“I didn’t take them to Portugal and I hated it to be quite frank. People don’t like hearing that, but it’s the honest truth.”
If there was to be a storybook ending, or new beginning, to the wild Tudor-esque drama already played out in the lives of the famous Wright surfing family, the marriage of Tyler Wright to Lilli Baker five months ago might’ve been it.
Wright, a preternatural talent who won her first big event at fourteen and two consecutive world titles at twenty-two and twenty-three, as well as a historic win at the Pipe Masters in 2020, describes their connection as flush with “ease and openness. There’s genuineness, love, respect and appreciation. Being with someone who encourages you to be more you is always a good time.”
With her gang around her, which included psychologist Jason Patchell and super coach Andy King, Wright tore hell through the opening Hawaiian leg, hitting a second at Pipe and a third at Sunset.
But, Portugal? Solo?
“I didn’t take them to Portugal and I hated it to be quite frank,” Wright told the Sydney Morning Herald. “I just didn’t see much point in being there. People don’t like hearing that, but it’s the honest truth.”
Wright ain’t making the same mistake at Bells, an event she won last year.
“The older I get, I realise I don’t really want to accommodate anyone other than myself in this arena. I’ve done a lot of work with my psychologist around why I’m re-entering this arena, why I keep competing. I’ve got my own challenges and so does everyone else… I’ve achieved everything I’ve ever dreamed of and originally set out to do. You have to be really in touch with why you’re still showing.”
Lilli, says Wright, delivers the love, yeah, but also… understanding.
Patchell, a gun mind coach who also worked with her bro Owen at the Olympics, helps keep Wright’s emotions in check.
“We actually don’t focus on the sport side of things that much, it’s the other things in life that have been quite chaotic for me.”
Wright, who is twenty-nine, has had a rough ol time these past few years.
You’ll remember her “season from hell” when she disappeared from the tour for two years following a mysterious “African” virus that left her bedridden and feeling as if her “heart would explode” if she stood up and being fleeced of half-a-million dollars from a family friend, a gorgeous honey blonde with a Kim Kardashian-esque figure and a love for horse racing and placing bets on their outcome, unsuccessfully, mostly, who’d been handling the superstar kids’ accounting.