Forster surfer Ross Cadden would love nothing more than to win his maiden professional contest in front of friends and family at the Great Lakes Pro next month.
The 18-year-old has been awarded the event wildcard after taking out the Boomerang Beach Boardriders open men's championship last year.
And while a win in the QS1000 might seem like a tall order given he's fallen out of the competition early in previous years, he believes he can get the job done this time around.
"[I'm aiming for] number one, for sure," he said.
"If you go into these comps you've got to have the confidence of winning."
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Winning is something Cadden has got a taste for in recent months, with the natural-footer claiming the biggest victory of his career at the King of the Box in Port Stephens last November.
His win in the 2020 Boomerang Beach Boardriders' championship also provided a confidence boost, given the tough competition he faced throughout the year from his brother Shane and Zeb and Nat Watts.
Cadden admitted the prospect of earning a wildcard into the Great Lakes Pro gave him extra incentive to finish on top.
"That's what I was aiming for," he said.
Going into the Great Lakes Pro as the wildcard, Cadden will skip the first two rounds of the competition and likely come up against the event's top seed in his opening heat, but he's not daunted by this prospect.
He says he's more excited than nervous and will look to draw on his experience at Boomerang Beach to gain an upper hand.
"I love Boomerang," he said.
"I grew up surfing there."
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Cadden will be joined in the men's event by his brother Shane, while Boomerang Beach teenager Charlize Everitt has been awarded a wildcard into the women's event after taking out the Boomerang Beach Boardriders' women's championship last year.
The Great Lakes Pro will be held at Boomerang Beach from February 16 to 19.
It will serve as the opening event of both the 2021 World Qualifying Series and the four-event Vissla NSW Pro Surf Series.
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