Sally Fitzgibbons downs Malia Manuel to advance into Roxy Pro Gold Coast Semi-finals
Australia’s Sally Fitzgibbons prevailed over Hawaii’s Malia Manuel in the third Quarter-final of Roxy Pro Gold Coast that continued at the iconic Snapper Rocks in Queensland, Australia, on Tuesday, February 28.
The successful heat served to take Fitzgibbons into the Quarter-finals, while bringing the competition to a premature end for her rival.
The 2011 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Women’s World Runner-Up, Fitzgibbons, had failed to get the sort of start at Roxy Pro Gold Coast that was expected of her considering the sort of impact that she had made during women’s elite tour last
year. A disappointing Round 1 had pushed her on the back-foot, but she did pretty well to bounce back strongly. She struggled with her form as the competition progressed and once again found herself in the relegation round after losing to Manuel in the third
The 21-year-old Australian eventually managed to make her way into the Quarter-finals after surviving her Round 4 heat. However, her worries were far from over as she once again found herself pitted against the very same woman who had defeated her in Round
As the crucial battle for the Semi-final slot got underway, Fitzgibbons rocketed off to a spectacular start, locking her first business wave early in the heat to post an 8.33 on the score-board. She later added an additional 8.67 points to her account to
move to a heat-total of 17.00 points.
Manuel was expected to put on a strong fight, but she failed to live up to the expectations. The 18-year-old Hawaiian scored a 4.50 off her first business-wave and backed it up with a 7.50-point wave to finish with a heat-total of 12.00 points, losing the
heat as well as the Semi-final slot to her Australian rival.
“That was a really good result to start the year off,” Fitzgibbons said. “Yesterday I was struggling with my board choice and wave selection and it’s good to fix that up. It was really nice out there with really fun waves. I’m feeling fired up. I’m still
finding my feet after having not too much surfing time in the off season with a wrist injury, but it’s all coming together and I’m looking forward to the Semi-finals.”
The surfing action moved to the final Quarter-final of Roxy Pro Gold Coast to determine who got to fill up the last remaining slot in the Semi-finals.