Sally Fitzgibbons didn’t start the year the way she would have liked, but now she’s claimed a massive scalp in the Margaret River Pro.
Aussie fan favourite Sally Fitzgibbons has continued her resurgence by defeating world No.1 Carissa Moore on day one of the Margaret River Pro.
Joining Fitzgibbons in the next round will be fellow Aussie Tyler Wright, who also won her heat and moved one step closer to repeating her Bells Beach heroics.
Wright sent a warning shot to the competition with a dominant performance and looks primed to set the benchmark for the remainder of the event.
Fitzgibbons loves surfing at Margaret River – she won the event in 2017 and has finished third on four occasions.
However, she began 2022 in a slump, bowing out of the first three events in the round of 16.
Stream Over 50 Sports Live & On-Demand with Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >
Fitzgibbons advanced to the quarter-finals at Bells Beach earlier this month and, after defeating Moore on Monday, said she was hoping to keep improving at Margaret River.
“It’s awesome. Believe in miracles, you’ve just got to keep climbing,” said Fitzgibbons, who won her heat with a score of 12.83.
“I was definitely in a pickle as everyone was aware at the start of the season. I’m just here to enjoy it, see how far I can go. That’s always the goal, I’m here to do my best surfing.
“I’ve just got to keep applying myself and see what happens.”
Moore is still in the hunt for glory at Margaret River, advancing to the round of 16 despite finishing second in her heat with a score of 10.50.
Stephanie Gilmore finished second in her heat, upset by fellow Aussie Molly Picklum, but also remains in the fight; no surfer is eliminated directly from the opening round, but the lowest scorers at the end of the heats are relegated to an elimination round.
Wildcard entry Mia McCarthy will be the only Aussie forced to compete in the elimination round.
Proceedings were cut short on Monday — the men’s event did not get under way as planned.