Parents Pay $10,000 For Kids To Surf With Fanning, Money Goes To Charity

As reported on

Surfing grommets Scott and Sam Walker woke up yesterday morning and found at least three of their Christmases, and a few birthdays, had all come at once at the Global Surf Industries Noosa Festival of Surfing.

Their parents, Sydneysiders Tracey and Bill, had dug deep to come up with a charitable $10,000, ensuring that Scott, 14, and his equally surf-mad 17-year-old sister, Sam, got to surf with world champion Mick Fanning.

“That’s their Christmas presents for the next few years and the birthdays as well, but it’s something that they’ll have for the rest of their lives,” Tracey said.

Her kids stopped pinching themselves long enough to not only match it with mighty Mick in fun waves just shy of one metre between the Noosa groynes, but also razzle dazzle their hero and a packed beach.

In one magical moment during the Corporate Team Challenge – which raised a whopping $110,000 for charity – Sam cheekily surfed alongside Mick, hopped on to his board and appeared to be dancing with the star surfer.

Not to be outdone, Scott then switched boards and did some nose-walking on Mick’s mal, while the world champ cut loose on his new surfing mate’s short board.

“They were smashing it out there – they were ripping,” was Mick’s opinion of the Sam and Scott show.

Scott summed up the adrenalin rush in a word – “awesome!” – and Sam’s tandem surf with Mick was declared the world’s biggest buzz.

“It was so good!” she said.

When down-to-earth Mick and the equally grounded women’s world champion Stephanie Gilmore choppered in for the festival, the two siblings, who have been surfing the festival age events, were inducted into Team Fanning.

And what a potent triple-pronged wave attack they unleashed in the challenge, which put them alongside some of the most gifted riders ever assembled in Australia.

Thirteen past and present world champions, including Rabbit Bartholomew, Mark Richards, Layne Beachley, Mark Occhilupo and local Josh Constable, were auctioned off in the teams event to help fund Frangipani Dreams, the Disabled Surfers Association of Australia and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.