Yallingup surfer Claire Bevilacqua has taken a huge step towards the Olympic Games 2020 by winning the European Championships in Portugal.
The local charger is now representing Italy where her parents originate and is aiming to qualify for the first Olympics to feature surfing. The dream of competing for gold in Tokyo is burning bright along with many of the world's best surfers who will relish the opportunity to surf in the Japanese beach breaks.
The Championships was a massive win for the natural footer who beat Francisca Veselko (Portugal), Rachel Presti (Germany) and Peony Knight (UK) during an exciting final.
"It's just such an awesome opportunity to help the Italian surfing community and also reconnect with my Italian roots. Make my family proud. It's just an awesome new chapter of my career that I'm really looking forward to," Bevilacqua said.
Despite having some of the best waves in world in her backyard at home in Yallingup it is the North Shore of Hawaii that is Claire's destination of choice.
"I love the force of the waves, the warm water and the tropics; I love the island's atmosphere and the connection I feel to the place," she said.
"I found the waves to be more difficult and scary, even though the waves of Margaret River are also really challenging for surfers."
For now, her sights are directly set on Japan 2020 and qualifying for the biggest stage ever in competitive surfing history.
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