Dream victory closer for Nicholl
FORGET the Headland, Cabarita charger Brittani Nicholl is one wave closer to surfing the break of a lifetime and realising her professional dreams.
The 20-year-old is one of only five female finalists fighting it out at North Stradbroke Island next week for a $25,000 sponsorship package to attack this year's World Qualifying Series (WQS).
Jim Beam's innovative competition, The Break, saw 53 surfers over the age of 18 but unsigned to a major endorsement submit a 60-second highlight package.
A short insight into their character out of the surf was also included and the video was voted on by the public in week-long heats across two months.
The public chose the 12 finalists – eight females and four males – while judges deliberated and issued their three favourite surfers with wildcard invites.
The camp will feature a variety of challenges including surf, swell, fun and media sessions before the overall winner is selected and awarded The Break.
Nicholl said winning would have a huge impact on her competitive goals.
“It would be amazing,” she said. “To be an ambassador for a major brand and have that backing would make such a difference.
“I would get a lot of inspiration from that.
“Surfing has been my life-long passion and though I have had my setbacks it has only made me more determined.
“I know that in life you cannot take anything for granted, and I guarantee that given this chance I would give it my all.”
If anyone deserves to catch the break of a lifetime it's Nicholl.
She has battled Crohns disease since the age of seven and was forced to wear an ileostomy bag for three years after complications following surgery in 2007.
But that hasn't stopped her from chasing her dream of becoming a professional surfer and the reigning NSW Open Women's champion will go into next week's final full of confidence.
“I'm so happy to make the final,” Nicholl said.
“I wouldn't have entered if I didn't think I was a chance but I've had a lot of support from family and friends so I'm keen to do well.
“I've had some setbacks but most importantly I was healthy and achieved a lot with my surfing in that time.
“I had the ileostomy bag removed last year and I'm now back in the water surfing well. I now figure I've just to take every day as it comes and not to get too far ahead of myself; with my life's motto to just enjoy and have fun.
If a male wins, he is set to pocket $50,000.