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.

Gig guide: what's on this week

Gig guide: what's on this week

Find out what's on this week around the coast.

Titans brimming with Tweed talent

Titans brimming with Tweed talent

Four local players keen for improved season

Greenback ready to reel in the line again

Greenback ready to reel in the line again

Lions Greenback Fishing Competition is back bigger and better

Local Partners