Coolum surfer on board for success
COOLUM surfer Isabella Nichols will try to celebrate her new sponsorship deal with Billabong by impressing on World Qualification Series stops in California, France and Portugal.
The 16-year-old flew out of Brisbane to compete in the six-star Supergirl Pro in California just days after signing with the international surfwear giant.
"She's super excited," her dad, Ross, said yesterday.
"This is her first sponsorship and she has been doing it for a while now, so it's a big relief."
Nichols, who is in grade 11 at Coolum State High School, will spend the next month abroad competing in World Qualification Series (WQS) events.
Her first stop is Oceanside, California (Friday), then she will travel to Seignosse for the Swatch Girls Pro France (August 20), followed by the Pantin Classic Galicia Pro in Spain (August 21).
All three events are highly rated and good results will rocket her up the WQS rankings.
The top six surfers from the WQS will join the top ten from the World Championship Tour in next year's World Championship Tour.
Nichols hopes the next three weeks will boost her ranking, which is currently 77, so she will have a higher seed in next year's series.
"She missed a few of the events earlier this year, so she's just trying to lay a platform for next year," her dad said.
She will be joined in California by fellow Coast hopeful Keely Andrew, who is ranked 15th on the WQS, and Buderim's World Championship Tour rookie Dimity Stoyle.
Andrew, 18, is a legitimate chance to qualify for next year's tour.
Stoyle is ranked ninth on the World Championship Tour and seventh on the WQS and is on track to requalify for next year's tour.