Matt Banting: double home victory

The 2012 Australian Open of Surfing has reached its climax with the victories of Matt Banting and Sally Fitzgibbons, in the final waves of comepetition, at Manly Beach.

Thousands of surf fans gathered for the last heats of the inaugural Aussie event and they were treated to an exciting show with close back-and-forth battles, powerful turns and big airs as the world's best surfers fought for the prestigious crown.

"This has been the best week of my life!" Banting said. "I'm so happy, this is the best feeling I've ever had! I'm shaking so much I can hardly talk. Evan (Gieselman) is a really good surfer, he was blowing up for the whole final, I was really scared. I was just lucky to start off well with a couple of good waves. I just want to thanks my Dad and Mum for supporting me, I love them!"

Matt Banting went back-to-back at the Australian Open of Surfing after claiming the Pro Junior division title yesterday and today winning the blue ribbon ASP 6-Star division. Banting battled hard in the Final against American Evan Gieselman, with both surfers going for broke in the small, but fun surf. Watch the final highlights.

The 17-year-old from Port Macquarie took to the air and landed some massive air-reverses that saw him post some big scores and claim the USD$25,000 1st prize and 3,500 ASP World Tour ratings points.

Sally Fitzgibbons defeated Sofia Mulanovich in the final of the ASP 6-Star rated Australian Open Of Surfing, both surfers posted decent scores, but Fitzgibbons timed her turns to perfection to take out the event and claim the USD$8,000 winners cheque.

Fitzgibbons has been in fantastic form all event, being rewarded by the judges for her ability to link turns together with her trademark smooth style. This week at the Australian Open Of Surfing Fitzgibbons notched four of the top 10 wave scores and two of the top three heat totals, proving that she was the inform surfer of the event and that she's not being hampered by her wrist injury.

"It's unbelievable!" Fitzgibbons said. "I was just focusing on working through my boards and going through some heats and before I know it I'm in the final. Sofia (Mulanovich) is such a tough competitor, I knew she'd be able to get the score needed, so it was a nervous wait at the end there. To win in front of this crowd, with so much support feels amazing! Then to have won the US Open and then the first ever Australian Open back to back is a special achievement."