CULBURRA Beach's Tyler Wright has ended her 541-day nightmare away from the surf, by making a triumphant return at the 2019 Maui Pro.
Wright, who has been unable to compete for the past 17 months due to an ongoing battle with chronic fatigue, made a slow start to the last event on the 2019 World Surf League (WSL) Women's Championship Tour (CT) schedule.
In heat two of the opening round, the former St Johns student could only manage a two-wave score of 9.64 (6.47 and 3.17), seeing her finish third behind United States' Lake Peterson (13.10) and Brazil's Silvana Lima (10.40).
But she bounced back to her two-time world champion form in the elimination round.
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Rides of 7.50 and 6.27 saw her record a 13.77, to stay alive at Honolua Bay and finish above France's Johanne Defay (9.40) and Costa Rica's Brisa Hennessy (9.17).
Wright's charge continued in heat three of the round of 16, as she got the better of title contender Peterson 12.67 to 11.60 - to end the latter's 2019 world crown chances.
The Culburra Beach Boardrider will now face Defay in the quarter-finals.
Not to be outdone is Gerroa's Sally Fitzgibbons, who has also reached the final eight surfers at Maui.
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Fitzgibbons (8.07) first won her opening round heat against New Zealand's Paige Hareb (7.47) and Hennessy (7.33) before again downing her Kiwi counterpart 14.27 to 8.16 - to progress to the quarter-finals, where she will meet Brazil's Tatiana Weston-Webb.
The other two women's quarter-finals will see Hawaii's Carissa Moors battle Australia's Nikki Van Dijk and US' Caroline Marks take on Australia's Stephanie Gilmore.