WSL ROUND UP
The start of the WSL competition season has been jampacked full of upsets, raw emotions and unsung talent taking down some of the surfing greats. The first leg of the tour at the Roxy Pro in Oz saw the spotlight on a new breed of talent as well as the return of some talent stepping back onto the scene.
With Lakey Peterson back on form, eliminating 2017 world champion Tyler Wright in the Quarterfinal, the surfing community took notice. All eyes were on Lakey as she made her mark on the event, unfazed by the preevent hype surrounding the current world champion. Just two days into the season, Lakey was in the semi-final, before going on to win the event and make her way to the top of the leaderboard.
“I couldn’t hold back. There’s nothing I could do to change [Wight’s] surfing, so I just focussed on mine and it worked out in the end,” said Lakey.
The new surfer on tour, Caroline Marks, didn’t seem fazed either as she took on her surfing heroes. With a whole heap of talent in her bag, Caroline made her way to the Quarterfinals, missing out on a semi-final finish to Sally Fitzgibbons.
Next up the women headed back down the coast of Australia, to the world famous Bells Beach. Again, this event had some big upsets, making it an exciting watch from start to finish. With near perfect conditions for the final, Stephanie Gilmore took to the podium to ring the bell. Tatiana Western-Webb was hot on Steph’s heals and eager to take the win, only to narrowly miss out with just 0.23 between 1st and 2nd position.
Again the on form rookie, Caroline Marks, shone with her powerful backhand attack in form throughout the entire event. Another standout was long-time WSL surfer Silvana Lima, who looked stronger than ever, carving her way through the glassy conditions looking comfortable as she approached each heat.
As the leaderboard stands with Stephanie Gilmore, Lakey Peterson and Caroline Marks in the top three, we can’t help but wonder if we might see a rookie crowned as World Champion? Only time will tell.