz, the break has become one of the most important in her young career.

The talented 14-year-old has been selected as part of the Australian team headed to South America for the World Junior Surfing Championships in April next year.

After a stellar year in Australia, Melinz will contest the under-16's division in her first shot on the world stage.

"It is easily one of the biggest things I have accomplished," Melinz said.

"I was really nervous because I didn't really get to know straight away, so I had to wait to find out with a phone call to see if I made it or not."

"I was lucky enough to get the phone call. I was so happy.

Melinz earned selection through a combination of high finishes at competitions around Australia throughout 2013, which included a second placing at the Australian Junior Surfing Titles in Kiama earlier this month.

Despite dominating in the early rounds in familiar conditions in the Illawarra, she was unable to topple Western Australia's Emi Campbell.

"The waves were good the whole way through the competition and were good in the morning for the final day but as the tide got higher our heat just had to be on the worst tide and it sort of stopped," Melinz said.

"It was whoever got the two good waves won and Emi got those two good waves and was dominant in the heat.

"It was good to have the competition down there because I have had a couple of surfs down there before.

"It is good to know the bank when you are out there and it makes you feel a lot less nervous."

Melinz won't have the same luxury when she heads to the world titles, admitting she wasn't entirely sure what the conditions in Ecuador would throw her way.

"I have never been to South America ... I have only been to Bali really," Melinz said. "I had never really heard of Ecuador until I heard about the competition."

Melinz jets off to Queensland today to contest the final leg of the GromSearch Australian series at Surfers Paradise.

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