The second day of surfing at the ASP Billabong Rio Pro saw Sally Fitzgibbons carving through the waves to book her place in the next round of the competition.
Once again the action took place on the competition’s back-up beach at Arpoador. Even with a switch in location the two footers rolling in from the Atlantic made for tough conditions.
After a disappointing surf in the first round it was essential for Sally to buckle down and get the better of her Brazilian opponent Jacqueline Silva on day two.
“Conditions today were a little bit tricky but we’re all in the same boat together. It’s tough when you get hard conditions like we are having this week.”
Despite the lack of swell at Arpoador there was relief on the 21-year-old’s face as the judges marked her performance with a score of 12.60. The victory over Jacqueline Silva sees Sally move into round three where she meets Malia Manuel and Rebecca Woods.
Everyone in Rio is hoping that the surf picks up over the coming days but until that happens there’s plenty for Sally to feel positive about.
“The weather’s been great so far and there are people supporting me all the way down here in Brazil. I just hope there is a little bit more pulse in the next round.”
Sally will be hoping that the coming rounds give her the chance to reduce the lead of Stephanie Gilmore in the ASP World Championship Tour rankings. Stephanie also had work to do in round two after she suffered an uncharacteristic defeat in round one.
“I was pretty worried going into that heat because the waves were just so minimal. Performance wise when it’s inconsistent and very hard to surf there are so many things going through your mind. It was really nerve-racking, especially going up against Mel Bartels, she’s one of my favourite surfers and I was nervous.”
After Stephanie and Sally held firm to get the job done in round two they now join Carissa Moore in round three as the action in Rio approaches the business end.
BILLABONG RIO PRO WOMEN’S ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Pauline Ado (FRA) 10.00 def. Paige Hareb (NZL) 8.17
Heat 2: Laura Enever (AUS) 12.96 def. Sage Erickson (USA) 12.23
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.70 def. Melanie Bartels (HAW)
Heat 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 12.60 def. Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 5.30
Heat 5: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 14.17 def. Justine Dupont (FRA) 10.47
Heat 6: Coco Ho (HAW) 16.57 def. Sarah Mason (NZL) 10.00
BILLABONG RIO PRO WOMEN’S ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Tyler Wright (AUS), Courtney Conlogue (USA), Alessa Quizon (HAW)
Heat 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Lakey Peterson (USA), Coco Ho (HAW)
Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Malia Manuel (HAW), Rebecca Woods (AUS)
Heat 4: Carissa Moore (HAW), Laura Enever (AUS), Pauline Ado (FRA)
Photo © ASP/ Matt Dunbar