It was a day of intense surfing action at the Roxy Surf Festival with semi-finalists decided in the 6-Star World Qualifying Series (WQS) event.
ASP world junior champ Sally Fitzgibbons (pictured above) was simply sensational in the 1.5-metre waves of Woolamai Beach at Phillip Island. The 17-year-old, out-surfed her world ranked opponent Claire Bevilacqua in the quarterfinals, blitzing the punchy conditions to open with an 8-point ride for an early lead. A near perfect 9.80 shut the gate on Bevilacqua, whose final 9-point ride was not enough to stop Fitzgibbons from blazing into the semi-finals. Fitzgibbons finished with a heat total of 17.80 out of a possible 20 to Bevilacqua's 13.75. Fitzgibbons will next take on world No.8 Jessi Miley-Dyer in the semi-final.
Twenty-one year Miley-Dyer took on New Zealand ripper Paige Hareb in the opening quarter final. The one-sided affair saw Miley-Dyer advance with a heat total of 16.50 to her 17-year-old opponents 10.75 score.
In her best result to date, shark attack survivor Bethany Hamilton (pictured above) secured her spot in the semi-finals. The 17-year-old Hawaiian, who lost her left arm to a tiger shark just over four years ago on Kauai, is now one of four remaining surfers in the event. Hamilton left her US opponent Erica Hosseini in the shade by using a late charge to post 8.25 and 6.00 wave scores to advance into the second semi-final. The Kuaian will now take on Brazil's rising WQS star Bruna Schmitz.
Schmitz has evidently been getting some top tips from her other half (‘ASP Rookie of the Year’ Jeremy Flores) and she'll be one to watch in the semis. It’s high stakes on offer in the final day of competition with the winner of the event well on the way to securing an elite ranking on the 2009 ASP women's world tour.
For updated results log onto the Roxy Surf Festival website.