Sally Fitzgibbons Wins 2014 Women’s Fiji Pro

posted by / ASP / May 28, 2014

When was the last time you saw a photo of a girl butt-stalling on the foam ball? That’s a rhetorical question and this is Stephanie Gilmore.

When was the last time you saw a photo of a girl butt-stalling on the foam ball? That is a rhetorical question and this is Stephanie Gilmore.

Malia Manuel, mangled wrist and all.

Malia Manuel, mangled wrist and all.

It ain’t all about about the barrel. Bianca Buitendag rail-rallied her way to the Quarterfinals, where she put together the day’s highest losing heat score with 13.50 points.

It ain’t all about about the barrel. Bianca Buitendag rail-rallied her way to the Quarterfinals, where she put together the day’s highest losing heat score with 13.50 points.

Go ahead, tell yourself about how barreled you would have got.

Go ahead, tell yourself about how barreled you would have got.

Sally Fitzgibbons bottom turns to the top. The top being her second straight win of the season, world title contention and the lip.

Sally Fitzgibbons bottom turns to the top. The top being her second straight win of the season, world title contention and the lip.


All Photos: ASP/Robertson

Kava kava!
Kava (piper methysticum) is quite the popular plant in Fiji. Kava roots are mashed up to create a drink known for its cool, sedative properties and Fijians drink it so endearingly. Each year at the Fiji Pro, the locals bestow the visitors with nature’s most relaxing gift at the opening ceremony. Everybody chills, like, hard — some even retire back to their rooms and listen to Bob Marley and his Wailers. But after the pleasantries were exchanged this year and Buffalo Soldier ended, the ladies were anything but relaxed. They had proper Cloudbreak to deal with, testy Restaurants too. It was a handful — and they handled it all so beautifully. Especially one Sally Fitzgibbons.

But I thought Carissa Moore was supposed to win?
We did too, but Dimity Stoyle wasn’t having any of that. The young Australian stuffed Carissa in a low-scoring Quarterfinal heat, handing Miss Riss her worst result of the year. And that wasn’t the day’s only surprise. Tyler Wright (the other world title contender) also earned her worst result of 2014 by falling to Sally Fitz in Round 4. On the other side of fortune, Malia Manuel earned the best result of her career with a Semifinal finish — all that while surfing through a broken wrist, thank you very much. Although that shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Malia is, after all, from Kauai.

So…were they getting barreled?
Yes. And no. But definitely yes! Sally’s 9.07 in the Semis was far and away the best tunnel of the event, which is not to say everyone else wasn’t packing ‘em. Event runner-up Stephanie Gilmore flaunted her pig-dog to and fro. Malia, Dimity, Carissa and Bianca all checked in as well. Nikki Van Dijk even packed a hefty closeout and wound up head-butting the reef. That girl is a legitimate trooper — but with luck like hers, she’s only about one Grade 3 concussion shy of inking the inevitable deal with Gath helmet.

And they’re off!
The 2014 Women’s Fiji Pro was the fifth of ten stops on this year’s tour. And halfway through the season, we can see that a deep-rooted world title race has sprouted. Unlike the sporadic mess that has been the men’s 2014, the women have been consistent. Right now, the race is the tightest between defending champ Carissa Moore and first-time-hopeful Sally Fitzgibbons. Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright and Malia Manuel are also poised to make a move for the queen’s throne. But the biggest takeaway from Tavarua is that Sally is no pushover. It was her second straight win of the season. An impressive stat, sure, but what’s even more impressive is the locales in which she found consecutive victories. Brazilian beachbreak then proper Cloudbreak? Uhh, Sally’s onto something here, folks.

—Women’s Surf Correspondent Brendan Buckley

Fiji Women’s Pro Final Result:
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 9.00 def. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 8.73

Fiji Women’s Pro Semifinal Results:
Semifinal 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.50 def. Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 5.33
Semifinal 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.24 def. Malia Manuel (HAW) 8.86

Fiji Women’s Pro Quarterfinal Results:
Quarterfinal 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.50 def. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 13.50
Quarterfinal 2: Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 6.83 Carissa Moore (HAW) 5.34
Quarterfinal 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.27 def. Laura Enever (AUS) 1.90
Quarterfinal 4: Malia Manuel (HAW) 9.50 def. Johanne Defay (FRA) 8.93

Fiji Women’s Pro Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 16.90 def. Alessa Quizon (HAW) 14.84
Heat 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 17.07 def. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 15.13
Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.57 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 13.93
Heat 4: Malia Manuel (HAW) 8.50 def. Paige Hareb (NZL) 7.00

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  • cinco5s

    Barrel dodging fest!

  • cuckolder

    did you even watch? not saying they looked like AI out there but there were a few decent barrels. better than i thought at least..

  • Smartest Man Alive

    Laughable thats what it was……..LAUGHABLE

  • Jon

    thought they did a pretty good job for how big the waves were

  • Mike Lewis

    Jon your nuts. These girls need to go back to the drawing board and learn how to ride good waves. This was very bad for the sport. Poor poor performance.

  • NOMAS

    Very hard to watch with the girls dodging the tube and that Pat Parnell announcer dude commentating. I bet that guy has never surfed a day of his life. Please no more girl contest at spots that barrel and no more announcers who don’t surf.

  • MV

    i think its close-minded (and aggro) to judge these chicks with a preconceived idea of how this wave should be surfed. of course it wasn’t the most exciting contest. it was a women’s event, not a men’s, so just kick back..

    i feel women’s surfing is currently exhibiting the ‘throw a baby in a pool’ concept, where one must learn amid the situation. the more these chicks surf contests at waves like cloudbreak the more they’ll progress and push the excitement level. i think now more the ever the baby has been thrown in the pool, hopefully come Honolua it’ll be pumping and that baby will be swimming laps like a champ.. keep in mind, many of the top women are regular.

  • mv

    p.s. yea sally!

  • Neddie

    The girls have to start somewhere. In partic Malia, Dimity and Tatiana both surfed pretty well I thought. Shame Nikki got mashed, because she’s a charger.

  • Sambo

    It was the best womens surfing to date. No, they are not even close to the men but thats because they are women.
    There are very few sports where it is fair to compare men and women…
    I enjoyed the contest and thought it was great. A whole helluva lot better than the WNBA

  • Jon

    Yes better then the WNBA I would agree but that snot saying much now is it?

  • BringIt

    Bethany Hamilton would have won that contest. Why no wild card for her?

  • Bernanke

    WCT Surf contests should make prize money purses on a sliding scale. This contest is the best waves therefore first place should get the maximum. Instead it is an even playing field and the same prize goes to the same place in probable two foot dribble. I would give the winner one million dollars for the Fiji contest and minimum ten thousand dollars for not that interesting results. It was entertaining to see women chargers go at it and probably getting much more and better than the men. Equivically marginalizing surf competitions does nothing except level balance sheets, rather save the contest organizers money if the wave sucked all year long…

  • cinco5s

    Yes a million dollars for shoulder hopping the best waves of the year.

  • surfergurl

    I have to put my 2 cents in after reading some of these posts by a bunc of dudes that sound like they are on roids. Really, you guys wanna bash, complain and compare women to men?
    Who’s judging who? By the looks of it, girls should probably stay off the courts and out of the barrels so the Men can show us how it Should be done. I suggest you put your D___s back in your “shorties”, and like my mama says, “if you don’t have something nice to say then shut the F____ up”! but heck what do I know? I’m just a girl.