Fitzgibbons Rocks Round 1 At 2011 TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival

After waiting a day for the gale force winds to subside, Round 1 of the 2011 Subaru Pro TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival was started and completed at Back Beach. A stellar performance from Sally Fitzgibbons was the highlight of the day.

Sally Fitzgibbons.  Photo: ASP/ScholtzSally Fitzgibbons, current ASP World No. 2, continued to display her master skills at the 2011 Subaru Pro TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival in New Zealand, posting top scores during Round 1.

Fitzgibbons, fresh off her maiden ASP World Title Tour victory at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, proved her backhand to be as polished as her forehand, netting the highest two-wave heat total of the round, an 18.45 out of 20.00 to defeat Claire Bevilacqua and Pauline Ado.

“It still feels exciting coming straight off a win at Bells,” said Sally Fitzgibbons. “I feel like my surfing has been on the right track for the last couple of years but I was making a few mistakes. I think I’ve learned a lot from the ins and outs of losing as well as winning so it feels really nice to get another win out here today.”

Driving unprecedented speed off her flawless bottom turns, Sally Fitzgibbons posted the top five individual wave scores of the day, which include her winning 8.95 and 9.50 rides.

Four times ASP World Champion Stephanie Gilmore refused to let Fitzgibbons hog the spotlight. Gilmore, who posted equal fifth and third place results at the first two events of the season, now finds herself in the ASP World No. 4 position.

“I think Sally Fitzgibbons and Carissa Moore will be tough to beat this year, the Hawaiian girls are looking really strong and Sally having just come off a win, is looking like the girl to beat,” explained Gilmore.

The final heat of the day at the 2011 TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival revealed an intense battled between Hawaii’s Melanie Bartels and Coco Ho, the pair exchanging rides with Bartels advancing ahead of Ho by less than a point.

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