Sally Fitzgibbons prevails over Sofia Mulanovich to secure women’s Australian Open of Surfing title

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Sally Fitzgibbons prevails over Sofia Mulanovich to secure women’s Australian Open of Surfing title
Australia’s Sally Fitzgibbons defeated Peru’s Sofia Mulanovich to clinch the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 6-Star Women’s Australian Open of Surfing title at Manly Beach in New South Wales, Australia, on Sunday, February 19.
The Australian sensation took home a winner’s prize cheque of USD $8,000, along with the coveted ASP Women’s World Tour rating points.
Despite coming to the event with a wrist injury, Fitzgibbons proved that she was as threatening as a wounded tiger. She had put on spectacular performances throughout the course of the event, posting some of the highest single-wave on the score-board.
Defeating her compatriot Laura Enever in the Semi-final, Fitzgibbons advanced through into the Final to take on Mulanovich, who had gotten the better of Hawaii’s Malia Manuel in the Semi-finals to reach the final stage.
Thousands of surfing fans gathered at the event site witnessed an exciting Final between two of the most in-form female surfers. Mulanovich got off to a decent start, posting a 5.00 off her first business-wave. A few minutes later, she added an additional
7.00 to her account to take her heat-total to 12.00 points.
Reaching the half-way stage, Fitzgibbons began her charge. Detecting a relatively juicy wave approaching, she swiftly paddled towards it and executed smooth turns on it to post a 6.50 on the score-board. She immediately came across another promising wave
and this time unloaded an even more stylish combination of exquisite tricks, earning an 8.17 for the effort and taking her heat-total to 14.67 points. The score took her ahead of Mulanovich on the score-board, thus sealing the fate of the Final in her favour.
“It's unbelievable!” Fitzgibbons said after the Final. “I was just focusing on working through my boards and going through some heats and before I know it I'm in the final. Sofia [Mulanovich] is such a tough competitor, I knew she'd be able to get the score
needed, so it was a nervous wait at the end there. To win in front of this crowd, with so much support feels amazing! Then to have won the US Open and then the first ever Australian Open back to back is a special achievement.”
A win at a 6-Star event was just the sort of thing that Fitzgibbons needed with the 2012 ASP Women’s World Tour all set to kick off in almost a week’s time at Gold Coast.



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