South Coast slayer Sally Fitzgibbons has made it a one-two double for team Red Bull at Bells Beach, replicating Mick Fanning's Good Friday feat to overcome four-time world champion Steph Gilmore and claim her second consecutive Rip Curl Pro title.
Less than 24 hours after Fanning took down 11-time world champion Kelly Slater in the men's final, Sal left the best ever women's surfer and good friend Gilmore in her wake, narrowly clinching a heroic victory in front of a packed house at Bells by less than half a point.
While Sal claimed her first ever tour event win at the same beach in 2011, the Easter Saturday win is far more poignant, the 21-year-old having to overcome 2011 nemesis and world champion Carissa Moore in the semi-finals before being left with the mammoth task of unsettling Gilmore in a wave-starved final.
The win catapults the Gerroa surfer into outright second in the world rankings, just 1500 points behind Gilmore, following her third placing at the year's first event on the Gold Coast last month, the Roxy Pro. More importantly, it stakes her claim as a serious title contender after finishing runner-up in 2011 and sends an ominous warning to her main rivals, Gilmore and Moore.
Sal didn't drop a heat in her path to the final, while Gilmore's path was a little rougher, being forced into two redemption round showdowns.
The women's next tour event start next week in New Zealand.