Vale Lynne 'Linny' Grosse – 'the little dark horse from Down Under’


Mark Murray


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Lynne Dianne Grosse on Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas. IMAGE: Supplied.

THE Port Douglas community has paid tribute to Lynne Dianne Grosse following her passing in a moving ceremony at Rex Smeal Park.

Born on 21 June 1962 in Sydney, ‘Linny’, as she was affectionately known, has lived in the tourist village for more than 20 years.

After relocating to South Australia with her parents and older brother in 1969, Lynne’s insatiable appetite for sport from a young age would lay the foundation for a life full of adventure and personal evolution.

Once settled into her new home in Adelaide at nine-years-old, she turned a dodgy pair of roller skates into her first skateboard, a significant moment considering she would become a world champion skateboarder.

“I can honestly say now that this was a journey of many world-wide travels, diverse environments and cultures, and achievements to come,” she wrote in a memoir three years ago, reflecting on the moment.

In 1975 she won the South Australian championship, leading to a sponsorship deal and an invitation to the World Skateboard Titles in Los Angeles.

At just 14, she was crowned world champ and dubbed ‘the little dark horse from Down Under’ in the USA.

After returning from California and fulfilling a promotional tour of New Zealand, she turned her attention to surfing.

Remarkably, in less than six months she added the South Australian Women’s surfing title to her growing list of achievements.

In 1978, with the encouragement of her sponsors and a clear talent for adaptation, she travelled to the North East Victorian snow resort of Falls Creek where she became the first female to perform a somersault on skis. She had never seen snow before arriving at the mountain, and thus her freestyle snow ski journey began.

After her second Australian snow season she packed up and travelled to France for her first European winter.

“With my snow ski mates we pooled our money to eat well and we ski-ed all day in the Swiss Alps at the highest altitude,” she recalled in her memoir.

“These mates are still my best friends to this day.”

She would go on to win several European and World Cup titles.

In 1985, inspired by the hardships endured by competitors in the sport, Lynne would co-found the first ever-mogul snow ski event at Falls Creek known as the Summit Masters. It became the foundation of the extreme sport movement so prevalent at the Olympic Games today.

“How I wish I had been born 20 years later,” Lynne would later say.

After 10 years of running the Summit Masters and with an ‘aching’ body, she decided it was time to escape the cold and headed for the tropical climate of Cairns.

Despite her extensive travels across the globe she had never been to Queensland. Lynne described the moment she first saw the Captain Cook Highway as follows:

“On arriving in Cairns I jumped on a bus with my one small bag, and once we hit that curvy road north, all my fibres tingled. ‘Yes. yes, this is where I want to be’.”

Port Douglas would become the place she called home until her passing.

True to her nature, she went on to obtain a dive master certificate and become a dive instructor, feeding her unquenchable appetite for adventure in the deep recesses of the Great Barrier Reef.

In a fitting farewell at her funeral, Lynne’s brother, David, would leave her family and friends to contemplate his sister’s own words:

“Everyone is gifted. It may be sports, art, technology, or maybe you don’t know. Only you shall find it. Follow your dreams, there is no shame in trying.”

She will be sadly missed.

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