Last week was a big one for surf coach Ian Cairns. He led two of his students, Brett Simpson and Courtney Conlogue all the way to the victory podium at the U.S. Open of Surfing. Considering the talent each were up against this year, that’s quite an accomplishment, and a testament to his positive influence. “Ian gave me the exact game plan I needed before each heat,” says Simpson afterward. “He told me to use the entire lineup–to make sure I rode a wave on every peak and stay busy…and it worked perfectly. It’s been a huge help.”
This week Cairns is going to have a much bigger task on his hands in Costa Rica, trying to coach team U.S.A. to victory in the Billabong I.S.A. World Surfing Games, the closest thing surfing has to the Olympics. Things have gotten off to a shaky start. Female star Courtney Conlogue missed her flight down there after a run-in with the airlines over her baggage. But Cairns wont let that shake him. He’ll be using his hard-nose approach to try to bring the U.S. back to its former glory. Cairns helped lead Team U.S.A. to its first world championship back in 1984, over the then dominant Australians. He’s been suffering from the sidelines in recent years watching Team U.S.A. get kicked around in international competition. This should be fun.
Stay tuned for more updates.