Two titles? A rad showdown in Portugal? Let's talk to this living icon!
On pre-event pressure: The pressure was definitely there but I really tried to just focus on surfing and letting things happen. I did the work, I know how to surf and at that point it was just believing that it would happen and fall into place. I knew that it was going to come down to the last event and to one heat so I just tried to let go and have faith. At the end of the day, no matter what, win or lose, I mean I would have been bummed if I lost, but I would have walked away with a smile either way knowing it was a well-fought battle.
On staying sane pre-showdown: I was lucky enough to have my Dad and boyfriend with me the whole time to keep me sane. They both did a great job of keeping me calm, focused and distracted when I needed to be. Also, my headphones and music were essential to blocking everything out when things started to get noisy.
On music inflating headphones prior to showdown: "Roar" by Katy Perry was my anthem for the last day. Eminem's "Lose Yourself" and Tegan and Sara's "I Was a Fool" were also on my playlist.
On pressure release: It was definitely a huge weight lifted when I won. I was actually in the water about to start my semi-final heat when I found out. At that point I was still focused to compete but I was also okay if I lost. Whatever happened from then on was the cherry on top.
On the difficulty of celebrating when you know there's another surfer heartbroken they didn't win: Difficult? Of course! I hate to think about the other side. To have it be so close and not get it would have been hard for me to swallow. Tyler is an absolutely amazing person though and was out with everyone that night and celebrating. She had an incredible year!