Jemma Grobbelaar

Professional kite surfer

When the Southeaster blows in Cape Town most people sprint indoors. Not Jemma Grobbelaar. A top international kite surfer, 20-year- old Grobbelaar is one of those people who makes the best of any situation. It's her positive attitude as much as her physical strength and technical skills that resulted in Grobbelaar being crowned European Kite Speed Champion in 2009 and British Champion in 2008, 2009 and 2010, after only a few years in the sport. She embraces life and every opportunity with it, which is why when she tore her knee ligaments and had to stay out of the water for eight months Grobbelaar focused on her recovery and played her violin. Even today, as she recovers from a knee operation, she is making the most of her downtime, growing chillies and herbs, taking up painting and even blogging about her latest medical "adventure�. She is talented, beautiful and, as a plus-size model, not someone who will change her body or mind to please others. No wonder she is fast becoming the poster girl for women in this male-dominated sport. Grobbelaar has represented South Africa at the Dakhla Music and Watersports Festival in Morocco, helping to raise awareness about women's rights in that country, and has worked with the Seychelles Tourism Board to promote the islands through kite surfing. When she was invited to kite surf across the English Channel with Sir Richard Branson and his family to celebrate his 60th birthday Grobbelaar jumped at the opportunity to join her hero on one of his many adrenalin-fuelled adventures. Although she is definitely a highflyer Grobbelaar is also a grounded Vrystaat meisie who likes nothing better than to promote her home country. "I've been all over the world and there's no beach like Strand, no wind like the Southeaster, no people as friendly and no country better than South Africa.� We're glad she thinks that.�Cat Pritchard

Website: jemmag.com Blog: jemmag.tumblr.com Twitter: @Jemmasa