Isabella Nichols in action at the ABANCA GALICIA CLASSIC SURF in Pantin,Galicia (Photo by Laurent Masurel/WSL via Getty Images).
Isabella Nichols in action at the ABANCA GALICIA CLASSIC SURF in Pantin,Galicia (Photo by Laurent Masurel/WSL via Getty Images).

Hard work pays off for Nichols

SURFING: Coolum Beach product Isabella Nichols says she’s “over the moon” to finally achieve her childhood dream of securing a spot on the world tour.

The 21-year-old officially cemented her place alongside the sport’s best on the 2020 Championship Tour yesterday after snaring a hefty points haul by progressing through to the quarterfinals of the Galicia Classic Surf Pro.

She’s guaranteed a minimum 5000 points from the event, boosting her already commanding lead in the Qualifying Series standings and assuring her a place in the top tier next year.

The top six in the Qualifying Series standings earn spots on the tour to surf alongside the likes of Australian heavyweights Sally Fitzgibbons and Steph Gilmore.

“Qualifying has been my dream for as long as I can remember,” Nichols said in a World Surf League press release.

“It’s been a long haul over the last five years to get there, but all the hours and all the sweat and all the close heats have paid off and I’m over the moon.

“I’m super thankful to everyone who’s helped me along the way, I’m super excited for next year to begin and I’m ready to start a new journey.”

Her father Ross said it was an emotional moment when he and wife Lisbeth received official word of her success.

“We’re both super proud and as parents you can see how much effort and work that she’s put into getting where she’s got to be and finally for all that hard work to come to fruition we’re so pleased about,” he said.

She was 20th in the Qualifying Series standings last year and 24th the year prior.

Ross believed the catalyst behind her remarkable year was university studies.

“I think the big turnaround was that she started studying engineering this year and she’s just got something else that she focuses on apart from just surfing itself,” he said. “It just gives her another outlet.”

“I think that’s made a big difference.”

He was thankful to all who had played a role throughout Nichols’ surfing journey.

She was born in Denmark and moved to the Sunshine Coast with her parents when she was two-years-old.

Nichols went to primary and high school in Coolum.

She’s been based at the Gold Coast for the past two years, working with coach Mark Richardson and Surfing Australia’s High Performance Centre.

She now joins fellow Coolum product Julian Wilson to break into the world tour.

Fellow Coasters Keely Andrew and Sophie McCulloch finished equal ninth at the Galicia Classic Surf Pro, a 10,000 point QS event, after being knocked out in Round 4.

They’ll receive 3700 points for their efforts, with it possibly slipping them into the top 12 on the QS rankings.



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