Shedding her junior tag

SURFING rookie Sally Fitzgibbon is done with making history and will settle for winning a single heat when she hits the waves for the first time as a professional.

The 2008 junior world champion set a new standard for surfing last year when she qualified for the world tour in just six months and six events - the fastest qualification ever.

At the season-opening Roxy Pro on the Gold Coast, the 18-year-old will be competing as a professional for the first time, but Fitzgibbon plans to start off without fanfare.

Rejecting scenarios of claiming big-name scalps, the NSW teenager will be happy as long as she's in the water - although one heat win would be nice.

“I'd love to just get a heat under the belt and move up towards the pointy end ,” she said.

It's been a gradual rise to the professional circuit for Fitzgibbon who entered her first surfing competition at age 11.

Just three years later, and a few events into the junior series, she was being touted as a future world champion by her compatriots.

But the former state touch football, athletics and soccer player has always been adept at handling the pressure of great expectation.

“I've always been a bit of an underdog, from a small town (Gerroa), and the fact that I've got three older brothers - they would knock me down quick smart,” she said.

The Roxy Pro begins at Snappers Rocks on Saturday.

Mayor's plea for Tweed

Mayor's plea for Tweed

Mayoral message from Cr Katie Milne

Why not do a long lunch on Sunday?

Why not do a long lunch on Sunday?

Fins at Plantation House is open for Sunday lunch

Terror as sharks circle stranded fishermen

Terror as sharks circle stranded fishermen

Footage has been released of the stomach-churning moment.

Local Partners