South Coast surfers Sally Fitzgibbons and Owen Wright have been named part of a six strong Aussie contingent for the World Surfing Games to be held in Japan in September.
The South Coast duo join Ryan Callinan, Nikki Van Dijk, Stephanie Gilmore and Julian Wilson on Team Australia.
The 2019 World Surfing Games forms part of the criteria for Olympic qualification as Tokyo 2020 and Surfing’s debut looms with powerhouse nations Brazil, the United States and Australia to use the event in Japan as a rehearsal for the big show.
Defending World Surfing Games gold medallist Sally Fitzgibbons said the team environment is unique to the sport.
“We don’t get to experience that team culture as a group very often.
"To come together as Aussies and really have that intention of being there for each other and our country is powerful.
“I think the rehearsal vibe for what an Olympic Games would be like and the energy at this year’s ISA World Games is going to be perfect to continue to build the performance culture within Team Australia,” Fitzgibbons said.
Image: ISA Blainey Woodham
Gerroa surfer Sally Fitzgibbons and seven time world champ Steph Gilmore have booked their tickets to represent Australia at next year's Tokyo Olympics.
The pair have earned two of the eight quota places on offer through the WSL Championship Tour, despite failing to advance past the quarter-finals stage at the Roxy Pro in France.
Fitzgibbons bowed out overnight after going down to local hope Johanne Defay by 6.14-points.
The 28-year-old Illawarrian said competing at an Olympics would be a career highlight and an achievement she never thought would be possible.
Image: Blainey Woodham Surfing Australia
South Coast surfers Sally Fitzgibbons and Owen Wright have helped guide Team Australia to victory in the mixed event at the World Surfing Games in Japan.
The Aussies beat South Africa by just 0.8 points while the US finished third.
Fitzgibbons held her nerve at the death to get Australia home after Wright posted two quick scores to give her as much time as possible in the water.
Final Aloha Cup Standings:
1st: Team Australia 38.19 points 2nd: Team South Africa 38.11 points3rd: Team USA 35.38 points4th: Team Japan 28.1 points
Images: Sean Evans, Ben Reed and Blainey Woodham
Gerroa's Sally Fitzgibbons is surfing's new world No.1 after beating Carissa Moore in the final of World Surf League's Rio Pro in Brazil.
Fitzgibbons beat the former multiple world champion 14.64 to 12.57 to claim her first title since the 2017 Margaret River Pro.
The 28-year-old Illawarrian has had an impressive start to 2019 adding the Rio crown to three other podium finishes at the halfway point of the season.
"It feels pretty delightful.
"Just coming in and receiving that welcome back to the beach, that was insane, and some of my mates cheering me up the beach and a big hug from my dad," she said.
Fitzgibbons leads Moore by 1,405-points on the world rankings while fellow Aussie Stephanie Gilmore has slipped to third overall.
The World Surfing League now heads to South Africa with the tournament window at Jeffreys Bay opening on July 9.
Image: AAP Image/WSL, Damien Poullenot
South Coast surfers Sally Fitzgibbons and Owen Wright will enjoy a day off after a lay day was called at the World Surf League's Margaret River Pro.
Fitzgibbons finished second behind Brazilian Tatiana Weston-Webb in her first heat to avoid the elimination round and progress to the round of 16.
Wright won his seeding round by just 0.1 over American Griffin Colapinto to advance directly to the round of 32.
Image: Sean Evans