Jan Juc Boardriders have gotten behind promising local born-and-bred surfer India Robinson’s quest to make the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour.
The 20-year-old is preparing to head to the US next Thursday to compete in the first of four WSL Challenger Series events at Huntington Beach, California.
The top six women in the series – stopping in Portugal, France and Hawaii – will earn a place on the tour competing against the best surfers in the world.
“It would be a dream come true,” said Robinson, who grew up surfing Bells Beach and Winki Pop.
Robinson set her sights on the international circuit at age 14, and as a junior was a regular in the local women’s fixture and even the occasional men’s boardrider event.
Last year she moved to Casuarina, NSW, with Phillip Island rival-turned-friend Sophie Fletcher to train at the Surfing Australia High Performance Centre.
“We’ve been competing against each other since we were 11 and we became best friends,” she said.
Sadly for Robinson, her best mate did not make The Challenger Series.
“I wish she qualified so we could travel together … maybe next year,” she said.
Earlier this year, Robinson defeated WSL competitor Sophie McCulloch in the final of the QS 1000, an event at Marouba that featured former world number one and Olympian Sally Fitzgibbons.
“I’ve had a few good results but that one stands out,” she said.”
And Robinson’s old hometown and boardriders club have launched an online fundraiser to help her achieve her dream.
“I just saw it last night. It came as a bit of a surprise,” she said yesterday.
“They’re amazing. They know how difficult it is and how much it costs, so I’m very grateful.”
Jan Juc Boardriders president Jack Stevenson said Robinson had been “on a tear” this year.
“I think that she’s got what it takes to make the world tour,” he said.
“She’s really focussed on her fitness and training to put her in the best position to achieve her goals.”
Stevenson, the older brother of Robinson’s good mate back home, Ava, praised her efforts running the Queen In Me all-girls surf camp in NSW.
“It’s amazing to see her not only grow as a surfer but also grow a platform to shine a light on women’s surfing, especially for the younger generations,” he said.
The club held a raffle at The Beach Hotel prior to the most recent lockdown, and Surfing Victoria has donated rash vests signed by WSL surfers Carissa Moore and Kolohe Andino for the online fundraiser.
“It’s not going to be cheap, so hopefully we can help her along the way,” Stevenson said.
“We’re stoked to support her and watch her achieve her goals.”