Sally Fitzgibbons becomes the youngest girl to ever qualify for the Women's World Tour, leading a group of girls poised to become the avant-garde in women's surfing.
When Sally Fitzgibbons took the Jeremy Flores record-breaking approach to qualifying for the World Tour, she ignited a trend that is becoming the norm for the new establishment in female surfing. A few weeks after Sally qualified, Malia Manuel of Kauai became the youngest ever winner of the U.S. Open in Huntington Beach and Coco Ho from Oahu became the youngest ever runner up at 17. Not only are these three girls competing at the top level, but they're winning big and often. Not since Layne, Lisa and Rochelle brought female surfing to the mainstream have we seen a group of young surfers ready to take female surfing by the reins like this one. They're completely focused, driven and ready to lead the renaissance of female professional surfing.
And leading this pack of ladies is the 17-year-old record breaker Sally Fitzgibbons from Wallongong.
Her vertical attack backside is flawless, impressing every person who lays eyes on her. "She did the sickest turn I've ever seen a girl do," said Tom Carey after watching Sally surf recently. She's been groomed by watching the likes of Lisa Anderson, Layne Beachley and Rochelle Ballard, but her four brothers have had her competing with the boys and watching surf videos of the guys since she was born. She's also had the opportunity to fly around the world under the wing of Steph Gilmore. "I've been so lucky to get the opportunity to travel with Steph," says Sally. "She's like my mom on the road. This one time we were stuck in Jakarta for two days and Steph stayed with me. She's a great person to look up to and definitely looks after all us girls on the road. She's like mom."
Unfortunately for Steph and the rest of the Women's World Tour, this Aussie surf machine in female form will be joining her around the world in the coming year with the intention of winning world titles.
"Watching Steph win her world title so young was so inspiring and it's really exciting to think I have the opportunity to follow in her footsteps next year. I'm really happy I was able to get good results so early in the year, too so I can focus on improving my surfing because my ultimate goal is to be at the top of the sport."