Sally Fitzgibbons looks to keep world title dream alive at Supertubos

Gerroa's Sally Fitzgibbons competes at France. Photo: WSL/POULLENOT
Gerroa's Sally Fitzgibbons competes at France. Photo: WSL/POULLENOT

GERROA'S Sally Fitzgibbons will look to keep her world title dream alive when the Rip Curl Pro Portugal, the penultimate stop on the 2019 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), opens on Thursday.

As the second-to-last stop, this competition, which runs until October 28, can make or break 2019 world title dreams and re-qualification hopes, in addition to qualification for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 - which Fitzgibbons has all but assured herself of.

Currently sitting in third on 46, 815 points, Fitzgibbons, who won the Oi Rio Pro in Brazil in June, will need another strong showing at the Peniche - the first time women have competed at the Supertubos since 2010.

The women's world title scenarios heading into Portugal are as follows:

1. Carissa Moore (57, 260 points) will clinch the title if she advances to the semi-finals (third) and a. Lakey Peterson (49, 935 points) loses in or before the round of 16 (ninth) b. Sally Fitzgibbons loses in or before the final (second) and c. Caroline Marks (46, 020 points) loses in or before the semi-final (third).

2. Carissa Moore will clinch the title if she advances to the final (second) and a. Lakey Peterson loses in or before the quarter-final (fifth) and b. Caroline Marks loses in or before the final (second).

3. Carissa Moore will clinch the title if she wins (first) the event and Lakey Peterson loses in or before the semi-final.

Fitzgibbons will open her assault on the event in heat one of the seeding round, where she is matched up against Brisa Hennessy (Costa Rica) and Paige Hareb (New Zealand).

The other South Coast surfer to compete at Portugal will be Culburra Beach's Owen Wright, who will be looking to build on his maiden Tahiti Pro Teahupo'o crown.

World number seven Wright will face Jack Freestone (Australia) and Jadson Andre (Brazil) in heat seven of the seeding round.

Wright's two siblings, Tyler and Mikey have withdrawn from the event, due to ongoing health concerns - being replaced by Keely Andrew (Australia) and Frederico Morias (Portugal) respectively.

There is good news on Tyler's road to recovery from chronic fatigue though, with the two-time world champion gradually making her return to the surf in recent weeks.