World No. 2 Johanne Defay and No. 3 Lakey Peterson Eager to Lock into WSL Final 5 at Corona Open J-Bay
Johanne Defay (FRA) sits at World No. 2 on the CT rankings and could clinch her spot in the WSL Final 5 in South Africa. The 28-year-old locked in the 5th spot last year, but a favorable result at the Corona Open J-Bay could afford her a higher seed this year and give her a better opportunity to claim her maiden World Title. Despite still missing her luggage and most of her surfboard bags, Defay is staying positive ahead of opening day.
“I’m super motivated,” said Defay. “I live in Reunion Island and it’s not that far from here, so being back in the Indian Ocean, I’m hoping it will give me some good luck! I’m super happy to be here. I’ve had some luggage issues, but it’s part of the journey. I’m happy to see the forecast and I look forward to enjoying it. When you get caught up in the rankings, it doesn’t really work for me, so I’m going to focus on surfing and enjoying it. I hope everyone gets good waves and that we can put on a good show.”
World No. 3 Lakey Peterson (USA) is looking to go all the way this year and lift the coveted trophy. The Californian has been runner-up at the Corona Open J-Bay twice before and has yet to take the win. Peterson’s love for right-hand point breaks shows through her CT success and after a runner-up finish in El Salvador, Peterson demonstrated how close she is to victory in 2022, with J-Bay possibly being her event to win.
“I’d love to get a great result here and solidify my spot to get into the WSL Final 5,” said Peterson. “I love a right-hand point break and J-Bay is not easy, but it feels familiar. The pace of the wave is incredible, it’s such a big open canvas, you can create whatever you want and I love that about it. Hopefully, third time’s the charm.”