NAPIER-based surfer Marguerite Vujcich sponsored by Queen City Law, competed at the New Zealand surfing championships in Gisborne last week and it looks like Marguerite made the local paper with this story appearing in the Gisborne Herald on Monday January 20th.
Heres an extract from the article by Mark Peters:
Return to surf ‘was a rush like healing’
NAPIER-based surfer Marguerite Vujcich enteredevery event she could at the NewZealand surfing championshipsin Gisborne last week . . but the national bodyboarding champion was disappointed to find that event had been cut from the competition.
Not that the 54-year-old super-achiever is one to complain.“It has been wonderful here,” she says.“I’ve had a lovely time. I entered everything I could. I just got home from Australia. I beat some of the teens there. It’s a miracle. I beat some of the men too.”
At the New Zealand surfing nationals in Gisborne she won a trophy for fourth place in the senior women’s event. When she left the water after a longboard event, she received a round of applause. This was Mrs Vujcich’s first longboard competition. Born in South Africa during the era of apartheid, Mrs Vujcich trained as a barrister and supported civil rights. As a keen surfer, she joined a pro tour to Hawaii and Australia. The political and social unrest in South Africa was so dangerous her parents advised her not to return.
Her father recommended New Zealand. She worked as a barrister on high-profile cases, learned to fly and married her flying instructor. Her commitment to her legal career was extreme. She worked until three or four in the morning most days and even refused maternity leave when she gave birth to her three children. Seven years ago her body began to shut down. She crashed so badly, she made funeral arrangements for herself. Diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and unable to return to law, she returned to
surfing. The family sold their Auckland home and moved to a quiet property surrounded by nature near Napier and a top surf break.
“I got my old seven foot, two inch board out and put him in the ocean,” says Mrs Vujcich. “As soon as I put my feet into the water, it was a rush like healing.”
The born-again surfer switched her barrister’s gown and heels for her trademark polka-dot bikini and followed her passion for the ocean. Her condition means she has a limited fund of energy per day. She has developed strategies that enable her to live as normally as possible. She has since written an autobiography, recorded an album and made presentations as an inspirational speaker.“While there’s breath in your body, you can achieve your dreams,” she says.“You have to never give up.” Her rediscovered love for competitive surfing brought her to Gisborne for the 2014 national surfing championships last week.
She entered several events and even competed as a longboarder for the first time.‘It’s so frustrating . . . Sometimes I’m out there and I want to cry — but I’ll never give up “I caught a beauty but I got worn down and couldn’t get out again because of my condition,” she says.“It’s so frustrating. I know I could have beaten the girls. Sometimes I’m out there and I want to cry — but I’ll never’ give up.”Mrs Vujcich is aware that chronic fatigue syndrome has affected her memory and ability to think quickly — but is relieved that tests show her intelligence still functions at a high level.“I’ve still got my marbles. They’re just not in the same pocket all the time.”She doesn’t need anti-depressants, she says.“I have the ocean and my wonderful family.”
Check out Marguerite, The Surfing Lawyer at her website and blog.
To contact Queen City Law click here.