DESPITE a few lean years, Port Macquarie has always been the bodyboarding capital of Australia.
It is a region that has unearthed world champions such as Damian King and Michael Eppulston.
Now, a new batch of promising youngsters are coming through the ranks and want to leave their mark on the world stage.
24-year-old Charlie Holt said the highlight of his career was just a few years ago.
“We had a world tour event here in Port Macquarie and I finished second so that was probably the highlight so far,” he said.
After a few years off the circuit, Holt indicated he would like to return to the water as the sport started to emerge again.
“I had some time off and the world tour wasn’t going quite as well, but it’s going well again now,” he said.
“There’s a bit more sponsorship funding around and it’s important to grow that grassroots level so I’m starting to get back into it.”
In his three-year break, Holt did compete at the occasional world tour event, but he was selective which one he competed in.
Holt said he wanted the up-and-comers to experience what he did in Hawaii in 2014.
“I remember it was pretty good conditions and there were a few of the local boys alongside me like Chase O’Leary and Sam Bennett,” he said.
“It makes it a lot more fun when you have a group of local boys competing on the world stage and that’s what we hope will happen again.”
His focus soon after Hawaii shifted from personal goals to bringing youngsters through the ranks at the Port Macquarie Bodyboarding Association.
Holt now fills the role of vice-president at the club and was looking forward to their first competition day this Sunday.
“It’s more about the grommies and seeing them perform because they then can go to state and national titles,” he said.
“There are a few kids coming through the ranks like Mitch Atherton, Grant Gardner and Finn Black that are ones to keep an eye on.”