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Read the texts when it’s required to answer the questions.
Surfing is often connected with places like Hawaii, Australia and California because of its history, but there are good surfing beaches all over the world, including here in the UK. I went to Cradle Beach in the South West to learn to surf.
The first thing I had to learn about was the board. Surfboards can be pretty expensive, so I decided to hire one while I found out whether I liked the sport or not. The first surfboards were made from wood but they’re usually made from a lighter modern material called fibreglass now. As a beginner, my surf school hired me a board made of foam. This material is soft and light, so it’s perfect for your first board.
I also had to get myself a wetsuit. If you are surfing in the UK, you should not try the sport without one. It keeps you nice and warm, even when the water’s at its coldest. You can also get gloves and socks to wear in the water if you suffer from cold hands and feet. I did!
I also had a ‘leash’. This is a cord that is fixed to your board at one end and you wrap the other end around your ankle so that the board is always attached to you in the water. This means that when you fall off your board, you’ll always be able to get back on it easily. Being hit by a surfboard in the waves can be painful, so you should always watch where your board is very carefully, especially if there are other surfers near you in the water.
When you watch other people surfing, it looks easy – it is not! I found it very hard at the beginning of my week of lessons but great fun. I have already booked another week’s surfing here for next summer.
The Importance Of Trees
Trees are wonderful to look at and their changing colours (17) ____ the seasons. Tall and timeless, they have for millions of years been memorable features of the Earth’s scenery. On a worldwide scale, forests help to reduce global warming by taking in carbon dioxide but, at the local level, trees also bring great environmental benefits. In hot weather, they (18) ____ shade and shelter while, when it rains, they (19) ____ the water and help to prevent the soil being (20) ____ away.
Above all, however, it is the ‘permanence’ of the trees that is one of their most attractive characteristics; nothing on Earth lives longer than a tree – many big trees on our streets are (21) ____ a century old.
Carrie Wilson became a racing driver when she was six years old. She was given a radiocontrolled car for her birthday. She entered competitions with it and finished second in a national championship the following year. She was proud that she was winning races against adults. She loved the excitement of travelling to events, and her father thought that she had a natural talent for motor sport.
The next thing Carrie tried was racing go-karts – miniature cars with engines. She was given a go-kart for her eighth birthday and she won races in different countries. On her tenth birthday, she was given a picture of the famous Brazilian 1970s Formula One champion Emerson Fittipaldi and told her parents, ‘One day I want to drive as fast as him.’
Carrie’s parents said they would support her racing career as long as she worked hard at school. She was good at most sports, and represented her school as a basketball player. Her teachers said she was a born champion. She spent every spare minute at competitions or sports training, so it wasn’t easy for her to do her homework, but she managed to make some progress in most subjects.
When she was seventeen Carrie moved on to full-size racing cars. Although it was clear that she was going to have a great future in the sport as a professional driver, she would need to have some help with money if she wanted to continue in the long term. When she left school, her father gave up his job so that he could train her. Before long, Carrie started winning championships and one team called her with an offer, but she decided she wasn’t ready.
Carrie is only 23, but is becoming well known. The cars she drives are getting faster, and she’s competing against people who have been driving much longer than her. She makes money from her successes, and her father is now her full-time manager. She needs him to look after her in a tough profession.
In spite of her success, Carrie admits she still has a lot to do. ‘I watch the great drivers, and read about them,’ she says. ‘Some people blame the car if they lose a race, but I know for me it’s usually because I do something wrong. When I make mistakes, I think about them and discuss them with my trainer. That’s the only way forward.’