Inspirations – Sally Fitzgibbons
Sally Fitzgibbons is still incredibly young, at barely 23 years of age, even younger than Stephanie Gilmore, yet her career in pro junior and now professional women’s surfing has already hit a number of heights. Fitzgibbons has been competing in surfing events since her early teens, and at the age of 14 she already had her first win under her belt – the ASP Pro Junior event. She was the youngest surfer to win that event, then coming second in the World Qualifying Series Billabong Easter Girls Festival on the very same day.
At 16 Fitzgibbons won the Icon All Girls Open event in Lennox Head, but by then she had already added notches to her belt finishing second in the International Surfing Association U18 event in Brazil, which she then won in Portugal the following year. After a string of placing’s, including runner up to Stephanie Gilmore on multiple occasions, Fitzgibbons won the Billabong Rio Pro final in May of 2012 against Coco Ho. She has followed that up with two firsts in 2013, including the Billabong Pro in France, and the ASP 6Star Break Burleigh Pro, held at Burleigh Heads.
Career highlights and sponsorships
2012 really was a stellar year for Fitzgibbons, as she also became the first Australian female surfer to hold the Australian Open and US Open titles at the same time. She defeated 2004 world champion Sofia Mulanovich in February 2012 to take out that honour. That year she also took home three awards from the ASP World Surfing Awards. Firstly for finishing runner up at the 2011 World Tour, second for winning the ASP Heat of the Year with Carissa Moore, and lastly the ASP Surfers’ Surfer Award, which was voted by her peers. It seems that there is little else left for Fitzgibbons to win in terms of accolades, but we’re sure she’ll manage something! Let’s also hope that she continues to dedicate herself to the betterment of the sport, and perhaps becomes more of an advocate for various good causes like some of her peers have done so well.
Her list of sponsorships and career winnings are both in healthy form. Fitzgibbons is also sponsored by the female spin off brand of Quiksilver, Roxy. Other sponsors include Red Bull, Mini, Firewire Surfboards, Beach Toes, Gorilla, Waxaway and Nanotune. Sally Fitzgibbons has developed as a brand in its own right, and the blog, www.sallyfitzgibbons.com is updated regularly and well presented. It contains personal anecdotes and insights into the life of a young professional female surfer, well worth taking a look.