IMPRESSIVE: Keely Andrew in the round of 24 of the Anditi Womens Pro at Merewether Beach.
IMPRESSIVE: Keely Andrew in the round of 24 of the Anditi Womens Pro at Merewether Beach. Grant Sproule

World tour rookie of the year gets new season under way

SURFING: Reigning world Championship Tour rookie of the year, Sunshine Coast's Keely Andrew, showed she's up for the fight in 2017 with a determined display at Newcastle on Friday.

Competing in her first event of the year, a prominent Qualifying Series event, the 22-year-old forged into round five with some slicing forehand turns and a victory over Carol Henrique and Holly Wawn.

"That was a really busy heat for me,” she said in an event media release.

"I saw a few heats before mine where people stuck to waiting for a wave that never came, so I made a point of getting my wave count up from the start.”

She's won both her heats at the 6000-point Anditi Women's Pro this week to earn a berth in the last 16.

" I had a really good off-season with training and surfing so it is good to be back in a jersey putting all that work into action,” she said.

She's not the only Sunshine Coaster into the latter rounds there.

The 2016 junior world champion Isabella Nichols and talented youngster Sophie McCulloch are also still in contention

Wurtulla's experienced goofy footer Mitch Coleborn is into round five of the men's competition, the Maitland and Port Stephens Toyota Pro.

"I love coming to Newcastle to compete, but I've never had an epic result here,” he said on Thursday.

"I feel like a good result here would give you a good roll early in the season so hopefully I can snag a decent result this week.”

Coleborn, who has come close to qualifying for the CT in years gone by, is taking a slightly different mindset into this season.

"The last few years I have chased the QS really hard and put a lot of pressure on myself, which has been tough,” he said. " I think this year I want to take a more relaxed approach and try and enjoy myself a little more and just have fun with it.”