South Coast surfers progress at Roxy Pro

SURFING 

South Coast duo Tyler Wright and Sally Fitzgibbons have made it through to the quarter-finals of the season-opening Roxy Pro on the Gold Coast.

Defending champion Wright maintained her comfortable start at Snapper Rocks, posting a third-round score of 14.14 to progress to the last eight.

The former Culburra local beat Bianca Buitendag (9.20) and Dimity Stoyle (8.43) with a two-wave combination of 7.67 and 6.47 in a 1½-metre swell.

Meanwhile, Fitzgibbons had a tougher time of it in her third-round heat, scoring 14.43 for a two-wave effort to edge out Lakey Peterson (13.20) and Alessa Quizon (12.30).

The Gerroa star was made to work to even reach the third round after going down in her opening heat.

But in typical fashion, Fitzgibbons refused to be denied, getting the better of Keely Andrew in the second round before setting up a final-eight appearance.

"Every year I show up, I have that confidence I can take it out," Fitzgibbons said.

"I know I have put in the work, my surfing's there, I've just got to piece it all together.

"After that performance I know I've got a lot of building to do and hopefully I can open up a little more in the three-manner."

Defending world champion Carissa Moore again looks to be the one to beat, carving her way into the quarter-finals with a massive 19.50 round-three score.

The Hawaiian's two-wave effort included a near-perfect 9.90 and a 9.60 and puts her title rivals on notice early in the season.

"I had a great time," Moore said.

"I have to admit I was a little nervous going out.

"I broke my favourite board this morning ... that was like the magic board so I'm glad this one was feeling good," she said.

In the men's Quicksilver Pro, Thirroul charger Owen Wright remains in the race for the season-opening title. He has a round-three heat against Brazil's Miguel Pupo.

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