Sally Fitzgibbons - 2ST

Fitzgibbons and Wright picked for Team Australia

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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

Fitzgibbons earns Olympic berth

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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

Owen and Sally star in Team Australia victory

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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.

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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.

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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

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Images: Sean Evans, Ben Reed and Blainey Woodham

Sally sets sights on maiden WSL world title

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South Coast surfer Sally Fitzgibbons believes the 2021 WSL title battle will be a wide-open race and she's hoping her new-found aerial game will help propel her to the top.

Fitzgibbons is yet to win a world title, finishing runner-up on three separate occasions.

The 29-year-old spent much of the COVID-19 lockdown in Gerroa where she was able to enjoy some home comforts and spend long stints in the surf after the 2020 season was called off.

The 2021 title race begins this weekend for the women in Maui while the men start on December 8 in Oahu.

Normally, the surfer who wins the most points throughout the year is crowned champion.

But in 2021, the top five surfers on the leaderboard at the end of the regular season will head to California for a one-day, winner-takes-all shot at the title.

Fitzgibbons believes the new finals format, plus the change in order of the regular-season surf events due to COVID-19, will throw the door wide open in the race for the crown.

"I reckon it will be awesome, I reckon it will be a major shake-up," Fitzgibbons said.

"Anyone can win in the final event," she said.

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Fitzgibbons has been working hard on her aerials in a bid to make the marginal improvements she needs to snare an elusive world title.

"I just find it really fun, it's really challenging and there are a lot of stacks," Fitzgibbons said.

"I really want to push it into the competitive space.

"The more you work on something, the more you find the opportunity in the heat of battle.

"It's good to have it in my arsenal, let's just hope for an opportunity.

"I still feel really youthful, I feel like I've got a lot to give to the sport.

"I feel more experienced when it is that roll-of-the-dice moment," she said.

Four-time world champion Carissa Moore, who won the 2019 world title, is among the favourites to win in 2021.

Australian Stephanie Gilmore will be aiming to win an eighth world crown while two-time champion Tyler Wright's progression will be closely watched after she missed almost all of 2019 with a long-running illness.

With AAP, Images: ISA Ben Reed and Sally Fitz Instagram

Sally wins Rio to become world No.1

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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

Shoalhaven duo off to a strong start in WA

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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