A University student has been hailed as achieving Scotland's greatest ever surfing victory after winning the Nordic Surf Games.
Megan Mackay, a 2nd year Geology student, won the Women’s Open final in a tough four-way final heat, beating the reigning champion in the process.
The Scottish Surfing Federation described Megan’s win as ‘the highest accomplishment of any Scottish surfer ever at an international event’ – an achievement made all the more remarkable by the fact that she only started surfing competitively at 14.
Megan's biggest win to date was in Thurso in 2012, when she won the Scottish under-18 Girls Champion title.
Since then she has represented the University in the British University Surfing Championships in Cornwall, reaching the semi-final, and was part of the Scottish Surfing Team that travelled to Nicaragua for the ISA World Surfing Championships.
However, her victory in Norway is a career highlight that she hopes will inspire other young Scottish surfing hopefuls.
I feel that my victory proves that you can study and be successful in sports, if you want it enough. It takes a lot of hard work but if you have a goal you will make that commitment to achieve it" Megan Mackay
“My aim was to try and do well but I didn't think I would win it,” she said. “The level of surfing was very high and in the heats I was placing second, coming behind the reigning champion every time.
“But once I got to the final I waited patiently for the right conditions, and when the better and steeper waves came I managed to make some crucial manoeuvres which helped me win the title”
Although Megan is aiming for even greater competitive accolades, she is equally committed to securing her Geology degree, which she plans to use to travel the world. She has even coined her own motto to help her along the way, as she explains.
“My motto is ‘work hard, surf harder’ and if I’m in class or library all day, I will work as hard as I can and have fun later in the ocean.
“I like to think of surfing as a reward for all my hard work at university, and I really think that this attitude has improved my surfing.
“Ultimately I feel that my victory proves that you can study and be successful in sports, if you want it enough. It takes a lot of hard work but if you have a goal you will make that commitment to achieve it.”
Issued by the Communications Team
Directorate of External Relations, University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen
Tel: +44 (0)1224 272014
Contact: Robert Turbyne
Issued on: 20 March 2017