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Nxyie Ryan and Sean Doherty

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13 Year old Lennox surfer Nyxie Ryan puts surfer Sean Doherty in the hot seat for Byron Writers Festival.

Sean Doherty is the author of MP Untold: The Lost Stories of an Australian Surfing Legend. He was editor of Tracks magazine from 2000–2008. Sean will be interviewing US writer and surfer William Finnegan at a Feature Event at Lennox Cultural and Community Centre on Sat 6 August.

My name is Nyxie Aliah Ryan, I’m 13 years old and live in Lennox head. I picked up my first surfboard when I was 9 years old and haven’t been able to put it down since. I started surfing local competitions when I was 10 and started traveling further last year. I am currently in year 7 at Byron Bay High School, which I love. My dream is to win a world title and make a career out of surfing.

Nyxie: What is the most interesting interview you have done and who was it with?

Sean: I’ve had a few really interesting ones, but maybe the one that stands out was interviewing Buttons Kaluhiokalani a few years ago in Hawaii. I’d grown up watching him in movies and loved the way he surfed like he was skateboarding. He made surfing look like the funnest thing you could ever do with your life. In real life he was just as much fun, but he’d been through a lot of problems with drugs over the years and had finally got himself clean and had a great perspective on life. Sadly he passed away a year later from cancer.

Nyxie: What advice do you give to groms that want to become a pro surfer?

Sean: When you surf, have as much fun as Buttons.

Nyxie: What’s your favourite wave in the world to surf?

Sean: Lance’s Right in the Mentawais or Winkipop down in Victoria.

Nyxie: What do you enjoy more, commentating or writing?

Sean: They’re both enjoyable, but I think writing is more challenging and I like to be challenged.

Nyxie: How do you see the future of female surfing?

Sean: I think there’ll come a time when there’ll actually be more female surfers in the water than guys. My daughters who are 11 and 9 are both mad keen surfers who love getting out at waves like The Pass, all their friends surf, and I can see how good it is for their confidence and independence. I reckon the lineup will look a lot different in 10 years time when the girls have taken over… and Nyxie Ryan is world champ.

Nyxie: What are you looking forward to talking to William Finnegan about?

Sean: I want to hear first hand what it’s actually like to land on an uninhabited island like Tavarua Fiji once was and to wake up in a hammock every morning to see the Restaurants break wrapping around the island without another living soul in sight. That really must have been something.

A Surfing Life

Sean Doherty in conversation with US author and surfer William Finnegan

Sat 6 August, 7pm

Lennox Head Cultural and Community Centre

Presented by Byron Writers Festival in partnership with Lennox Arts Board

Tickets $30

Click here for bookings and more info
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