What a privilege it was to meet Derek Rabelo on Friday as he pasted through Noosa and came to study at Lexis English for the day. This inspiring and incredible young man was born blind and is now a famous surfer. He has inspired untold numbers of people due to his determination and perseverance. He reached goal after goal, with his biggest one to surf a barrel at Pipeline in Hawaii.
Derek sat in the classroom for a day with fellow Lexis Noosa student and friend from Brazil, Felipe. He spent the day engaging with other students and learning English. I was given the opportunity to surf with Derek in the afternoon at my local spot, Sunshine Beach. I watched as Derek paddled out in a solid 3-4ft swell, duck diving wave after wave, relying heavily on other senses to acknowledge the approaching white water. Felipe and I called directions for oncoming waves describing where he was in relation to peaking waves suitable for catching. It was incredible to see him paddle for a wave and to be able to feel the ocean to know when to stand up and catch the wave! Thank you for visiting us here at Lexis Noosa Derek! We wish your all the best for your adventures of surfing Hawaii’s Jaws, Tahiti’s infamous Teahupo’o and Indonesia!