Only a month after leaving Europe to start a new life in Australia, French professional surfer Poeti Norac has died at the age of 24.
Poeti passed away last weekend in Australia. The rising surfing star’s cause of death is not yet known.
The French Surfing Federation announced the tragic news after receiving confirmation from the Norac family.
“The surfing community has lost a family member, a beautiful person with a radiant smile, an artist on her big board and whose enthusiasm radiated in (the) Vendee (a region on the west coast of France) and everywhere else,” the French Surfing Federation said in a statement. “A ceremony in tribute to Poeti will take place soon, the date and place of which we will communicate to you.”
Norac recently moved to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, only a few months ago to focus on her surfing career and perfect her ability to speak English.
In an Instagram post from September, Norac wrote: “End of this chapter, ready for the new one.”
Poeti was born in the Vendee region on the Atlantic Ocean side of France, where she started surfing at age six in her seaside hometown of Les Sables-d’Olonne. Her father, Bruno Norac, taught his daughter how to surf in the Bay of Biscaye.
Poeti had been entering surfing competitions for 10 years, starting with shortboard and transitioning to longboard as she was older. Norac was a finalist in France’s national surfing championships four times, including a second-place finish in 2018, and a third-place finish is 2016. Poeti notched 10 victories in the Coupe de France surfing competition.
Norac was the youngest brand ambassador for Oxbow, who shared a tribute to Poeti: “It is with a heavy heart that we send to his loved ones and his many friends our most sincere and deep condolences.”
Poeti’s final Instagram post from December 7, 2019, said: “Off to surf.”
“It’s your path and only yours. People can walk by your side but no one can walk for you,” she wrote last year.