NEWCASTLE, New South Wales/Australia (Thursday, March 17, 2011) - Australian young guns Sally Fitzgibbons and Tyler Wright have advanced through to the round of 12 at the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 6 star Legendary Pacific Coast Pro in association with Commonwealth Bank in Newcastle today.
Fitzgibbons easily won her heat defeating local girl Philippa Anderson who also advanced in second place with Sth Africa’s Nikki Robb eliminated in 3rd.
“I’m enjoying Newcastle and looking to build my surfing levels as we head into the final rounds here” said Sally after her impressive win today.
“I want to be really tuned when I head to Bells Beach next month and this event has a strong field and keeps me sharp – I’m hearing we should have bigger surf for the finals on the weekend and that’s exciting for all of us – let’s hope it eventuates!”
Tyler Wright, generally more accustomed to winning heats, took an unfamiliar pathway to the next round by advancing in 2nd place in her four surfer heat behind French surfer Pauline Ado.
Fitzgibbons (20 years) and Wright (16 years) are both optimistic they can win this event, particularly with bigger swells forecast at Merewether Beach for the final day on Saturday – Their biggest challenges certain to be international surfers Alana Blanchard (Hawaii) and 2004 World Champion Sofia Mulanovich (Peru) who both advanced with high scoring heat wins today.
The Burton Toyota Pro Men’s round four heats were also completed and ASP World Junior champion Jack Freestone was one of the most impressive surfers of the day defeating Sydney surfer Chris Salisbury in a tight heat.
“There’s a bit of pressure to perform being crowned World Junior Champion but that’s probably a good thing — it makes me push my performances and aim high –there’s no easy heats from here on in so I’ll need to be right on form to keep advancing” said Freestone.
Freestone will face highly rated ASP surfer Tom Whittaker in the rond of 32 tomorrow.
Byron Bay’s Garratt Parkes was another of the Australian youngsters to impress today defeating James Woods (Lennox Head) in his man-on-man heat.
Parkes (19 years-old) will now face a much anticipated clash with second seed Bede Durbidge in the next round.
Number one seed Taj Burrow will also enter the event tomorrow and large crowds are expected to turn out to check out Taj who many believe is currently in career best form.
The event is live webcast via www.aspaustralasia.com/live/2011/surfest and all results and heat draws across both men’s and women’s can be found on this site.