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Fitzgibbons Reign Supreme at Surfest
Newcastle NSW, Australia Port Stephens Toyota Pro and Sally Fitzgibbons winning the Taggart Women’s Pro. The Final day was held in some of the best conditions of the event with light winds and clean four-to-six foot waves at Merewether Beach.
Number One Seed Fitzgibbons’ win was not done easily, making it through a field packed with past and present Championship Tour (CT) competitors, Fitzgibbons eventually met an on-fire Six time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore in the 35 Minute Final. Fitzgibbons got busy early posting a number of mid-range scores throughout the bout. She managed an eventual Heat total 14.73 with a display of smooth and powerful rail surfing. Gilmore was left chasing a single wave score of 8.56 but she which she was never able to achieve, gifting Fitzgibbons her second Newcastle Surfest win.“This is so good - such a great start the year,” Fitzgibbons said. “Having a win early in the year is awesome for confidence and momentum going into the CT season. The best thing has been competing at this event. Competing in these regional areas is so great with all the support and energy shown from the local community there’s just nothing better.”“I’ve been coming to Newcastle for years now and it really does feel like a home away from home I’ve had a blast all week as well as preparing for Snapper.”CAPTION: 2016 Taggart Women's Pro Champion Sally Fitzgibbons : WSL/SprouleGilmore surfed an amazing contest posting a near perfect heat score of 19.50 in her Semifinal but was unable to find the waves she was after in the Final.“It’s been a really good week,” Gilmore said. “I feel like we had some really fun waves this event. I definitely peaked in my Semi then couldn’t really buy a wave in the Final, but I’m really happy with this result, it’s a great start to the year. During my semi everything was feeling really good, my body, my boards just everything was working so that is definitely encouraging as we approach Snapper. I haven’t felt like that competing in a really long time so I’m stoked on that.”CAPTION: 6X's World Champion Stephanie Gilmore finished runner-up at the Taggart Women's Pro : WSL/Sproule more information and photos go to www.worldsurfleague.com or on the WSL App.
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Michael Bradley Photography