Brevard’s Presti Hopeful to become 2020 Olympian (by Sue DeWerff)
When the sport of surfing debuts at the 2020 Olympic Games in Toyoko, Japan, Brevard 17-year-old
Rachel Presti could be riding waves that would be, in her words, “a-dream- come true.” The reality is within her reach!
Presti, a Melbourne Beach resident, who hopes to qualify to represent Germany as one of 40 surfers around the world (20 men and 20 women), is ranked among the top 25 internationally on the women’s World Surf League’s QS, (qualifying series). “I’m going to have to work really hard and give it my best shot but there is definitely a chance I could qualify,” she said. Though she will have her work cut out for her, needing to place above all European women who will compete in the 2019 ISA (International Surfing Association) games in Japan this September—Presti has both the talent and mindset to make it happen. She has plenty of accolades to her credit since she began competing in the sport just eight years ago at age nine.
Her most recent, back-to-back wins at WSL (World Surf League) junior pro events in Portugal: the
Bala Beach junior pro in Espinho, and six days later, the Caparica Surf Festival junior pro at Raia de Paralso. Two weeks ago she took third at the Vic Bay Classic, a QS 1,000 contest in Western Cape, South Africa. Presti captured the first ever international title in women’s surfing for Germany last fall at Huntington Beach, California, winning the U-18 division at ISA (International Surfing
Association) Junior World Championships. She prevailed over more than 70 competitors who represented nearly 30 countries at the annual contest. It was a feat that has ultimately propelled her to
new heights and given her huge confidence in her sport.
Currently training with several members of the German and other European teams, and her coach, Jim Hogan in South Africa, Presti told 321sportscast that riding waves and just having an opportunity to travel and explore new breaks around the world have been her favorite part of the experience. Presti was able to get approval by the ISA and WSL organizations to represent the German team, because it was her mother, Myriam Presti’s birthplace.
She officially began representing the DEU flag last September. “It would mean the world to me to simply be a part of the inaugural surfing competition in the Olympics.” Presti will head back to the states to compete in two upcoming contests in California again the end of the month, the Supergirl Pro, and the WSL Vans US Open of Surfing. “My goal is to place in the single digits here, 9th or above.” “I’m working on my flow, mixing up my maneuvers, both things that will help me to win heats going forward,” she said. She said her coach, Jim Hogan, who she has worked with for many years, training in Costa Rica, has kept her focused on the prize.
After winning her first QS in the Latin American country in Jaco back in 2018, Presti has learned that mental attitude and confidence in her surfing goes a long way. “I have a long way to go, but each day I get an opportunity to make progress. This is what surfing is all about.” (by Sue DeWerff/321sportscast)