Nicky Wood Wins Wildcard into Burleigh Heads Contest

Nicky Wood, Bells Trials, some 24 years ago…. (photo:JOLI)

Someone call James Cameron. This is the kind of story that has cheesy Hollywood movie premise written all over it. Nicky Wood, former 80s pro surf prodigy-turned town drunk has won a wildcard slot into the Breaka Burleigh Heads Pro, a 4-star WQS event. Wood is still the youngest surfer to ever win a World Tour Event at age 16 when he won the ’87 Rip Curl Easter Surfing Festival at Bells Beach. The surf world immediately hailed him as the next Australian World Champ, but within 5 years he had gone the dark route of so many promising young surfers before him, names like Michael Peterson, Shane Herring, and even Mark Occhilupo (before his comeback). By the mid-nineties he had all but disappeared from the public eye. Now flash forward to today, some 17 years since he had put on a contest jersey, and Nicky Wood is seeded into heat 14 of the round of 96. The best part of the story is that he won the slot via a promotional contest put on by the event sponsor, Breaka Flavored Milk. Contest organizers were shocked. The irony is undeniable. The surf world watched as Woods spiraled out of control and his story became a cautionary tale to young surfers everywhere. Now, Woods has a chance to silence all the mutterings of the past and re-write the final chapter in his career. Its not like he’s gonna win the event or anything, but as long as he puts in a respectable performance, the event will be a long awaited finale to a stifled career…

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