WSL ROUND UP

Surf Girl - - Women’s World-tour - For more on the tour go to www.world­sur­fleague.com

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.

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