A BATTLE emerged between two South Coast surfers in the final of the Roxy Pro France on September 25.
Gerroa’s Sally Fitzgibbons went head to head with Culburra Beach’s Tyler Wright, to score a narrow victory in clean, three to four foot surf at Seignosse Le Penon.
It was the 22-year-old’s first win of the season in the 2013 ASP Women’s World Championship Tour, where she netted a perfect 10 with a standout performance.
A dominant surfer in previous heats where she comboed her opponents several times, Fitzgibbons had to fight through a tight back and forth battle in the final when Wright caught an inside righthander to score the only other perfect 10 point ride of the event.
“It was a tricky situation, I had priority and a sneaky right came in and I was looking for the lefts,” Fitzgibbons said.
“She went for it and really stepped it up, I saw her do that little air out the back and I thought game on I got to do something big now.
“Patience and perseverance and just keeping your head down, I kept going and I'm just so happy!”
Fitzgibbons said she was absolutely stoked to win the event and it was a special moment to share with her family.
“I’ve got my brother and my dad here and all my family watching online, they've been there for me every step of the way.”
Tyler Wright, 19, consistently advanced through the rounds to earn her spot in the final, where she get off to a great start in the opening minutes of the exchange.
Wright was chasing an excellent score when she found the little righthander that earned her a perfect 10 point ride.
Suffering another assault from Fitzgibbons, she unfortunately couldn’t find a last opportunity to ameliorate her backup of a 7.00 point and eventually placed runner-up.
“I didn't really have expectations, I’ve come here to surf, have fun and enjoy myself,” Wright said.
“It was awesome to see Sally go out there and win her first event this year, cause I know it means a lot to her, and she surfed awesome, definitely the standout of the event.
“She smashed it and that’s great for our sport to have a surfer like her on tour.”
Posting a third runner-up finish on the board, Wright consolidates her current second place on the rankings and sits an incredibly low 200 points behind current leader Carissa Moore, making for a spectacular finish next week in Portugal.
“I don’t plan on doing anything special like that I just do it, it’s the way I surf,” she said.
“That was a really entertaining final with Sally getting that last one too.
“The points and numbers don't really matter to me, they never have.
“I’m just here surfing and having fun that’s what I do best.
“This year was never about that, I’m just happy to be on tour and living the life I live.”