My name is Savannah Shaughnessy, born March 20, 1989. I am a surfer, paddler, lifeguard, Registered Nurse, and water bug. I love the ocean, family, friendship, learning, and helping others.
I grew up in Scotts Valley, California, a small town within Santa Cruz County. I grew up riding my bike around the neighborhood, walking to school with my neighbors, playing soccer, and catching frogs at a pond near my house.
At the age of 13, I decided to surf Maverick’s after watching the film “Year of the Drag-in”. I watched the Maverick’s event from a PWC for the first time when I was 14, and I became obsessed with the break and contest. Many people told me I was not capable of surfing this wave. I responded by working hard to prepare both mentally and physically, and I found experienced mentors who believed in my abilities. I first attempted to surf Maverick’s at age 16. My first time surfing at Maverick’s was intimidating and I did not receive a warm welcome because of my youth and gender. I countered by working harder, being persistent, and never giving up. I also worked hard in school to graduate early from High School, and to graduate from UC Santa Cruz with a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2010. While in college, I worked part time at Arrow Surf and Sport. I saved as much money as I could to spend each summer in Puerto Escondido, Mexico training and getting barreled with my brother and friends.
More recently, I had the pleasure of judging the Maverick’s event and the Nelscott Reef event, both stops on the Big Wave World Tour in 2014. Also in 2014, I raced in the Molokai 2 Oahu paddle race for the first time in the prone stock solo class. It is a 32-mile open ocean race through a challenging channel.
I graduated from Samuel Merritt University School of Nursing’s accelerated Bachelor of Science in nursing program in December 2015. I will be starting my career as a new graduate nurse soon. This year I was also added to the alternate list for the Titans of Maverick’s event as alternate number seven, along with my brother as alternate number five. I am currently working hard in physical therapy to recover from dislocating my knee at Maverick’s in January, and the subsequent multi-ligament and meniscus repair I had in March. I love school and work, and I love being in the ocean. While it can sometimes be challenging to balance both, it is a very rewarding life filled with love and adventure.