After a solid performance throughout the marathon event, it came down to a head-to-head 35-minute battle against 3x World Champion Carissa Moore. Nikki came out firing – posting a 6.0 and backing it up with a 4.67 within minutes.
From the get-go Carissa was in a position of chasing scores, and as the clock ticked down, it became apparent that Nikki van Dijk was going to leave Portugal this year with her maiden CT win.
"I am so happy and am so ready to enjoy this moment! It’s crazy… and it’s literally what I’ve wanted to do my whole life." - Nikki Van Dijk, post win.
“Oh my gosh, I am jelly legs,” Nikki exclaimed as she ran out of the water, completely out of breath and jittering with excitement. “I don’t know what’s going on, but I am so happy and am so ready to enjoy this moment! It’s crazy… and it’s literally what I’ve wanted to do my whole life.”
Nikki maintained a solid lead throughout the majority of the heat, but when she lost priority with just a few minutes left, Carissa only needing a high two, things got dicey.
Photo: Masural WSL | Nikki being chaired up the beach post-win.
Photo: Poullenot WSL | Nikki in action.
“For the most part I was doing my own thing throughout the heat, but when it got really close at the end and Carissa only needed a two, I started paying attention to the situation. It was so hard to hear what was going on out there with the wind – it was a wild and wooly ocean!”
“Yup, I like the feeling of this!” - Van Dijk
Nikki hails from Phillip Island, a part of the Victorian coastline known for windswept beachbreaks like Woolamai, which Nikki calls her local. You could tell in her surfing throughout the event that she was calling on that knowledge, comfort and skill in similar surf – something that she’s learnt throughout her entire surfing life. As of today, she has become the first surfer from Phillip Island to ever claim a win in a World Tour event.
This momentous win also skyrockets Nikki into fifth place on the WSL Jeep Leaderboard – and looking farther ahead, even into the World Title conversation.
“Yup, I like the feeling of this,” she said, once she caught her breath. “Let’s keep it going!”
Congratulations on your first CT win Nikki. It’s well deserved and the first of many!