Sally Fitzgibbons on her way in heat one to advancing directly to round three at the Oi Rio Pro at Itauna Beach, Saquarema, Brazil. Picture: Damien Poullenot/World Surf League/AAP
Sally Fitzgibbons on her way in heat one to advancing directly to round three at the Oi Rio Pro at Itauna Beach, Saquarema, Brazil. Picture: Damien Poullenot/World Surf League/AAP Damien Poullenot

Fitzgibbons, Wright and Gilmore all advance in Brazil

SALLY Fitzgibbons is among the Australians competitors to advance in the first round at the World Surf League event at Itauna Beach, Saquarema, Brazil.

Fitzgibbons had to get past compatriot Nikki Van Dijk and Hawaii's Coco Ho for the win, scoring a 5.83 and advancing straight to round three.

"We've got some good offshore conditions. It is a little slow but it definitely has got some scoring potential," Fitzgibbons said.

"Jumping into round three is a huge advantage, and I'll be prepared."

Fellow Australian Tyler Wright is off to a promising start for her third straight WSL event victory after defeating another Australian in Bronte Macaulay and American Caroline Marks.

Two-time WSL champion Wright wanted to lock in strong scores in her opening match-up but with limited opportunities on offer she was forced to settle for the win with scores of only 3.93 and 3.60.

"I thought there was actually going to be a couple more waves than that," Wright said.

"I really didn't think I would count the threes, but with the tide and the conditions that was okay. I am happy to move through a tricky heat.

"The next round should be interesting depending on what the conditions do."

Australia's Stephanie Gilmore also had a narrow win, beating Hawaiian Malia Manuel by just 0.2 in a heat that also included Brazil's Tais Almeida.

Another Australian in Keely Andrew was beaten in her heat by Brazil's Tatiana Weston-Webb.

- AAP



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