The australian leg is over and everyone is looking to the next CT stop in Brazil! It’s the perfect timing to discuss with Sally Fitzgibbons about her achievements in the first part of the season!
First of all, congratulations on your win at Margaret River. This is your first victory at this location and in quite a while (since the Fiji Pro in 2015, 17 events ago). How good does it feel to clinch a new title in Western Australia?
Sally Fitzgibbons: Winning the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro was such a good feeling. It is a difficult place to surf with raw and wild elements to it. 2016 was a bit of an up and down year for me making 2 finals but also getting some 13th places which is really an indication the standard of surfers on tour is increasing.
Third-place finish at Snapper Rocks, a win at Margaret River, a quarterfinal at Bells Beach and a second place on the WSL CT Rankings. It sounds like a pretty good start of your 2017 season, isn’t it?
Yes really happy with the overall start to the season. The Aussie leg is tough for all the surfers with 3 back to back events so to get a win, semi and quarter final finish and having the yellow jersey at Bells was a good feeling.
Looking at your career and if we make an exception of 2016, you’ve always finished in the Top 5, which is very impressive considering the increasing level each year. Looking back, how would you analyze 2016 season and what have you changed to come back on top this year?
I don’t think I could have changed too much in 2016. I was working on my surfing and felt it was at a great level, some of my heat strategies didn’t work out and I was at the wrong end of some wave starved heats which you have to accept and move on. I worked on technical aspects of my surfing in the off season and many of my business projects like the All Australian Beach Body App (TrainLikeSally.com) will require less attention this year so I am looking forward to the season ahead and putting together another title challenge.
Looking at your stats at Rio, this is also a place where you’ve been very successful in the past. At the exception of a 9th place in 2015, you’ve always been in final of the event (which you’ve won twice 2014 & 2012). How do you feel coming in to the next event as one of favourites?
I am super excited going to Brazil even though we are moving to Saquarema a new location. I love beach breaks and while they are quite random at times the challenge of decoding their rhythm fascinates me.