By Phoebe Broad
Nineteen-year-old Alexandra Headland surfer Sophie McCulloch will head to Mexico for the World Qualifying Series event next week as she tries to qualify for the main tour.
Miss McCulloch, who is in her third year on the WQS, grew up surfing with her older siblings, and is now attempting to make it as a full-time professional.
She is also completing a Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Science as a dual degree at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
“I began doing smaller primary school competitions that were purely just for fun, this branched into the school’s districts, regionals and state titles,” she said.
“Although there have been injuries and many ups and downs of competing, I never see surfing as having any negative impact on my life.”
Between June 13 and June 17 Miss McCulloch will be competing against hundreds of the world’s best upcoming surfers in Los Cabos.
If she finishes within the top six, Miss McCulloch is one step closer to ranking as a professional surfer.
“A great result alone will not give me the points to qualify, however with added confidence and continued determination good results in the events to follow will make [qualifying for the World Championship Tour] a certainty,” she said.
With the support of her family, friends and coaches, Miss McCulloch is excited to come back to the event, especially after achieving first place at the 2016 Los Cabos Surf Pro Junior.
“It is definitely one of my favourite stops on the Qualifying Series,” she said.
“I competed in Cabos in 2016 and 2017, so going back for the third year in a row I am feeling more confident than ever before.
“Competition aside, the location is amazing and I am extremely lucky to be visiting the culture again.”
Aside from qualifying for the World Surf League Circuit Tour, Miss McCulloch dreams of one day also mentoring young surfers who share her passion.