SOLID SURFING: Lennox Head teen Nixie Ryan surfed brilliantly in her opening round of the Wollongong Gromsearch and goes straight into the semi-finals. She is aiming to win the series for the third year running.
SOLID SURFING: Lennox Head teen Nixie Ryan surfed brilliantly in her opening round of the Wollongong Gromsearch and goes straight into the semi-finals. She is aiming to win the series for the third year running. Eathan Smith / Surfing NSW

Hat-trick target on Nyxie's radar

LENNOX Head teen Nixie Ryan is in top form after smashing her competition in challenging and windy four-foot waves in her opening round of the Gromsearch Finals at Wollongong.

On Monday the natural footer nailed a barrage of mammoth frontside snaps to make her mark on the round one heat, posting a giant 15.67 two-wave heat total to leave her closest rival, Lily Macdonald of Freshwater, chasing a near-perfect 9.85 wave score.

If the talented teen can win the content, this will make a hat-trick and be a fitting finish ahead of her first World Qualifying Series event at the end of the month.

After taking out two GromSearch National Finals over the last two years, Nyxie, 14, powered through her heat in the U14 Girls with a robust display of powerful rail surfing and is now through to the semi-finals on Wednesday.

Today Nixie who is leading the ratings in the U14 Girls, will aim to continue her momentum into the finals.

But the level-headed teen knows how fickle, fate and the waves can be and is not counting the win or back-to-back-toback victories before she gets on the podium.

Currently ranked in Rip Curl GromSearch Overall ratings on 6020, Nixie is sitting 850 points ahead of her nearest rival, Victorian Jazz Wylie of Jan Juc.

"I'm feeling confident, I just want to get into the waves and have fun,” she said.

"All the girl at this event are surfing really well so all the heats going to be tough.”

The larger waves mean Nixie has decided to use one of the longer boards shaped by Webster from her quiver.

The LeBa Boardrivers and All Girls Surfriders athlete usually rides a 5'4” board is looking for more power in the robust waves.

"I'm using a step-up, it's a size seven thruster,” she said.

"It's 5'7' x 16.3/4 by 2 1/8 pintail thruster.”

While Nixie feels confident ahead of today's heats, she said it's critical to have time for her mental as well as physical preparation ahead of the paddle out.

"I'll be taking time before my heat to focus on the waves and see where to sit,” she said.

"Hopefully I'll get through the semis into the final.”

Once this event is over, Nixie will plan her assault on the next surfing contest.

"After this it's back to Lennox then later January then I have my tour event at Tweed Heads,” she said.

"It's a Qualifying Series event at Cabrarita and mum will take me there.”

At the QS event, Nixie will join more than 200 of the world's most promising male and female surfers for the Mothernest Tweed Coast Pro from 31 January to 4 February, 2018.

Watch out Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright and Sally Fitzgibbons, Nixie Ryan is on the crest of a wave.



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