SURFING: She's showed her wares against the world's best young prospects and now Coolum Beach's Isabella Nichols will pit her skills against the globe's established stars.
The 18-year-old will compete in her first World Championship Tour event, the Roxy Pro on the Gold Coast, after getting through the event trials yesterday.
Her debut on the sport's biggest stage is a dream come true.
"I have wanted to surf in a Championship Tour event since I was 11 so this is one of the happiest moments of my life," she said
Nichols won the junior world title at Portugal in January but this week's event at Snapper Rocks represents a significant step into the senior ranks.
"I can't wait to surf against my idols. I think I'll be up against Carissa (Moore) which will be amazing," she said of a looming heat with the reigning world champion.
"Plus surfing Snapper (Rocks) with three other people is so sick. I'm really stoked."
Her manager Kurt Jacobs said her inclusion in the season-opening CT event was due reward for the hard work and determination she had shown with coach Tim Just.
"She's been in good form but it's the effort and dedication she puts in," he said.
"She really leaves no stone unturned so she can actually achieve her dreams."
She has been training on the Gold Coast to prepare for events like the Roxy Pro Trials and she trained at Bells Beach in Victoria ahead of the junior world championships.
"She does those extra little bits, which helps so much," Jacobs said.
He also thinks she could shake up the Roxy Pro, which is due to start today.
"I'm sure the (other) girls are going to be aware she's there," Jacobs said.
"If she gets the waves, she's definitely going to challenge."
Nichols earned her berth in the event after winning a three-person final in the trials yesterday.
Fellow Sunshine Coasters Dimity Stoyle and Sophie McCulloch were also finalists.
Stoyle was a full-time professional on the CT in 2014 and 2015.
Meanwhile, Wurtulla's Mitch Coleborn just missed out on a spot in the men's Championship Tour opener, when he finished second to Wade Carmichael in the Quiksilver Pro Trials yesterday.
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