Margaret River’s Jacob Willcox is a talented and outstanding figure in surfing. Ten years ago, a 16 year old Jacob actually created his own waves when he beat none other than Kelly Slater to make it through to the second round of the World Surf League’s Rip Curl Pro in Portugal. Jacob learnt to surf around the age of five on a styrofoam board with handles. As he got older, Jacob and his group of mates would head down to the beach most mornings before school, timing their dip before the school bus. By the age of 11 or 12, it was clear that Jacob had a talent for surfing, and it was also around this time that Jacob and another young Margaret River surfer, Jack Robinson, caught the attention of local surfing legend Taj Burrow at Taj’s Small Fries surfing comp. Soon after finishing school, he broke his leg and was out of the water for six months. Jacob credits the challenges he’s had to overcome for helping him to grow mentally and maturing into a formidable competitor. Ten years since Portugal, after many near misses in the grinding challenger series, Jacob joined the championship tour this year, kicking off in Hawaii. While he now lives in Queensland, he says he will forever be a proud Western Australian and, I suspect, proud to be from that wonderful place which is Margaret River. As the co-convenor of the Parliamentary Friends of Surfing, I’m looking forward to seeing Jacob in Canberra here as part of that.