Sally Fitzgibbons through to the semi final at the 2024 ISA World Surfing Games

Published on 03/03/2024

Australia is still with a chance to secure an extra spot in the Paris 2024 Olympics, after Sally Fitzgibbons advanced through to Main Round 6 at the ISA World Surfing Games in Puerto Rico.

“It was a pretty clutch heat to move on through to the main draw final, which is the semi final in this current format,” Fitzgibbons said.

“My back was against the wall. Representing my country, I do with an immense amount of pride. And that’s what we do as Aussies, we never count ourselves out. The waves weren’t kind of falling in my favour. And right down to the end, I had to sell Brazil on a wave that wasn’t gonna be a score, sprint back out the back and then be open to any opportunity with 25 seconds and it’s counting down. This is what we train for. These kinds of moments, these electric moments, they don’t really jump out at you all the time in the competitive arena. But you have to hold your nerve.

“I saw that opportunity coming even though there haven’t been many right handers during the day that have been scorers and it’s a predominant left. So seeing that moment where the right was gonna have one major section, my hands left the rail probably like five seconds to go. And I just kind of had to centre myself, trust in everything I’m working towards and evolving in my surfing and competitive surfing for that matter. And just that one big section offered itself up and I just threw everything I had at it. I just felt really calm and I felt like I was making it the whole time.

“I could hear the team from the shore. I put the fist pump up, Irukandjis style, put the stingers up and just had to kind of sit in that moment while they were procrastinating on the score. And then I came into the shoreline right as they read it out and walked straight into my team and into the huddle and it just feels amazing. After all these years in the jersey these are the moments that I live for and just to see that all come together and share that big moment together. That is why I keep showing up to the challenge and to the game and to competitive surfing. It’s still as joyful as 20 years ago when I suited up for my first ISA World Surfing Games. We’re moving into finals day tomorrow. Can’t wait to give it my best.”

Team Australia Head Coach, Jay “Bottle” Thompson said it was an exciting heat that came down to the wire.

“She’s (Fitzgibbons) been working on a theme of less is more approach, looking for different wave profiles and it paid off in that heat and she clutched up and basically made the heat in the dying seconds, which is super exciting. The vibes of the team were high and everyone’s pumped. So, we’re excited for what’s to come tomorrow.”

The rest of the Irukandjis team, made up of Jack Robinson, Ethan EwingMolly PicklumTyler Wright and Morgan Cibilic, all put on strong performances but were knocked out in earlier heats.

Australia currently sits fifth among women’s teams and is hoping to get that extra Olympic spot when Sal competes early tomorrow morning.

Competition Day 9 schedule (women) ***subject to change at the ISA’s discretion
Round 6 (semi final)
9:15am local time // 12:15am AEDT
Repechage final
10:05am local time // 1:05am AEDT
Main Round final:
11am local time // 2am AEDT

Full results and scores via the ISA website HERE.

Follow the Irukandjis HERE.

Surfing Australia is thankful for the support it has received from the Australian Government – through the Australian Sports Commission – to help enhance the Irukandjis medal chances at Paris 2024.

The Irukandjis are proudly presented by Hyundai.

About the Irukandjis:
The name ‘Irukandjis’ was generously gifted to Surfing Australia by the local Yirrganydji people of North Queensland, driven by the efforts of Indigenous athlete and former World Tour surfer, Soli Bailey.

‘The Irukandjis: Deadly in the Water,’ the team’s namesake and tagline, is inspired by the Irukandji jellyfish—an extremely venomous species that inhabits Australian marine waters.

Australian representatives across all surfing genres, including Junior, Open, Masters, Olympic, Longboard, Big Wave, Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP), and Adaptive disciplines, compete under The Irukandjis’ national identity and united colours at international events such as the Olympics, ISA World Surfing Games, WSL World Juniors, and Longboard Championships.

My Profile

Login to your profile or Sign up to our new Surfing Portal.


Head to your Surfing Portal to purchase or renew memberships

Events & Courses

Head to your Surfing Portal to enter events and courses.


Other News

Skullcandy Oz Grom Open kicks off at Lennox Head

Skullcandy Oz Grom Open kicks off at Lennox Head

Some of the world’s best and most exciting grommet surfers will call Lennox Head home this week when the Skullcandy Oz Grom Open kicks off. This six-day event will run from 4 July – 9 July 2024 and will comprise of a...

read more