Sally Fitzgibbons defeats Coco Ho to claim Billabong Women’s Rio Pro Title – Surfing News

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Sally Fitzgibbons defeats Coco Ho to claim Billabong Women’s Rio Pro Title – Surfing News
Australia’s Sally Fitzgibbons took out the Billabong Women’s Rio Pro Title after barely edging past Hawaii’s Coco Ho in the dying minutes of the Final that went down at the main event venue of Barra da Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Sunday, May 13.
The excellent come-from-behind victory served to narrow the gap that separates Fitzgibbons, current No.2 on the 2012 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Women’s Title rankings, from the former four-time ASP Women’s World Champion and current ASP frontrunner
Stephanie Gilmore.
The surfing conditions prevailing at the primary event site on the final day of the competition promised an exciting end to what had been a week full of enthralling battles. The two finalists had not only managed to hold their own against the elite female
surfers, but also done exceptionally well to survive challenging surfing conditions.
Fitzgibbons, the 2011 ASP Women’s World Runner-Up, had been displaying a formidable form since the start of the season and kept the momentum going at Brazil. However, she definitely had work cut out for her in the Final as she found herself facing an in-form
As the battle for the event title got underway, Fitzgibbons got off to a solid start, earning a 6.17 off her first business-wave. Ho soon caught her first business-wave to post a 5.60-point wave and went on to lock his second business-wave halfway through
the heat to unload a series of exquisite turns for 8.43 points. The resultant heat-total of 14.03 points kept her in the lead for most part of the head.
Requiring a high seven-point ride with only a few minutes to go in the heat, Fitzgibbons found herself in a desperate situation. However, she rose to the occasion, catching a juicy left-hander to pull off a string of back-hand manoeuvres. The last-minute
effort allowed her to add 7.93 points to her account, which carried her off to victory with a heat-total of 14.10 points.
“That was so crazy and Coco [Ho] had me on the ropes for sure,” Fitzgibbons said. “I just had my fingers crossed and knew there would be one towards the end. I made a few mistakes and it happens in Finals but I was able to recover there at the end. I’m so
Ho, current No.12 on the ASP Women’s World Title ratings, remained pretty optimistic despite coming so close to her first elite tour victory of the season, calling it a gateway to a whole array of opportunities.
The ASP Top 17 surfer will continue their campaign for the 2012 ASP Women’s World Title at Roxy Pro that is scheduled to run at France from June 10 -14.



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