In two foot waves the Australian out-surfed final opponent Malia Manuel of Hawaii for a decisive 16.7 points to 12 victory.
Despite making it look simple, Fitzgibbons insisted afterwards that it had been anything but.
“Today was a bit of a struggle to find the good ones,” Fitzgibbons said. “I just had to pick the eyes out of it to find the best waves.
"The competitive rhythm is back and it’s all feeling good. The first few events this year have gone really well for me. I finished 3rd on the Gold Coast which is good, but also tough not to make the Final. There are things I’ve learned and I’ll use them at Bells. As a 13-year-old we had a Pro Junior event here at Merewether and I was just a little grommet and I took it out, so Newcastle is a special place for me.”
The men's Burton Toyota Pro resumes on Sunday in Australia, and with good conditions should reach a conclusion.
1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 16.70 def. Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.00
SF 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) 14.20 def. Sage Erickson (USA) 12.17
SF 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.04 def. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 15.00
QF 1: Sage Erickson (USA) 14.93, def. Paige Hareb (NZL) 12.93
QF 2: Malia Manuel (HAW) 11.66 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 11.17
QF 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 13.34 def. Alizee Arnaud (FRA) 10.37
QF 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.84 def. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 10.50