Iconic beach to honour surfing champ

A surfing world champion who didn’t receive any prize money or sponsorships for her win will finally be recognised for her accomplishment.

A female surfing world champion has been promised the recognition she deserves after being featured in a new documentary.

Pauline Menczer won the 1993 women’s surfing world championship but didn’t receive any prize money or sponsorships for her feat.

Sydney’s Waverley Council, which is responsible for Bondi Beach, announced this weekend it would honour Ms Menczer, who grew up in the beachside suburb.

“I believe that Waverley needs to honour its golden girl of surfing and that the council needs to formally consider ways we can do that,” Mayor Paula Masselos said in a statement.

Suggestions include a plaque or statue, a feature inside a story room at Bondi Pavilion, or a feature among the art pieces on the Bondi Beach Sea Wall.

Ms Menczer said Bondi was a meaningful place for her.

“I spent my entire childhood growing up on the beach in Bondi and Bronte with my brothers and it’s a very special place,” she said in a statement.

“Bondi has a huge part of my heart.

“I’ll always remember when one of my older twin brothers snapped his Coolite and I grabbed the other half and caught my first wave.

“I was addicted from that moment.”

Ms Menczer’s story was featured in the documentary Girls Can’t Surf, which hit Australian cinemas this month.

The film explores the history of female surfing and exposes the unfair treatment of women pros, who were often made to surf substandard waves and paid less than their male counterparts for their efforts.

Ms Menczer is seen in archive footage living out of a van and hustling to make ends meet during the peak of her professional career.

The hall of famer, who now works as a bus driver and lives near Byron Bay, said she would be back in Bondi later in the month for a surf event at a neighbourhood bowling club.

An online fundraiser started last month to collect money to donate to Ms Menczer in place of the 1993 prize money she never received has hauled in more than $59,000.

Ms Menczer has said she will use part of the money for medical treatment for a rare auto-immune disease she suffers from, and will donate the rest to charities.

Entertainment – syndicated | Herald Sun