After three rounds at the Roxy Pro Biarritz, Sally Fitzgibbons remains in the hunt for the ASP Women's World Championship Title. Recently, we got a chance to talk to her about her big year and competing against her friend Stephanie Gilmore for the world title.
Sal! It feels like years since the last event. What have you been doing the past two months?
The past couple months have flown by! I had a Red Bull Camp in L.A. and San Fran which was super fun. I also got some surfs in around Huntington and up the coast towards Malibu to get things sorted for the upcoming U.S. Open.
No! I was working with my coach Dan Ross while I was over there as well. We went up to San Fran to do something a little different. The camp focused on an aerial rhythmic dancing thing with a company called Project Bandaloop. It was crazy! The experience was something so different but had elements that also related to surfing and the senses we use through different maneuvers.
And since then you’ve just been stuck in cold Sydney, slogging it out in the gym, yeah?
Ah, nup. After the camp I headed off on a Roxy trip to the Maldives. I have been a few times now on family trips and love coming back there. It was great to go relax in a warmer climate for the week and surf and train at a number of really fun waves. After having a bit of a break since the last tour event I'm very excited to compete in Biarritz.
Okay, so let’s get this straight: Normally a two-month break would be a bummer, but you’ve been to L.A., Malibu, San Francisco and the Maldives. And now, you’re in France. Rub it in some more...
Well, with beautiful summer days here at the moment, I've just been soaking up the great atmosphere and enjoying everything going on around the beach. Roxy does a great job tying the event into the local events and celebrations.
"I’ve got to go into this event like any other because if I don’t perform the title stuff won’t matter. I’m definitely feeling ready to bring my best to the table."
Enough of the small talk. France is arguably the biggest event of your career. Technically, the tour could be won here by Steph if you bomb out early...
I've been here for about a week surfing and training up a storm and getting comfortable with all the different peaks. The tides get big here. I’ve got to go into this event like any other because if I don’t perform the title stuff won’t matter. I’m definitely feeling ready to bring my best to the table. I’m focused.
And what about Steph -- you two are great friends and it’s not like it’s the first time you’ve been up against one another in a title fight. Do you look at her as a friend or your arch nemesis in this situation?
With your main rival on the other side of the draw things are pretty much out of your hands. You can only focus on your heats and take care of business when you meet.
Business it is. Conditions are likely to be small over the next few days. Given you won in messy waves in Brazil, does that give you a little more confidence?
I love working with my forehand and backhand equally so I enjoy whatever is dished up for the contest. And I think one of my big strengths is being able to adapt to different conditions. Here, I really enjoy surfing the beach breaks. It's always a mixed bag of fun. Every hour the waves are changing with the massive tides and I love the challenge of finding the good one amongst it all.
Just more excited energy than anything!
And what have you being doing with all these lay days?
There are sooo many good sporting events on in Europe at the moment! The other day I watched MotoGP, F1, two surfing Prime events finals, NRL, AFL, the Wimbledon final and a Tour De France stage all in one day -- in between surfs of course! But I was frothing. Best Super Sunday ever.
- Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast Gallery
- Sally Fitzgibbons profile page
- Surfing: Roxy Pro Biarritz Preview