Stephanie Pettersen: fit at 40

Australian bodyboarder Stephanie Pettersen, from the Gold Coast, is preparing a comeback to the big bodyboarding stages. The former four-time world champion will compete in the IBA Pipeline Pro 2011, in Hawaii, after getting a wildcard from the organization.

Pettersen is 40 years old, she is mother of two and will fight for an unprecedented seventh Women’s Pipeline bodyboarding title. Petterson is also hoping to match Neymara Carvalho's five world titles wins. "This is such an amazing opportunity, I am so happy to get back to Hawaii, where I spent 15 years of my life," said Pettersen.

"My last contest at Pipeline was under intense 10 feet Hawaiian swell. I am very aware the competition will be hard, to go up against the world top riders is no an easy task. The thought of riding Pipeline again just brings a pure adrenaline rush to my blood," added Pettersen.

The Pipeline Pro is the opening event of the IBA World Tour 2011 and will be staged in Hawaii's high swell season, from February 15th to 25th, 2011. The contest will feature a Men’s, Women's and DK Grand Slam all under one umbrella. A Masters exhibition event will also be held. Despite a three-year hiatus from competition, Pettersen returned to the winning days late last year with a victory at Duranbah Beach, during the 2010 Australian National Tour.

Pettersen's last world title was in 2002 followed by a winning start in 2003 with victory at the Pipeline Event. Sadly, at that time, Stephanie was forced to withdraw due to lack of sponsorship in Australia. The talented bodyboarder's goal is to gain sponsorship to contest the full IBA world Tour, this year.

Nowadays, Pettersen is running a mobile personal training business on the Gold Coast (stephletic.com.au) and is the Gym trainer of the Senior Olympic squad at Miami Swimming Pool, working aside Australia's most respectful Olympic Swimming Coach - Dennis Cotterell. "I think age is not a barrier and I believe companies around the globe are more open minded to support older athletes since we have an amazing example such as 10-time time world champion Kelly Slater, at the age of 39," said Pettersen.