Gerroa's Sally Fitzgibbons will have to wait at least one more year before claiming her maiden world title, after missing out on the 2021 trophy on Wednesday (AEDT).
Coming into the event as world number three, Fitzgibbons started her assault of the 2021 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) final five in match two against France's Johanne Defay - who had previously knocked out seven-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore 12.17 to 6.70.
During the surf-off, waves of 4.50 and 6.83 for a total of 11.33, steered the Kiama High School alumna to victory, with Defay only managing 6.66 in the six to 10-foot conditions.
That impressive win proved to be Fitzgibbons' last of the day at Lower Trestles though, as Brazil's Tatiana Weston-Webb edged her 13.17 to 11.73 in match three - seeing the 30-year-old finish third and fall just short of the world title yet again.
"I had all the emotions under the sun today. There were some big moments and I nearly got there but one decision cost me the heat against Tatiana - that's surfing though," Fitzgibbons said.
"Over my years in the sport, I've developed ways to zoom out and try and see the bigger picture. To get to that point and put myself in a position to contend for another world title, I had to really push myself and evolve my surfing through other big moments throughout the year, which I'm really proud of.
"It's a credit to my whole team, for getting up every morning and having the belief I could reach this day but unfortunately, it's another heartbreaking way to end the season, as I'm not the one holding the cup."
This win by Weston-Webb progressed her into the final against four-time world champion Carissa Moore. The final was a best of three set-up, with the Brazilian winning the first 15.20 to 14.06 before the Hawaiian responded in the second 17.26 to 15.60.
In the final, reigning Olympic gold medalist Moore held her nerve, 16.60 to 14.20, to claim her fifth world crown.
In the men's side of the draw, Brazil's Gabriel Medina won his third world title, edging out countrymen Filipe Toledo and Italo Ferreira, as well as United States' Conner Coffin and Angourie's Morgan Cibilic for the 2021 crown.
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