Sally Fitzgibbons won the Fiji Women’s Pro yesterday, which is no small feat. But she did it with a busted eardrum.
On her last wave of her second round heat, Fitzgibbons squeezed into a little barrel, took a high line, and ended up getting sucked over the falls. It didn’t look all that bad. Turns out, though, it was. Doctors at the event had a look and told her that she’d perforated her eardrum, which as anyone who has done it knows, really really hurts. Sally said screw it, though, and continued to surf… which turned out to be a good idea, because she won.
Directly after she hurt herself, Fitzgibbons strapped a bandage around her head and posted four near-perfect scores, moving into first place at the event and breaking into the top five in the world rankings.
Of the four women who consistently take up the top four spots–Moore, Gilmore, Wright, and Fitzgibbons, only Fitzbibbons managed to make it to the later rounds. With Stephanie Gilmore injured and both Carissa Moore and Tyler Wright taken out early, the door opened for Bianca Buitendag to hammer out a runner up finish.
Among the other standouts was tour rookie Tatiana Weston-Webb, who found some of the best waves of the event.