ON THE QS: Kai Hing is among the Sunshine Coast surfers in Portugal.
ON THE QS: Kai Hing is among the Sunshine Coast surfers in Portugal. Bennett

Coast surfers at crucial event in Portugal

SURFING: Renowned coach Tim Just believes a selection of Sunshine Coast board riders could fare well in a significant World Qualifying Series event in Portugal this week.

His charges Keely Andrew, Isabella Nichols and Kai Hing join Mitch Coleborn and Dimity Stoyle at the 6000-point Pantin Classic Galicio Pro, in which men's and women's divisions will be contested.

"It's a really tricky event this one, with awkward waves but they come from the Sunny Coast so they've surfed in plenty of bad waves over the years so should do well over there,” Just said.

Valuable rankings points are on the line.

"It's a crucial event, for the girls particularly,” Just said.

The top six in the season-ending QS women's standings will earn berths on next year's World Championship Tour.

Andrew is in fourth place while teenager Nichols is 15th.

"This event is only one of two 6000s left so it's kind of crunch time,” Just said.

"Keely is sitting well but needs to keep moving forward and it's getting to that point where Isabella needs a pretty solid result to make it into the top six.”

Andrew is also 13th overall in her maiden CT campaign and may requalify in the top 10 there.

For reigning junior world champion Nichols, this campaign isn't totally structured on getting on to next year's CT.

"We're just focusing on improving her performance,” Just said.

"Getting her closer to the level where she needs to be so when she does qualify she's not out of her depth.

"If things went her way she could have qualified last year. She's definitely of that calibre.”

Stoyle is 25th in the qualifying standings.

The top-10 men on the QS standings, not including those already requalified on the CT, will earn berths on next year's CT.

Coleborn is 35th while Hing is in Portugal for the experience.