Carla Papac






2021/2022 SERIES




Name: Carla Papac
Competitive club: Noosa Heads SLSC
Original Club: Cronulla SLSC
Best round of 2021/2s: Did not compete
Best series finish: 15th in the 2020/21 Nutri-Grain Series
Aussie title(s):  2016 - U19 Ironwoman


Recent Noosa Heads local, Carla Papac’s decision to make the move up to QLD in the off season to train and compete with Noosa Heads Surf Club. Fresh off winning the Shaw and Partners Financial Coolangatta Gold 2022, Papac has worked hard to get herself back into the professional series and prove she is not just an endurance athlete. Completing her degree in Exercise Physiology and working as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Carla’s knowledge into the female physiology and access to evidence based research is what she believes set her apart from the other girls.

Carla, how old were you when youstarted surf lifesaving and why?

I started nippers in the U6’s at Cronulla SLSC. My mum was a swimming instructor and knew the importance of surf safety from a young age. From that point on, she couldn’t get me out of the water, and I would spend every Sunday and most other days playing around in the waves.

Who was your hero in surf lifesaving when you were growing up?

I did so many sports growing up that I wasn’t really in the Surf Life Saving loop. My brother is a professional tennis player so I grew up watching a lot of tennis and was always in awe of the show those athletes would put on. Serena Williams has always inspired me to be as strong, powerful and passionate as I need to be. The consistency of Djokovic and Federer makes me strive to want to have a super long career also.

What is the best piece of advice that you have ever been given?

To “Honour the Gift”. My good friend Jordan Mercer told me this, I don’t think she made it up, but I don’t know who said it, so I will let her claim it.

Your advice for aspiring Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain athletes?

If you have an itch, scratch it. If there is some part of you that feels like you can achieve greatness, make the changes you need to, put in the hard work and give it your all.

What do you think about during a race?

Mostly self-affirmation. Trying to stay in the moment is super important and not thinking about the end result.

Carla, what has been a high and low in your IronWoman journey?

High: Winning the Coolangatta Gold this year. I worked really hard for it and knew I could do it.

Low: Not qualifying for last years Nutri-Grain Series. Covid made training really tough last year and I had to go against the grain with a lot of my training and I really thought it would pay off, so when it didn’t it was pretty disheartening.

Do you have any secret talents?

I can play the piano and can speak fluent Spanish.

Do you have any race day superstitions?

No superstitions, just little routines. Mum will try drag me away to meditate before and during races.