WSL crowns Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast champions
Mikey Wright and Isabella Nichols have taken out the Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast men's and women's events in pumping surf at South Stradbroke Island.
The pair had to overcome a field of some of Australia's best surfers in four-to-six foot waves on Wednesday to claim victory in the second event of the World Surf League (WSL) Australian Grand Slam of Surfing.
Wright has shown that his 18-month comeback from injury is complete with an incredible victory in pumping but challenging conditions.
He pulled into deep barrels and laid his trademark power gouges to take his first event win in over two years.
Wright overcame Gold Coast wildcard, Liam O'Brien, with a dominating display in the final, winning with the highest single-wave score of the event, a 9.83 (out of a possible 10).
Wright is now tied with Ethan Ewing as leader of the Australian Grand Slam of Surfing.
"It's great to take the win and I've had some great heats and waves through this event - these chunky barrelling waves really suit me," Wright said.
"Getting that barrel early in the final felt good. I stayed high on the takeoff and steered through with the wave co-operating for me which always helps.
"Taking the Jeep Leader Jersey jointly into Margaret River feels good - I like Margaret River and it will be good to get there again and surf some serious waves. I'm just stoked to be back competing and performing well."
Last year was a breakthrough year for Isabella Nichols who locked up a spot on the elite Championship Tour for the 2020 season.
With the tour being cancelled, Nichols was left disappointed with a first-round elimination at the Tweed Coast Pro last month and vowed to pick herself up for the Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast.
That's exactly what she did, dominating each heat over the two-day event. In the final, Nichols came up against fellow Sunshine Coaster Sophie McCulloch and took control of the matchup from the outset, posting two keepers while McCulloch struggled to find rhythm.
With this win and Tyler Wright's early-round elimination yesterday, Nichols now takes the series lead for the Australian Grand Slam of Surfing with one event left, The Margaret River Pro.
"It's crazy that I've won this event and I'm now leading the Australian Grand Slam Ratings and will take the Jeep Leader Jersey into Margaret River - I'm over-the-moon," Nichols said. "I really enjoy these types of waves even though I've had a lot of big wipe-outs throughout this event as well, but it feels great right now to have taken the win.
"I had a pretty nervous start at the Tweed Coast event and was keen to make up for that here - taking the win feels amazing.
"I'm looking forward to Margaret River, fingers crossed we get there. I visited Margaret River early this year to familiarise myself and it's exciting - I can't wait."
Originally published as WSL crown Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast champions