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Saffi Vette on ISA Athlete Training Camp- Tahiti

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The International Surfing Association (ISA), in cooperation with Olympic Solidarity, hosted an Athlete Training Camp (ATC) in Teahupo’o, Tahiti  recently. An opportunity for qualified surfers to surf and learn about the Olympic venue in the lead up to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

This ATC is part of a strategic athlete development plan to provide accessibility and local knowledge for under resourced/underexperienced athletes who have little opportunity to gain expertise at Teahupo’o outside of the ATC.

Saffi Vette who qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games attended the camp last week whilst Billy Stairmand is set to attend week 2.
Check out what Saffi learnt at the camp in her QnA below

Had you ever surfed at Teahupo’o before the camp?
No I hadn’t

What did you learn at the camp?
I learnt everything from where to sit in the lineup on certain swell directions, What waves would be best for maximising scoring potential, technique/ body positioning, personal safety, how to get on a jetski when the waves are bigger and your in the impact zone, how to use the lagoon to my own advantage.

Which surfers attended the camp?
Myself, Cadelaria Resano, Shino Matsuda, Bryan Perez and Alan Cleland Jnr.

Who were the coaches and how did you feel working with them?
Tereva David was our coach along side his cousin who was our water filmer Keanu Moux and their uncle Areson on water safety, Cedric who helps with logistics and also works for billabong was their helping us and sharing a bunch of knowledge too.

What was one key point/the most valuable piece of information you walked away from the camp with?
I think it’s just commitment. You have to be able to commit to every wave you decide to swing on. If not you’ll most likely end up in a worse off situation. You are better off being in the barrel than not at all. I think line up wise I think that was a key element to understanding what waves to go on as well.

What surprised you about surfing Teahupo’o.
It’s way more technical than you think! Pros make it look easy. But you have to work really hard to be able to get a good one out there, especially with the crowd these days.

Did you learn any new skills on the trip?
From the 2 days I actually surfed without an injury I learnt more about my technique and how I can change it up and perfect it for the next time I get back to Tahiti.

Has attending the camp given you more confidence for competing at Teahupo’o.
Yes, there’s less intimidation. I know what to expect now and there’s a lot of work that needs to be done before the games! Im excited!!!

Is there anything you will be working on leading up to the games?
Just technique and my mental preparation. Such an amazing opportunity to push myself!

Having now surfed at Teahupo’o could you compare it to any other wave that you have surfed before or is it like no other!?
It’s very similar to a slabby wave in Krui, Indonesia that I’ve surfed before!!!

Thanks to the ISA and Olympic Solidarity for this amazing opportunity #earnthefern

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