Sally Fitzgibbons Wins Roxy Surf Fest

What: Roxy Surf FestivalASP Women’s 6 Star WQS Event
Where: Phillip Island Victoria Australia
When: 21 – 28 January 2007

Aussie surfing sensation Sally Fitzgibbons celebrated Australia Day in style, clinching the top podium spot at the 6-Star Roxy Surf Festival at Phillip Island on Saturday to boost her into the ratings lead on the WQS. She then backed up the World Qualifying Series win with victory in the 6-Star Pro Junior division.

It seems the 17-year-old super-grom cannot put a foot wrong this year. Winning three out of four events in January alone, Fitzgibbons capped it off with a sensational victory over Bruna Schmitz (BRA) this weekend. “It’s been a great start to 2008,” Fitzgibbons conceded. “I won the World Junior Championships (in Sydney) which was a dream come true and to win a 6-Star WQS really caps it off.”

A top scorer from start to finish, Fitzgibbons appeared to have met her match in fellow 17-year-old Schmitz. The two surfers exchanged near perfect 9-point rides in the excellent 1.5-metre waves, before Fitzgibbons unleashed a sensational 9.75 to sail home with the win. “Bruna surfed extremely well and I guess when you’re surfing against someone like that, one high score is never going to be enough,” Fitzgibbons explained. “I put my head down because I knew I had to get another one, and I’m just stoked to come through with the win.”

The result marked a career best for both surfers – Fitzgibbons taking home $4,500 for first place, while Schmitz earned $2,300 and has moved into No.2 on the WQS ratings. “I am really, really happy to get this far,” Schmitz beamed. “Sally is a very good competitor; she’s really strong and always gets the good waves. I still scored a 9.00 in the Final so it was close.”

The girlfriend of ASP World No.8 Jeremy Flores (FRA), Schmitz credited her man for her outstanding achievement today. “He teaches me a lot about competition surfing and how to complete better manoeuvres,” Schmitz continued. “He has given me boards and has been a constant support for my professional career.”

World No.8 Jessi Miley- Dyer (AUS) and shark attack survivor Bethany Hamilton (HAW) finished equal third after they failed to find a wave in the tricky low tide conditions. “I just couldn’t find any waves out there but I’m still stoked to have made the semi’s,” said Hamilton. “I’ve needed a good result to boost my confidence and it finally happened. Now I’m just going to keep doing my best in all the events and put my heart into it.”

Roxy Surf Festival 6-Star WQS Final Result
Heat 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 18.75 def Bruna Schmitz (BRA) 15.35

Roxy Surf Festival 6-Star WQS Semifinal Results
Heat 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 11.25 def Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 9.75
Heat 2: Bruna Schmitz (BRA) 9.50 def Bethany Hamilton (HAW) 2.30


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