GERROA’s Sally Fitzgibbons has made it back-to-back wins on the ASP Women’s World Tour after taking out the inaugural Fijian Women’s Pro.
In testing conditions, she edged out former world champion Stephanie Gilmore in a low-scoring final 9.00 to 8.73 in a tough day, with conditions dropping off dramatically before the final, making catching waves incredibly difficult.
It was a long day for Fitzgibbons, firstly having to go through the sudden-death round four with a 15.57 to 13.93 against fellow south coast surfer Tyler Wright, before an easy quarter-final win over Laura Enver.
The semi-final against Malia Manuel was surfed in big surf, with Manuel breaking two boards and Fitzgibbons one before she went through to the final 14.24 to 8.86.
The final was a bit of an anti-climax, with Sally’s 6.00 ride on her fourth wave putting her in front and Gilmore was unable to close the gap.
“It is overwhelming – I’m completely blown away,” Fitzgibbons said immediately after the final.
“I was determined to do the surf justice – I knew what I had to do and pushed myself to the limit.
“Luckily I had done my homework and knew pretty much what to expect – it was really hard out there and I am stoked to get the win.”
An added bonus for Fitzgibbons is that world tour leader Carissa Moore bombed out in the quarter-finals, meaning she is now within touching distance of the No. 1 ranking at the halfway mark of the 10 event 2104 tour.
It has been a big few hours for Fitzgibbons and her rugby league playing boyfriend Trent Merrin, who played a big part in the NSW Blues win in the first State of Origin on Wednesday night.