COOLUM surfer Isabella Nichols has been selected to represent Australia at the ISA World Junior Championship in Nicaragua.
Isabella (under-16) joins other Coast surfers Eli Steele (under-18) and Kai Hing (under-16) in a 12-member national team that will compete at Jiquiliste Beach in Tola from June 8-16.
The surfers had to survive a three-day selection camp at the Hurley Surfing Australia High Performance Centre at Casuarina in northern New South Wales, with a squad of 24 reduced to the final 12 for four divisions – four each in the under-18 and under-16 boys and two each in the under-18 and under-16 girls.
It is the first time competition will be held for under-16 girls.
The junior championship will attract more than 300 of the world’s best junior surfers from 31 countries.
Isabella said she was really excited about representing Australia.
“It’s an honour,” she said.
“I’m just overwhelmed. It’s probably about the best thing that’s happened to me.”
The 15-year-old said she was in her “best form ever”, which she attributed to harder training and greater focus.
“I just feel more committed and more motivated,” she said.
Surfing Australia national coaching director Martin Dunn said it was “extremely difficult” selecting the team, given the depth of the talent pool available.
“A major part of the selection was based on their performance in a series of heats during the camp, while other factors included other results from previous events, such as the Australian titles,” Mr Dunn said.
At last year’s titles Team Australia finished second behind Hawaii.
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