Fitzgibbons, Gilmore winners in Bali WSL

Australian favourites Stephanie Gilmore and Sally Fitzgibbons have begun their Bali campaigns with round-one wins, as teenage series leader Caroline Marks’ World Surf League (WSL) charge continues.

Fitzgibbons paired 7.83 and 6.30 waves for a 14.13 heat total that easily topped Monday’s efforts and relegated defending event champion Lakey Peterson to second at Keramas.

Defending world champion Gilmore (9.77 points) was more circumspect but just as effective, winning her heat from countrywoman Nikki Van Dyk (6.36) and local hope Kailani Johnson (4.73).

Marks, still just 17, managed a 12.60 total to beat Coco Ho and Silvana Lima in the event’s opening heat.

The American won the WSL’s season opener on the Gold Coast and followed up with third place at Bells Beach to build a clear lead over Hawaii’s Malia Manuel in the overall standings.

Gilmore is fifth after two rounds after posting consecutive fifth places in Australia.

Compatriots Bronte Macaulay and Keely Andrew avoided the elimination rounds with second places in their heats.

Australian 18-year-old Macy Callaghan struggled for a score in her heat, managing just a 3.80 total to relegate her to a second-round eliminator against Courtney Conlogue, who won at Bells Beach, and Lima.

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