Nikki Van Dijk, Sally Fitzgibbons third at Cascais Pro, extends world title lead

FORMER world surfing rookie of the year Nikki Van Dijk took down a world title favourite and a multiple world champion to claim her maiden win on the world tour in Portugal.

The Phillip Island surfer, 22, beat Hawaiian Carissa Moore for her breakthrough world tour win at the Cascais Pro in Portugal.

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Earlier Van Dijk bested world No. 1 Sally Fitzgibbons in their semi-final bout.

“This is insane, so crazy,” said Van Dijk from Portugal. “Literally my legs have gone all wobbly I’m in such shock.

“I’ve waited a long time for this and I’m going to enjoy every second of it.”

Van Dijk is the fourth Australian woman to win a world tour event this year, along with Steph Gilmore, Fitzgibbons and defending world champion Tyler Wright.

Sally Fitzgibbons put some ground on rivals in the world title race with a third-place finish.

A shattered Fitzgibbons squandered a chance to go well clear of her major rivals for the world crown of surfing when pipped for the win in her semi-final against Van Dijk.

Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) wins the Final at Cascais Women’s Pro 17 in Cascais, Portugal.Source: Supplied

Van Dijk, from Phillip Island, downed Fitzgibbons 13.66 to 13.55 in their semi-final bout in windy and erratic conditions in Portugal.

Fitzgibbons was the only surfer ranked in the top four to make it past the fifth round in Portugal and leads the title chase overall from American Courtney Conlogue.

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However the surfer from the NSW far south coast was visibly disappointed at her lost opportunity to put more ground on defending world champion Tyler Wright, Conlogue and Stephanie Gilmore by winning the event.

“I’m super stoked to still be wearing the yellow and having just that bit more of a lead,” Fitzgibbons said from Portugal.

Fellow Aussie Nikki Van Dijk knocked Fitzgibbons out of the Cascais Pro.Source: AAP

“I’m disappointed I didn’t get further there today, I felt like my wave quality was there but it wasn’t meant to be.

“I just have to regroup, pick myself up, learn from this, move on and head to France for next event.”

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The second last event of the world tour, the Roxy Pro France, could start as early as this weekend.

Whether Wright competes is unknown after she suffered a leg injury in a free surfing accident last week.