SURFING: Coolum Beach product Isabella Nichols claimed an impressive victory at Cabarita on Sunday, one she hopes will be just a precursor to a bumper season.
The 20-year-old won the Mothernest Tweed Coast Pro, by edging Kobie Enright 14.75 to 12.70 in the final.
It was her second win on the Qualifying Series circuit, following her success at Burleigh early last year.
The 2016 world junior champion, Nichols is primed to make her mark on the QS this season.
She's taking aim at a couple of significant events later this month.
"I've been working really hard on being prepared for 2018 both mentally and physically," she said via a World Surf League press release.
"It's great to have hard work pay off and I'm now really looking forward to the QS6,000s coming up at Manly and Newcastle."
The top six surfers on the year-ending QS rankings will earn berths on next year's world Championship Tour.
Nichols inflicted on Enright her first defeat of the year.
"Knowing that Kobie was in good form fired me up to put on a good performance," she said.
She secured victory in the final via a long right hander wave, in which she scored 8.75.
Earlier, she just got through her semi-final against India Robinson with a last-gasp wave, giving her a 0.25-point win.
"I was starting to feel like I was coming down with the flu yesterday (on Saturday) but luckily for me I'm feeling much better today," she said.
"Three heats and an event win, not a bad day in the office."
Fellow Sunshine Coaster Sophie McCulloch reached the quarter finals of the 1000-point event.