Ella Williams wins maiden World Surf League event

Whangamata surfer Ella Williams has made a statement in the World Surf League qualifying series, winning the QS1000 Great Lakes Pro in New South Wales.

It's her first win on the circuit, claiming victory over Australian Zahli Kelly.

Williams came into the event fresh off a national win at Papamoa last week and continued her form in Australia.

The 24-year-old posted a score of 13.50 in the final.

The win earns Williams 1000 points to kick-start her season, as she prepares for the first major competition in Australia in March.

"This is a fantastic feeling and so exciting," said Williams. "The waves were pumping out there and I couldn't be happier to get this win.

"The lefts came into my favour, as I could use my forehand predominately. Where I'm from in Whangamata is a left-hand sandbar, so I was quite comfortable out there."