Sally Fitzgibbons: solid sprayer

Sally Fitzgibbons has conquered the Swatch Girls Pro France, after beating Sage Erickson in solid 4ft peaks, at Les Bourdaines. Fitzgibbons, after surviving a thrilling semi-final dual with Courtney Conlogue, continued with a dominating display of critical, committed backhand surfing in the 35-minute final to take an early lead which she controlled through to the siren.

"I am really excited to get the win here with everyone surfing so well. It was super challenging with the conditions so to come out on top I am really happy. It is a great confidence boost and I came here for a little holiday but to get the win was a bonus for sure."

Fitzgibbons, who continues in the race for this year’s Asp Women’s World title sitting currently in second position, showed extraordinary wave selection skills choosing the larger peeling lefts to build on her scores to end with a combined two-wave heat total of 16.00 out of 20, the highest of the event. A total which reflected her attacking surfing in the tough conditions and the heavy Les Bourdaines shorebreak.

"The waves were great and we held off until this afternoon with the high tide so it was a good way to finish off. The last section is so challenging so I made sure to go harder on the first couple of sections. I am stoked with the scores and to make it through to the podium."

With her runner-up finish Sage Erickson solidified her position on the Women’s Star Tour rankings and has taken a giant step to securing a spot on the elite 2012 Asp Women’s World Tour. The ever smiling natural-footer worked through the final building on her total and looking for a way of putting the pressure back onto her opponent.

"In each contest I am striving to get on the Women’s World Tour and I think it is a dream like every other surfer has to get on that tour. I have definitely been trying a lot harder to improve my surfing and it seems to be falling into place. I am really excited and I am taking it contest by contest and heat by heat."

Erickson has taken the Swatch Girls Pro France as a stepping stone towards her ultimate goal and the chance to come up against the best female surfers in the world has shown the young Californian what is needed to make it amongst the world’s best.

"Surfing against Sally I am taking it as an experience and a learning experience but of course I would have liked to win. Taking in what I did right and what went wrong so hopefully I can come back next year and continue."

Surfers competing at the Swatch Girls Pro France are out to gain the valuable points on offer in an attempt to either maintain themselves on the elite Asp Woman’s World Tour or possibly qualify for the 2012 Asp Woman’s World Tour.

Meanwhile Europe’s finest under-21 athletes will face some of the world’s best up-and-comers in the Swatch Girls Pro Junior France in their attempt to qualify for the Asp World Junior Series which starts October 3, in Bali, Indonesia.

Swatch Girls Pro France Final Result
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 16.00 Def. Sage Erickson (USA) 9.70