A wounded Sally Fitzgibbons says her desire to win the season-opening world surfing championship event on the Gold Coast will override the pain of a broken finger.
The world No 3 feared her 2014 campaign had suffered a major setback when she broke the finger during training last month on the Gold Coast.
Fitzgibbons will go into the Roxy Pro at Snapper Rocks without the custom-made splint she'd worn since the accident but admits she's still in pain.
A two-time winner of the world championship event at Victoria's Bells Beach, Fitzgibbons narrowly missed out on last year's Roxy Pro when she was beaten by compatriot Tyler Wright in the final.
Wright herself struggled with an ankle injury in last year's event and Fitzgibbons thinks her finger may help in her quest to win the Gold Coast event for the first time.
"Hopefully the brain just lets go of it and you can throw your hands around through your manoeuvres," Fitzgibbons said.
"You've got to be wary of the wounded warrior. You get so fired up when you have to be out of the water even for a couple of weeks."
A three-time world tour runner-up, the 23-year-old hopes this year's new format in the women's championship - including new events in Fiji and Trestles in California - will increase her chances of landing the world crown.
"Every year I start out I do have that confidence and belief that it will be my year," she said.
"An exciting year for the tour in general and I'm ready to attack those new locations that we've secured.
"They will really open up the field and you'll be able to showcase what you've got a little bit more in those world-class waves."
First up is the Roxy Pro starting tomorrow then the Margaret River Pro in WA and the Australian swing at Bells.
"To get the Australian triple crown under the belt would be a really special feeling," she said.
"I love going overseas and experiencing the other cultures and stuff but to compete in front of my home fans, I just feel that everyone is there on that journey with me."