An Open Letter To Sally Fitzgibbons

13 Nov 2016 2

Sally Mac

Coastalwatch Digital Editor

Sally Fitzgibbons surfs in her own Qualifying Series event as part of the Qantas Assure Women's International, Photo by Bennett / WSL

Sally Fitzgibbons surfs in her own Qualifying Series event as part of the Qantas Assure Women's International, Photo by Bennett / WSL

Dear Sally

I've watched your surfing career develop and flourish over your last eight years on the World Championship Tour and the previous two of the Qualifying Series. I've never been on the pro tour, but it's so easy to judge from the couch and at times, I’ve probably been hard on you for some of the decisions you’ve made. But now, everything has changed. 

Last Friday when I walked up the stairs of the Novotel in Manly into a room that was electrically charged with your energy, I all of a sudden thought to myself, 'WOW', the agenda for women's surfing has just stepped up to a new level. There was not one negative or resentful moment that night among the 250+ guests present, it was professional, thoughtful and a breathtakingly beautiful event. I left Manly that night thinking, no, knowing what an integral catalyst you play in the sport of surfing and it's current movement. 

To pull off a charity evening is one thing but a four-day, multi-discipline international event in association with the governing body and a lineup of high-profile corporate backers is another. The Qantas Assure International Beach Festival was the most incredible concept brought to life. I was walking around the event site at Cronulla and literally was speechless in what you have created. You are 26-years-old, one of the most fierce competitors among the best surfers in the world, the general manager of your own business and you've just pulled off what would seem a near impossible feat to most under 30-year-olds. 

Every moment of the event from go-to-who appeared seamless, you not once stopped smiling, turned down a photo or showed a single sign of exhaustion despite running in the soft sand event, hosting your sponsors and athletes and competing in the QS event. There was an air of excitement. Every single person I spoke to was filled with stoke for you and to be part what you created, that's what made it particularly special. The whole operation ran silky smooth (special shout out to an incredible commentary team; Reg, Seano, Shmoo, and Jodie, seriously the A-team of surf commentary in Australia!)

In writing this letter, I guess I just wanted people to truly understand the genuine passion you have for invigorating the world with happiness, good health and positivity and the ridiculous energy and power you have, that can affect a whole generation of people. 

Keep running with this momentum you'll rule the world. Looking forward to what's next…

Sincerely, 

Sally Mac
Coastalwatch Digital Editor. 

Reggae Elliss talks to legends of women's surfing Layne Beachly, Phyllis O'Donnell and Tyler Wright

Reggae Elliss talks to legends of women's surfing Layne Beachly, Phyllis O'Donnell and Tyler Wright

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