Layne Beachley didn’t mince her words when she declared that Sally Fitzgibbons would make it all the way to the top – and she wasn't far wrong. With three junior world titles under her belt, Sally decided to have a crack at qualifying for the world tour in 2008. It was a year that dreams are made of, as the girl from Gerroa nailed the first five events of the season, qualifying in record time.
2009 saw Sally finish 5th on the World Surfing Tour in her rookie year, with a win at the Portugal WQS event along the way.
2011 - a year of victory!
After placing 2nd in the 2010 ASP Women's World Title Race, behind fellow Aussie surfer, Stephanie Gilmore, Sally once again stole 2nd place overall in the 2011 competition. She claimed victory at the 2nd round of the ASP World Tour at Bell's Beach in Victoria, and again in the 3rd round at Taranaki, New Zealand. At the Commonwealth Beachley Classic in Dee Why, she secured equal third place, while at the Billabong Rio Pro, she came a close second to Carissa Moore. At the ASP 6 Star Swatch Girls Pro, Sally was once more victorious against Californian Sage Erickson in solid 4ft peaks at Les Bourdaines.
Finally, at the Nike US Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach in California, Sally carved it up to take 1st place against defending champion, Carissa Moore. The event set a new record for crowds and Sally described the win as, "The highlight of my career."
2012 - success and accolades
In February, 2012, Sally won the first ever Australian Open after defeating 2004 World Champion Sofia Mulanovich, which made her the first person to ever hold the US and Australian Opens of Surf titles at the one time. She went on to win the 6 Star Event at the Hunter Ports Women's Classic, the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach and the Billabong Pro Rio in Brazil.
It came as no surprise to Sally's fans that she took out three awards at the 2012 ASP World Surfing Awards. Firstly, she won runner up in the 2011 World Tour. Secondly, she received an award (along with Carissa Moore) for winning the Women's ASP Heat of the Year, an award voted upon by Sally's fellow surfing competitors. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Fitzgibbons won the ASP Surfers' Surfer award, as voted by her peers.
Showing she's no one-trick pony, Sally also competed as one half of the Red Bullettes in the 2012 Swisse Mark Webber Tasmanian Challenge, featuring five days of gruelling mountain biking, kayaking and trekking over 350 kilometres of Tasmanian wilderness.
Now, as Sal prepares for the 2013 season, she is ranked the ASP Women's World No. 2, with World No 1. Stephanie Gilmore set firmly in her sights.