Monday, January 07, 2008

Surfing Sally's on top of the world - The Sydney Morning Herald - 7th January 2008

New South Wales surfer Sally Fitzgibbons won the junior women's world championship at North Narrabeen beach today, thrashing Kiwi Paige Hareb in the final.

The 17-year-old from Gerroa, just south of Wollongong, had a two-wave score of 16.77 points to Hareb's 7.84.

The multiple Australian champion had the final in the bag with eight minutes to go when she completed a near perfect 9.27 ride to leave her opponent requiring a combination of scores to win.

Fitzgibbons had a nine-point ride in each of her four rounds and a perfect ten in her semi-final win over Narrabeen surfer Laura Enever in the one-metre swell.

"I had a tough semi against Laura, she put me in a pretty good situation and I needed a good score," Fitzgibbons said.

"I thought if the wave comes, it comes but if not, she deserves a good win and I was just stoked to get through that one and was on a high for the final."

It was the third straight junior women's title for Australia following the victories of current WCT competitor Jessi Miley-Dyer and Nicola Atherton of Bronte.

A budding WCT surfer, Fitzgibbons will be crowned alongside Australia's 2007 elite tour champions Stephanie Gilmore and Mick Fanning in an award ceremony on the Gold Coast in March.

Hareb, the 17-year-old event wildcard from Taranaki, ended as the best ever New Zealand performer - man or woman - at the professional level.

Yesterday, Brazilian Pablo Paulino captured his second junior men's championship.

Media Man Australia Profiles