WSL ROUND UP
It’s been a pretty impressive few months since our last WLS roundup, and things are hotting up. With Margret River getting called off due to shark concerns, the WSL was quick to add new events to the calendar, which certainly didn’t disappoint. Seeing the surfers head to the Island of the Gods, Bali, for two epic events with near perfect conditions, it’s been exciting to see who has flourished under the spotlight and who has seemed to crumble under the pressure.
First up was the first-ever official event at The WSL Surf Ranch, with a sell-out crowd watching the world’s best surfers battling it out in teams. The World Team, crowned the champions, was made up of Jordy Smith (SA), Bianca Buitegndag (SA), Michel Bourez (Tahiti), Paige Hareb (NZ) and Kanoa Igarashi (Japan). Closely followed by the Brazilian team second place, USA in third, Australia in fourth and Europe in fifth. It was an excellent event and first of its kind; the women will be heading back to the Surf Ranch in September, so this seemed very much like a pre-event warm-up for some surfers.
On to Brazil for the Oi Rio Pro, an event that saw Stephanie Gilmore take her first Brazilian victory, closely topping Lakey Peterson, who was hot on Steph’s heals in the final. Both surfers kept up a good pace throughout the event, and with Lakey arriving in Brazil the current world number two, it’s clear to see that her plan is to clinch her first world title.
The next stop saw the women head to Bali for the Corona Bali Protected, and surf in what looked like incredibly fun conditions at Keramas. Coming into the event with fire in her stomach, Lakey surfed fiercely
throughout every heat, going from strength to strength. Enjoying her every heat and looking calm throughout the event, Lakey took down the competition (with reigning champ Tyler Wright narrowly missing out) and headed to world-famous Uluwatu in the yellow leader jersey.
On to Uluwatu for the Margaret River run-in and it was the French surfer Joanne Defay who took the win in a buzzer beater final against the on-form Brazilian surfer Tatiana Wester-Webb.
With five amazing events still to go we’re eager to see whether Lakey Peterson will hold on to the yellow jersey. At the time of going to print, the top three on the leaderboard is very close and looks like this:
Lakey Peterson – 35,630
Stephanie Gilmore – 35,575
Tatiana Western-Webb – 29,160
Lakey Peterson, putting it all on the line
Steph Gilmore taking her first ever win in Brazil.
Joanne Defay at Margaret River before the contest wasrescheduled in Bali with a win for the French surfer.
Paige Hareb slotted at Kelly’s Surf Ranch.