The cause of the death of a 24-year-old French surfing champion in Australia last weekend remains unclear as her homeland mourns her passing.

Rising star Poeti Norac had moved to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast a few months ago to continue her lifelong passion of chasing waves. She often posted inspirational messages to social media while visiting spectacular coastal locations.

“It’s your path and only yours. People can walk by your side but no one can walk for you,” she wrote last year.

Poeti, from the Vendée region in France, started surfing with her father Bruno at 6 years old. She specialized in longboard surfing after switching from shortboard, and had been competing in the discipline for 10 years.

A finalist four times in France’s national championships, she came second in 2018 and third in 2016. She also won 10 victories in the Coupe du France.

A ceremony will be held to celebrate her life soon, the French Surfing Federation said.

“The surfing community has lost a family member, a beautiful person with a radiant smile, an artist on her board and whose enthusiasm radiated in the Vendée and everywhere else,” the federation said.

It also hailed her as an “outstanding educator” who “transmitted her passion for surfing and the ocean”.