Sally Fitzgibbons: the Estoril girl of the week

The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Estoril Surf Billabong Girls 6-Star Women's event was won for the second year inrow by Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) in a one-sided final over Jacqueline Silva (BRA) at the main contest site of Bafureira in Estoril.

Conditions once again varied during the day with reasonable 4ft (1m) right-handers wrapping the reef at Bafureira to run the final day of the Estoril Surf Billabong Girls 2010. Event officials gave the green light for the action to with the incoming tide helping to increase the size of the waves and light winds helped to clean up conditions after yesterday's strong southerly wind.

Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) was unstoppable as she steam rolled her opponents on her way to claiming back-to-back Estoril Surf Billabong Girls titles finally over coming Jacqueline Silva (BRA). Handling the testing conditions using high quality rail-to-rail carves on the complicated peak at Bafureira, Fitzgibbons never looked in doubt during the 35-minute final.

The current ASP world ranked n2 started the final strongly with two solid rides, a 6.75 and a 7.25 out of a possible 10 to then nail shortly after an excellent 8.25 forcing Silva a combination of two rides to overtake her and in the process obtained the highest two-wave total of the day 15.50 out of a possible 20.

"I'm over the moon right now with this second win here in Estoril. It's been so much fun back here in Portugal and to be out there in the final with Jacqueline (Silva) and to be back in town where the waves are really fun. With the tide draining out this morning it was a bit lumpy so it cleaned up and I'm stoked to have a good final with waves and finish on top."

Fitzgibbons is now set to take on her future competitive commitments confident that she can continue the good form she has shown throughout the year.

"I'm really happy with the way things are going for me this year with a few finals inrow and a couple of second places and now a first so extremely happy and confident leading into the next event. Back-to-back wins here in Portugal and I love coming here, it's a home away from home for me."

Jacqueline Silva (BRA) placed second securing 2520 valuable Women's Star Series points in her attempt to requalify for the elite ASP Women's World Tour. Having surfed brilliantly in her semi-final clash Silva was unlucky not to secure any of the high potential scoring waves that began to come through during the middle stages of the final.

"In my semi-final I got some good waves and I knew the final was going to be really hard because Sally is ripping at the moment. I waited patiently for the good waves but they never came for me while for Sally she caught a few good ones and received that really high score."

"I'm happy I made the final because my goal this year is to get back on the World Tour so with this second place and next week another event in France I want to keep going and build a little more on this result."

Sage Erickson (USA) fought all the way to the final siren during her semi-final encounter in an attempt to reach the final eventually finishing equal 3rd her best result for more than a year on the ASP Women's Star Series. With determination and strength she searched in vain for her backup score pushing Jacqueline Silva all the way to the final siren.

"I definitely really wanted to be in the final but Jacqueline got the better exchange of each wave and she surfed them well so she deserves the scores that she got and I'm just going to take these semi-final points for the WQS and just push through to the next event in France."

"Last year losing out by one spot has really inspired and motivated me to push just as hard this year and this semi-final result is much better than anything I got last year so I'm just keeping my blessings and hoping for the next event."

Tyler Wright (AUS) also finished equal 3rd failing to find any real scoring waves in her 30-minute semi-final bout. Having impressed in all her heats throughout the event and surfing Bufureira for the first time this morning Wright felt that her lack of experience at the break was not a problem and her overall result is more than welcome.

"I surfed here this morning for the first time and it's not real hard because there's a boil out there and you just sit on that and wait. It's a good result for me and I'm not here with any huge expectations so I'm just having fun and Surfing with Sally in the semis so I enjoyed myself."

The Estoril Surf Billabong Girls is the first of four in the European Women's Series which will eventually crown this year's European Women's Champion.

For all results, photos, press releases and daily highlights log on to www.aspeurope.com

RESULTS FINAL ESTORIL SURF BILLABONG GIRLS
1 - Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.50
2 - Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 8.00

RESULTS SEMIFINALS ESTORIL SURF BILLABONG GIRLS
SF 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 13.00 Def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 5.25
SF 2: Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 13.25 Def. Sage Erickson (USA) 9.25

RESULTS QUARTERFINALS ESTORIL SURF BILLABONG GIRLS
QF 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 13.50 Def. Alana Blanchard (HAW) 5.00
QF 2: Tyler Wright (AUS) 14.00 Def. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 10.90
QF 3: Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 10.10 Def. Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 10.00
QF 4: Sage Erickson (USA) 11.25 Def. Nikita Robb (ZAF) 7.75


SOURCE: ASP World Tour