Sally Fitzgibbons progressed to the next round at the World Surf League Championship Tour leg taking place at Margaret River ©Getty Images

Home favourite Sally Fitzgibbons progressed to the round of 16 at the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour event in Margaret River, after defeating reigning Olympic and WSL champion Carissa Moore on day one of competition. 

Fitzgibbons reached the quarter-finals at Bells Beach earlier his month and has won her heat at Margaret River with a score of 12.83, ahead of Moore and compatriot Mia McCarthy.

Moore was second, on 10.50, so also goes straight to the round of 16 whereas McCarthy faces the elimination round.

"It’s awesome," Fitzgibbons said. 

"Believe in miracles, you’ve just got to keep climbing. 

"I was definitely in a pickle as everyone was aware at the start of the season.

"I'm just here to enjoy it, see how far I can go. 

"That’s always the goal, I’m here to do my best surfing.

"I’ve just got to keep applying myself and see what happens."

Fitzgibbons won this event back in 2017 and has finished third on four other occasions.

However, Fitzgibbons entered this crucial leg of the Championship Tour season 12th, two places below the cut line.

The WSL's mid-season cut is set to take place at the end of the Margaret River Pro. 

Moore, who competes under a Hawaiian flag, is one of four surfers to have already made the cut.

Brisa Hennessy from Costa Rica is another, and won heat one narrowly over American Courtney Conlogue, with a two-wave total of 8.96 versus 8.50.

Molly Picklum of the host nation triumphed against her compatriot and seven-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore as well as former Margaret River event winner Lakey Peterson. 

Gilmore is into the round of 16, while American Peterson - already assured to make the cut - was relegated to the elimination round with the lowest score.

Australia's Isabella Nichols managed to save her spot in the next round with the wave of the day, although it was Malia Manuel of Hawaii who dropped the biggest total score during heat six. 

Another Australian surfer who progressed into the round of 16 was India Robinson, who came a close second to Frenchwoman Johanne Defay. 

In addition to Peterson and McCarthy, Bettylou Sakura Johnson, Luana Silva and Gabriela Bryan of Hawaii, as well Brazilian Tatiana Weston-Webb, face the elimination round and in many cases missing the cut if results do not go their way.

The men’s event is yet to begin and the competition is due to continue tomorrow, if weather conditions allow.