Fitzgibbons finds some treasure at Sydney Surf Pro
Sally Fitzgibbons says she found "some treasure" after producing the goods to advance to the round of 16 of the Sydney Surf Pro Challenger Series event on Friday.
Fitzgibbons was left shattered last month when she finished fifth at the Margaret River Pro to narrowly miss the mid-season cut of the World Surf League Championship Tour.
The 32-year-old needs to finish the Challengers Series ranked in the top five out of 48 surfers to regain a place on the Championship Tour.
Fitzgibbons gave her chances a boost with a third-placed finish at the Gold Coast Pro earlier this month, and she's on track for another good result in Sydney.
The star Australian produced one of the rides of the day on Friday, finding a deep, hollow tube, pulling in from behind before coming out and smashing two massive turns to earn a near-perfect 9.70.
Fitzgibbons ended the four-person heat with a two-wave total of 16.57 to advance to the round of 16, where she'll take on American Ella McCaffray.
"I was so stoked with that one," Fitzgibbons said of her epic 9.70 ride.
"We go out there in these heats and hope for a perfect performance and to find the best waves possible.
"There were so many good-looking waves everywhere but not in the same spot so it was a bit of a treasure hunt out there.
"I ended up finding some treasure. It felt good to get that one and come out of it and get that feeling.
"This is a really fun time in my career and I'm enjoying the different experiences and challenges especially when you throw in waves like we have today."
Fitzgibbons wasn't the only surfer to find some treasure.
Australian Morgan Cibilic scored a 9.00-point ride for a long, deep barrel, while Sophie McCulloch scored a 9.43 for a deep tube ride.