A reporter recently asked Australian professional surfers Ellie-Jean and Holly-Daze Coffey, “Do you have any immediate plans to visit America?” Ellie-Jean replied, “Yes, we want to go to Austin, Texas.”
“But there’s no ocean in Austin?”
That clip made its way across the international date line to my desk in an hour. Of course, I felt compelled to extend the Coffey sisters a warm Texas invite. It was the right thing to do. They moved into secret playhouse, for two weeks. Yes, this was the best two weeks of my life (and that’s saying a lot).
Perhaps the best part about the Coffey’s visit is how blissfully unpretentious they are. They did not grow up entitled or rich by any stretch. When they were young, their father walked away from his successful bricklaying business, purchased a caravan, and took the family of six – Elle-Jean, Jackson, Holly-Daze, Ruby-Lee, and Bonnie-Sue, on an adventure down Australia’s East Coast. Unlike our American vacations, theirs would last a decade. Holly said, “Our father is our hero. He told us we could be whatever we wanted, and when we told him we wanted to be surfers he said, ‘If that’s your dream I’ll support it 100%. But you have to be committed to being the best.’”
All the Coffey kids proved to be extremely talented at surfers at a young age, especially Ellie and Holly.
Ellie-Jean (now 22) surfed the Banzai Pipeline on Oahu’s treacherous North Shore at only 15 years-old. She remains one of the youngest professional female surfers to do so. And Holly-Daze has quickly become known for her aerial stunts as she climbs the WSL rankings. Ellie says of Holly, “I think Holly could be the World #1 someday. She’s that good.” The sisters have now settled in Australia’s Gold Coast but have plans to tackle America soon, maybe permanently.
So the Coffey sisters packed their bags for Austin for two memorable weeks en route to the Los Cabos Open of Surf in Mexico where they are currently competing.
Here is Part I of our two part series, ‘The Coffey Sisters Come to America‘…