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Lani Pallister would rather see you to win a Shaw and Partners Summer of Surf bonus than her win one herself……….well sort of.

“I’d be so over the moon for Noah Havard or Lizzie Welborn to do it in their individual events. Its exciting watching everyone else’s success too rather than just focusing on the money,”  she said.

But the undefeated leader of the women’s swim series admits she wouldn’t mind collecting the $25,000 in cash

“Although I don’t chase money, I race because I love the sport; but I would love to achieve the jackpot,” she said.

it’s undeniable that Lani Pallister is seen as the most likely to win a Shaw and Partners Summer of Surf bonus in the women’s surf race, all surf sports fans agree. With 3 wins from 3 starts this summer she is certainly on track and what makes her more scary is she’s the World Short Course Swimming Champion over 400, 800 and 1500 freestyle and the world champion and world record holder in the 4x200m freestyle relay.

Being the unbackable favourite to claim the final two 10,000 point events at Northcliffe creates expectation, but that’s exactly what the 20yr old is looking for.

“I thrive on the pressure in all honesty, I know what I am capable of and just allowing that to be shown on the beach is a thrilling experience. Any time I put my foot on the line, I am doing it to win regardless of the conditions or who is present, so if it ends up being 40secs or a sprint finish I love the outcome.”

There’s always been swimmers who’ve raced surf sport, in the last 10 yrs names like Allen, Poort, Nay, Sloman and Armstrong have all terrified start lines with stories of their pool prowess, but not since Ky Hurst has someone been so dominant in the way Pallister has. 

And the Alexandra Headland athlete knows that puts a target on her back

“I love the confidence knowing that if I am on the beach all eyes are on me for the swim and more than anything that it’s giving me an opportunity to race in a pressurized environment.”

With Paris 2024 just 18 months away, we will see less and less of Pallister over the next few seasons but the former Australian Junior Ironwoman Champion says sometimes the surf is just too hard to resist

“I grew up doing whatever I wanted (sporting wise) as a kid; but to be in the most prestigious swimming program in Australia and the world, I do what I am told. I am always happy to ask the question and Bohly and Janelle are fine with me to do a couple of swim races here and there.

But realistically swimming at the highest level you have such a small window to capitalise, I don’t believe in sacrifices, everything ends up being a choice and I’m not willing to jeopardise an international swimming event to do surf events and that’s my choice.”

And who are we to argue.

Lani will chase her $25,000 Shaw and Partners Summer of Surf bonus on February 10th and 11th at the Shanon Eckstien Ironman Classic at Northcliffe Beach.

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