Layne Beachley

Layne Beachley


Layne Beachley - Aim for the stars foundation

Layne Beachley (born May 24, 1972) is a professional surfer from Manly in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. She is regarded as the best female professional surfer in history, having won the World Championship seven times.

Born Tania Maris Gardner to a 17-year-old unwed Scottish mother then living in Surry Hills, Sydney, Layne spent six weeks in an incubator as a premature baby, before being adopted by Neil and Valerie Beachley from Manly, a famous beachside suburb in Sydney's north.

When Layne was six years old, her adoptive mother, Valerie, died from a post-operative brain hemorrhage, and Layne was raised with the help of a family friend. Perhaps as a way to deal with her loss, Layne started surfing amidst a crowd of predominantly young male surfers.

Layne made a remarkable rise through the ranks in the masculine world of surfing: at the young age of 16 she became professional, and by the age of 20 she already ranked sixth in the world. Then in 1993 and 1996 she suffered from two episodes of chronic fatigue, which threatened to end her surfing career altogether. But she recovered, having dealt with her personal issues, and became the Women's ASP World Champion in 1998. She won the title again in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2006, securing her place as the most successful female professional surfer ever.

In 2004 Layne was given a wildcard entry into the Energy Australia Open held at Newcastle, one of the rare occasions a woman has competed in a men's surfing event. She was drawn with Andy Irons in the first round and at the press conference the day before he wasn't particularly welcoming, believing the women have their tour and the men have theirs. But if it was supposed to be a showdown between top male and top female surfer, then someone forgot to tell the other two men in the first round heat, Bede Durbidge and Bernardo Pigmeau. They surfed better, Andy and Layne both hardly got a wave and were both eliminated.

Layne Beachley's former boyfriend was professional surfer Ken Bradshaw; she is currently dating Kirk Pengilly (saxaphone & guitar player for INXS).

Her aggressive surfing style has earned her such nicknames as "The Beast" and "Gidget".

She appeared in the movies “Blue Crush” (2002) Billabong Odyssey (2003) and Step Into Liquid (2003).

In 1999, her biological mother Maggie, who has since moved to California, traced her back for a reunion.

She founded Aim For The Stars Foundation to financially help girls and young women achieve their ambitions.

In August of 2006 she successfully reclaimed the world's number one ranking for the first time in over two years by winning the Brazilian leg of the world tour.

One of her favourite beaches is believed to be Long Reef, a popular beach in Sydney's Northern Beaches of Australia.


Layne Beachley - Aim for the stars foundation



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