Sally Fitzgibbons

For so long having the tide of luck run against her, Sally Fitzgibbons finally had the cards fall her way at the Burleigh Pro, where the world No.2 claimed a nine-point ride in the dying minutes to claim the six-star win from Californian youngster Courtney Conologue.

Staring at certain defeat with at least an 8.9 required to take the lead with just six minutes remaining on the clock, Fitzgibbons overcame messy and unpredictable conditions with a combination of power turns to make the ultimate start to her 2013 season.

“I felt I got the score when I landed the last move, gave myself a fist pump, I was that confident,” she said with a trademark grin. “I knew what I had to do late in the final and thankfully the wave cooperated and delivered the potential required to get the score.

“It’s a great start to 2013, I’ve worked hard on improving over the past few months and I’m really looking forward to the Roxy Pro on the Gold Coast in a few week's time.”

The three-time ASP runner-up has spent the off-season developing not just her fitness but here surfing – extensive sessions at the unique Dubai Wave Pool among many methods the 22-year-old has employed to get the edge on her competitors.

While we didn’t see any aerial manoeuvres, a win in No.1 Steph Gilmore’s backyard is a massive boost for Fitzgibbons ahead of the  champion tour event at Snapper Rocks next month.

Meanwhile, two-time men’s champion Mick Fanning narrowly lost out to little-known Brazilian Marco Fernandez and Australian Mitch Crews in round six of the men’s event.


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