Philippa Anderson just missed out on a qualification spot with her quarter final finish. Source: Surfing NSW

For Newcastle’s greatest hope at the Port Stephens Toyota Pro QS6000 – Merewether’s Philippa Anderson – the local tournament held only heartbreak, as she again fell just short of qualifying for the top tour with a quarter final exit at Birubi Beach.

In another agonising finish to Anderson’s Championship Tour quest, the 26-year-old fell victim to eventual competition victor Nikki Van Dijk after the Victorian representative edged out the local hopeful 13.27 to 11.56 on Tuesday. Anderson needed at least a semi-final berth in the  event to improve her standing on the QS ladder.

In even more heartbreak for the Merewether surfer, her quarter final opened well with a 6.63 lead, before Van Dijk took over with a 6.5 and 6.13 collection at the half point.

Anderson could have retaken the lead with another wave similar to her first, but a 6.77 score for Van Dijk with less than ten minutes on the clock stretched her lead out to 2.14, a bridge Newcastle’s representative couldn’t traverse as she collected one final 4.93 wave to improve her back-up score, but an illusive 6.65 or better wave never eventuated for the hometown girl.

Earlier in the tournament, Anderson moved into the quarter finals over Kobie Enright, even after the youngster posted her best score of the year.

Anderson praised her family and friends ahead of the fateful quarter final run-in with Van Dijk, and thanked them for “always supporting” her.

“That was pretty tight towards the end but I was always feeling pretty comfortable,” Anderson said after qualifying for the quarter finals. “I had a mid 7.00 point ride so knew I was in a good position and could always improve my total. I’m really happy to be through to the final day, my friends and family have all been up here supporting me.”

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In the final, Championship Tour competitor Van Dijk came up against young Australian qualification hopeful Macy Callaghan (AUS). Nikki was the surfer to beat all week, building momentum through every heat of every round and the final was no exception.

Callaghan had the jump on the more experienced Van Dijk, posting a solid 7.17 on her first ride. She then backed it up for a heat total of 13.34 leaving Van Dijk chasing a couple of good waves. With less than 10 minutes left Van Dijk found the scores she needed, taking her second QS6,000 win for the season with a two-wave total of 14.56.

“This feels really incredible,” Van Dijk said. “I started the year off with a win at the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro and then finished one of here — which is awesome.”

“Two wins in Australia is super special. It’s been such a great week surfing against all of these girls, I was pushed so much in every heat. It is a really good warmup before I head to Maui for the final CT event of the year – it could be the confidence booster I need.”

Nikki Van Dijk (Phillip Island, Vic) and runner-up Macy Callaghan (Central Coast, NSW) with their silverware.

Anderson was 12th on the QS before the quarter-finals, and eighth when championship tour qualifying positions were taken into account. The top six QS surfers, a wildcard and top 10 on the CT make up the 17-woman tour each year.

Final positions will not be known until after the season-ending CT event in Maui, which starts November 25.