Subaru Pro TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival: Fitzgibbons Still On Top
Taranaki saw rounds two and three completed and the eight Quarterfinalists decided at the 2011 Subaru Pro TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival. Sally Fitzgibbons is performing flawlessly like never before.
Fitzgibbons’ confidence was palpable as she posted both a 9.75 and a 9.25 for a combined heat total of 19.00 out of 20.00, defeating Chelsea Hedges and Melanie Bartels.
“I guess I just have a lot of confidence right now, I feel like my surfing was improving especially at the start of the year and I really wanted to bring that to my events and try to showcase some of the things I’ve been working on,” said Sally Fitzgibbons. “It’s almost like feedback - getting good scores. It means I’m on the right track.”
All eyes are on Fitzgibbons, as it remains to be seen whether she will maintain this level of performance.
“Of course it is difficult to keep that momentum going but I think it’s all about trying to pick the eyes out of what you’ve got on the day," explained Fitzgibbons. "These waves are similar to what I surf at home and I’m just trying to surf nice and fast bring something new to the table and get in that excellent scoring range, it’s definitely tricky.”
ASP World Title No. 7 Courtney Conlogue completed a dream performance during round 3, taking down ASP ratings leader and defending Subaru Pro Champion Carissa Moore.
“Carissa has been on game this whole year, she’s been performing really well so it was good to get one up on her today,” said Conlogue. “I lost against her in the Quarterfinals at Bells and she ended up getting into the finals so it feels pretty good to know I don’t have to surf again in Round 4.”
Conlogue unleashed her powerful, vertical surfing in New Zealand and opened with an excellent 8.25, only to seal the deal with an 8.75.
“Anytime you have a heat against Carissa you know you need to get above sevens to win and, even then, you might need nines," said Conlogue.
Coco Ho proved another of the day’s giant killers at the TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival, joining local favourite Paige Hareb in taking down four times ASP World Champion Stephanie Gilmore who placed third.
“It was kinda just one of those heats where you have nothing to lose, that‘s how I always look at it with Steph,” Ho said. “I’ve had all Quarterfinals so far this year so I’m really looking to get past that round and hopefully get a good result."
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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.