Gilmore, Fitzgibbons cruise into third round at J-Bay
Australians Stephanie Gilmore and Sally Fitzgibbons have been joined in the third round by a host of the world's best female surfers at the WSL J-Bay Open in South Africa.
Gilmore, Fitzgibbons, and Hawaii's Carissa Moore had already secured their passage into the third round on Tuesday by topping their opening heat.
Stephanie Gilmore.Credit:World Surf League
And they were joined by fellow stars Courtney Conlogue, Lakey Peterson, Caroline Marks, Tatiana Weston-Webb and Malia Manuel when competition resumed on Wednesday.
Current world No.9 Brisa Hennessy was the highest seed to fail in the opening round, finishing third in a heat that also included world No.4 Conlogue and Kiwi Paige Hareb.
But she survived the elimination second round to keep her tournament hopes alive.
All up, 16 of the top 17 female surfers made it through to the second round.
The only exception was current world No.10 Coco Ho, who is injured.
Fitzgibbons is the current world No.1 after winning in Brazil last month.
Moore and Gilmore are nipping at her heels following a series of strong results.
Only four more events remain after the J-Bay Open, meaning a good result in South Africa will prove crucial in the title race.
In the men's competition, Jesse Mendes, Beyrick De Vries, Jorgann Couzinet and Jadson Andre were all eliminated in the second round on Wednesday.
Australian Julian Wilson will take on Ezekiel Lau in round three when competition resumes, while Kelly Slater will face off against Caio Ibelli in a mouthwatering duel.
Owen Wright will be up against Joan Duru.
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