- c. 1937
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
- Surfboard Rider
In 1964, at the age of twenty-seven, Phyllis O'Donnell won the first ever world championship in women's surfing. For her efforts, apart from the glory, she won $250, a surfboard and numerous packets of cigarettes.
When she entered the sport, it was dominated by men,some of whom, she recalls, would take aim at her while she was paddling out to catch waves. She is delighted how far the sport has come and how the position of women in it has improved. 'The girls, especially on the pro circuit, are absolutely fantastic.'
The Ma Bendall/Phyllis O'Donnell Memorial Interclub Contest with other women's clubs is competed for once a year.