Merewether's championship tour wildcards Philippa Anderson and Jackson Baker fell short of the deciders at the Great Lakes Pro on Friday as Molly Picklum and Reef Heazlewood prevailed at Tuncurry.
Anderson lost to Picklum in the semi-finals 14 to 7.75 at the 1000-point contest, which kicked off the 2021 qualifying series. Central Coast tyro Picklum then defeated Sophie McCulloch in the final 15 to 9.1. It was the 18-year-old's first senior QS victory.
"This feels amazing and something I'll remember forever," Picklum said.
"I've been dreaming of taking out a QS event since finishing runner-up in the Maroubra QS back in 2018 and to win this feels like I've achieved a personal goal.
"I've been staying here with my coach Micro [Glenn Hall] and working really hard on my strategies and heat game plan while I've been here and it really helped to have him here alongside me."
It was also a breakthrough win for Heazlewood, who is on the comeback from a shoulder injury. He edged out Narrabeen's Jordy Lawler 15.5 to 14.1 in the final. Baker had lost to Lawler 14.33 to 12.23 in the quarter-finals.
"It's been a long road back to this point after injury and COVID, so to start the year with this win feels incredible. Hopefully, it sets up the rest of the year," Heazlewood said.
The QS regional events continue with the 1000-point Port Stephens Pro from Sunday.
The 1000-point Maroubra Pro and 3000-point Central Coast Pro are the other events in the NSW series, where points earned determine positions on the Challenger Series, which is next step for surfers hoping to make the championship tour.
Baker and Anderson are host club wildcards for the Newcastle CT event in April at Merewether.