Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Women Making Waves 2018

Nine More Women Shaping Our Seas and Surfing

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

This is the third year for SurfWriter Girls annual Women Making Waves story focusing on nine amazing women who are making a difference in the life of our oceans and the sport of surfing.

Like the ninth wave in a set, which is bigger and more powerful than the rest, the women profiled this year have had a powerful impact on the environment and the world around us. 

So, take a look at Women Making Waves 2018 and meet nine more incredible women. Scientists, surfers, entrepreneurs, educators, artists, and more. SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel are excited to introduce you to this lineup of dynamic women.

Laylan Connelly, the Beaches Reporter for the Orange County Register, has a unique beat covering Southern California's surfing and beach culture over 42 miles of coastline. From famed Trestles Beach to Huntington Beach (Surf City USA), Connelly gets the story, talking to champion surfers, surf industry leaders, environmentalists, surf artists, board shapers, community members, and more. Whether it's the US Open of Surfing, Kelly Slater's Wave or the ocean's wildlife, the USC journalism graduate and avid longboarder puts readers in the middle of the action while explaining why the issues and events are important.   

Lynne Cox, a long-distance open-water swimmer, became the first person to swim the Bering Strait from the U.S. to Russia in 1987, opening the door to diplomatic relations between the two nations. Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said it took her "just two hours to...prove by her courage how close to each other our peoples live." Setting two speed records for swimming the English Channel while she was still a teenager, Cox also was the first to swim in Antarctica's frigid waters. A writer and motivational speaker who enjoys sharing her love of the water, Cox chronicled her adventures in Swimming to Antarctica and other books. SurfWriter Girl Sunny has been a big fan of Lynne’s for a long time. They both graduated from Los Alamitos High School. 

Sophie Goldschmidt, recently-appointed CEO of the World Surf League, is "focused on growing the sport of surfing in every region of the world." She's busy planning for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, which includes surfing for the first time, working on events with the WSL's Kelly Slater Wave Company, and building relationships and partnerships that will help to popularize surfing. Goldschmidt, who says she "enjoys a challenge," already has an impressive track record in executive positions with the NBA and WTA sports leagues and England's Rugby Football Union.  

Sensi Graves became inspired to design her own bathing suit line – Sensi Graves Bikinis - while she was a professional kiteboarder. “I wanted something that could be worn comfortably all day in and out of the water.” Her swimwear does that and more. It inspires women to have a healthy lifestyle and is a tool that empowers them to achieve their goals. Graves makes her products in the USA and donates 1% of sales to environmental causes. She also sponsors the Sensi Graves Team of exceptional women in sports from kiteboarding and surfing to whitewater kayaking, who help test her designs and are positive role models. 

Kim Hamrock is a champion surfer, artist, and author. Nicknamed "Danger Woman" for her fearless, big wave surfing exploits, she has 12 U.S. Championship titles and in 2005 was inducted into the Surfing Walk of Fame. Hamrock's book My Grandmother Surfs Better Than You tells what it's really like battling for waves in the lineup. A self-taught artist, she says, "Art is my expression of my experiences from surfing and travels and life adventures around the world. it reflects the same passion I surf with, in a free-flowing manner with no limitations." SurfWriter Girl Patti has seen Hamrock’s talents firsthand when Kim was a student in her business planning class.   

Kathy Kohner-Zuckerman is the real-life inspiration for Gidget, the "girl-midget" who put surfing on the map in the bestselling 1957 novel and mega-hit movie Gidget. One of Surfer Magazine's 25 Most Influential People in Surfing, Kohner-Zuckerman was and is a surfer at heart, who continues to promote and popularize the sport of surfing. A 2011 Surfing Walk of Fame inductee, she began surfing on longboards in Malibu as a teen and is still involved in the surfing community, attending competitions and events and speaking about the surf culture she helped to create.     

Dr. Sheila A. McKenna is the Science Program Lead for the National Park Service's Pacific Island Network encompassing 11 protected areas from the islands and archipelagoes of Hawaii, American Samoa and Guam to the Mariana Islands. A marine ecologist, she designs and implements scientific protocols and oversees experiments and assessments of biodiversity, resource use and environmental impacts in the region. Conducting research and field surveys, writing, speaking and teaching, Dr. McKenna's work helps to protect the environment by providing vital information about the Pacific Island sea life and ecosystems. 

Kate McMahon, a surfer, editor and writer, has had an illustrious publishing career from New Woman Magazine to tween and teen publications, including Disney Adventures and Dance Academy, leading up to her just-published first novel, Ocean Rules: The Bikini Collective. A young adult fiction book, it focuses on three girls competing on the junior surf tour. Mirroring many of McMahon's own surfing experiences, it lets her explore the trio's relationships and the things that can be accomplished with Girl Power. 

Dr. Kirsty Nash, a Research Fellow in Australia's Centre for Marine Socioecology at the University of Tasmania, studies coral reefs, the resilience of marine ecosystems, the movements and foraging habits of fish, the effects of climate change on the environment, and more. As a researcher, writer, and educator, Dr. Nash's work is at the nexus of theory and observation, providing new insights into the ocean world. Along with this, she is helping to find ways to sustain sea life and ecosystems from the colorful parrot fish to Australia's Great Barrier Reef. 

Leaders in their chosen fields, each woman shares one thing in common - a passion for the world we live in and a desire to make it better.

To see the previous Women Making Waves, click: 2017 and 2016 

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