On the penultimate stop of the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour, Aussie surfers Sally Fitzgibbons and Stephanie Gilmore prepare to do battle in the south of France at the Roxy Pro Biarritz, from 10 - 14 July.
I’m stoked with the way I’ve built throughout the year so far - Fitzgibbons
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 21, the current ASP Women’s World Number Two, has had a superb run throughout the last several events, posting wins at Bells Beach and Rio de Janeiro. A two-time ASP Women’s World Runner-Up, Fitzgibbons would love nothing more than to claim a maiden ASP Women’s World Title in 2012.
Standing in her way is Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 24. The four-time ASP Women’s World Champion and current ASP Women’s World Number One, has had a banner year in 2012, collecting two elite tour wins and placing in the quarter finals or better in each event thus far.
“A world title would obviously be the dream outcome of any season, but there’s a lot of hard work to be done before looking that far ahead,” Fitzgibbons said. “I’m stoked with the way I’ve built throughout the year so far and I’m feeling stronger as the year goes on. Being in the title race for the past few years has definitely given me a lot of confidence in knowing my surfing is on the right track and that I have continued improving, which is what I see as the most important thing.”
As the defending Roxy Pro Biarritz champion from last year, though, Gilmore’s affinity with the French beachbreaks could be a major advantage heading into this week’s competition.
“I adore France and always seem to feel at home there,” Gilmore said. “We had some nice waves in the last year’s event and although the summer in Europe is not the best time for waves, there always seems to be something fun to compete in. I’ve been surfing on some new shapes from DHD, smaller and a bit wider in different points than my usual, to try and suit the waves in France and Huntington.”
Carissa Moore (HAW), 19, the reigning ASP Women’s World Champion and current ASP Women’s World Number Three, has not enjoyed the same dominance that saw her roar to victory during last year’s ASP World Title race, but the young Hawaiian is still in the hunt and focusing on the positives heading into the business end of the season.
“It’s not over until it’s over,” Moore said. “I’m always going to go into an event fighting for a win and I know that with two events left I’ve got a lot of work to do so I’ll just give it my best shot and see what happens.”
The current scenarios for the 2012 ASP Women’s World Title are as follows:
- If Gilmore wins the Roxy Pro Biarritz, Fitzgibbons needs 2nd to send the ASP Women’s World Title Race to the Nike US Open.
- If Gilmore gets 2nd at the Roxy Pro Biarritz, the ASP Women’s World Title Race will go to the Nike US Open.
- If Gilmore gets 3rd at the Roxy Pro Biarritz, Moore and Courtney Conlogue (USA), 19, will need to win the Roxy Pro Biarritz to join the race along with Gilmore and Fitzgibbons. The race will then be decided at the Nike US Open.
ROXY PRO BIARRITZ ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA), Coco Ho (HAW), Sarah Mason (NZL)
Heat 2: Tyler Wright (AUS), Lakey Peterson (USA), Sage Erickson (USA)
Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Rebecca Woods (AUS), TBD
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Paige Hareb (NZL), Jacqueline Silva (BRA)
Heat 5: Carissa Moore (HAW), Sofia Mulanovich (PER), Justine Dupont (FRA)
Heat 6: Laura Enever (AUS), Malia Manuel (HAW), Pauline Ado (FRA)