In her Round Three heat at the Vans US Open of Surfing, Australian Sally Fitzgibbons negotiated disparate sections to win her heat and jump to the Quarterfinals. While the waves Wednesday morning were still organizing themselves, Fitzgibbons was all business.
So far this season, it's been current Jeep Leader and reigning World Champ Tyler Wright who has garnered most of the fanfare in the warming World Title race. But Fitzgibbons, who has been within clutching distance of the trophy multiple times, is a shadow contender who could easily overtake the rankings lead here in Huntington Beach. She arrived at the US Open at World No. 2, and just 1500 points behind Wright.
Now, both women have made it to the Quarters, which will run Thursday morning. Which is to say, as the Title race goes from simmer to low boil, it's anyone's game.