SHOWING true Aussie spirit and courage, Gerroa's Sally Fitzgibbons, as well as Nikki Van Dijk and Stephanie Gilmore surfed a combined total of nine heats on Monday in a solid Typhoon swell at the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games.
Gilmore remained in the main draw, of the Miyazaki, Japan event, after several focused performances until being relegated to repechage eight after finishing fourth behind Bianca Buitendag (South Africa), Tatiana Western-Webb (Brazil) and young United States star Caroline Marks, in a star-studded exchange in the shifty conditions.
Van Dijk surfed through the main draw before being relegated to the repechage after finishing third in her round four heat while Fitzgibbons had the toughest day, surfing through four repechage rounds after being eliminated from the main draw in round three.
But Fitzgibbons (14.17) kept her gold medal hopes alive by downing Van Dijk (12.4) and Spanish pair Nadia Erostarbe (9.47) and Leticia Caneles (7.1) in repehage seven - seeing her move into repechage eight, where she is pitted against Gilmore, US' Courtney Conlogue and Israel's Anat Lelior, hen surfing resumes.
The men's side of the competition, which features Culburra Beach's Owen Wright, is set for a start on Tuesday, September 10 at this stage but is subject to change.