Our current cover girl Sally Fitzgibbons seems to be on a roll lately, taking her second consecutive win at the Subaru Pro TSB Bank Women’s Surf Festival in Taranaki, New Zealand.
With almost only 2nd places last year, you could get the feeling as if Sally was doomed to be the eternal runner-up. With her vicotry in NZ only one week after winning the legendary Rip Curl Pro at it’s 50th anniversary, the spell seems to be broken and she couldn’t be more happy about it. “This means the world to me, I’m so stoked to get a win here in New Zealand.”
While an increase in swell provided great morning conditions, low tide during the final wrecked havoc with the lineup, leaving Sally and her contestant Carissa Moore sitting on opposite sides of the break. Sally explains: “The waves today were pretty challenging. Entering the water I saw a little peak down the beach, it was a risky move but it paid off this time. I just went out there and thought I’m in the final and I just wanted to go for it and that’s where I was going to surf. “
Picking off two racy right-handers, unleashing an exciting variety of critical maneuvers Sally was duly rewarded with a pair of excellent 8.00 rides (out of 10) defeating Moore 16.00 to 6.86 (both out of 20.00).
With just 500 points now separating the two surfers, the race for this year’s ASP Women’s World Title is taking shape.
Carissa had to settle for a second runner-up finish this season and attested Sally the better choice of spot: “Sally did a really good job, she was really smart, she picked the right spot in the lineup and she definitely came into play and put on a good performance. She’s been consistent all week so good on Sally.”
ASP rookie Tyler Wright, 17, (AUS) netted an equal third place finish reaching the semifinals where she was defeated by Carissa for the second time this year. “Carissa was surfing amazing I think she got all the right waves out there, she’s had a great year so far and she’s won both times we’ve met but a third is still a really good result for me,” Tyler said.
Despite a disappointing semifinals performance, Coco Ho, (HAW), 20, finished with her best result of the season, placing equal third place after being defeated by Sally without so much as a point on the scoreboard, during their semifinal clash. Suffering one of the hardest conditions of the day at the change of the tide, Ho found herself lost at sea finishing with just a 0.8 heat total.
Four times ASP World Champion Steph Gilmore (AUS) placed equal ninth, falling to an in form Chelsea Hedges (AUS) during the quarterfinals to slip down to World No. 5.
The next event on schedule is the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic in Dee Why, Australia from May 3rd – 8th, 2011.
For more information go to aspworldtour.com