Australia’s Sally Fitzgibbons continues to dominate Down Under in 2012 with victory over Malia Manuel in two-foot (one metre) surf in the Hunter Ports Women’s Classic at Merewether beach, Newcastle, NSW, Australia.
It was a fairly one-sided final with Sally dominating the wave selection and execution to take her second ASP 6-Star win in a row after her win at the Australian Open in Manly, NSW, last month.
That says more about Fitzgibbons’s form than the quality of opponent: runner-up to the 2011 ASP Women's World Title has been a standout performer at Surfest all week, posting four of the top 10 single waves scores of the Hunter Ports Women’s Classic. In the final Fitzgibbons was clinical, executing fins-free turns, perfectly timed snaps and smooth carves despite the small waves.
“Today was a bit of a struggle to find the good ones,” said Fitzgibbons, who will be a special guest of Red Bull at tomorrow's Australian Grand Prix. "I just had to pick the eyes out of it to find the best waves. The competitive rhythm is back and it's all feeling good.
“The first few events this year have gone really well for me. I finished third on the Gold Coast which is good, but also tough not to make the final. There are things I've learned and I'll use them at Bells. As a 13-year-old we had a Pro Junior event here at Merewether and I was just a little grommet and I took it out, so Newcastle is a special place for me."
Manuel started the day on a high by eliminating the reigning ASP Women's World Champion and fellow islander Carissa Moore in the quarter final, but in the final she was unable to find the open faced waves that offered up sections to execute the impressive moves she performed earlier in the day.
"I'm really happy to make the final and rack up some points," said the Hawaiian. "I'd really like to stay in the top five. I'm really happy right now. I wish I could have caught a couple more waves, but either way, first or second is great for me. I'm enjoying Australia and looking forward to the rest of my time here."
HUNTER PORTS WOMEN'S CLASSIC
1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 16.70
2: Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.00
SF 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) 14.20 def. Sage Erickson (USA) 12.17
SF 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.04 def. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 15.00
QF 1: Sage Erickson (USA) 14.93, def. Paige Hareb (NZL) 12.93
QF 2: Malia Manuel (HAW) 11.66 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 11.17
QF 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 13.34 def. Alizee Arnaud (FRA) 10.37
QF 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.84 def. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 10.50
- ASP World Tour website
- Hunter Ports Women's Classic website
- ASP World Surfing Awards
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