Peterson Wins Fifth CT Event, Inches Closer to WSL Final 5 Picture
California’s Lakey Peterson (USA) is officially back to winning form as she claimed a career-fifth event title on the Championship Tour, her first win since 2019. A legitimate world title threat in 2018 and 2019, the powerful surfer from Santa Barbara suffered a lower-back injury early in 2021 and has since been fighting to find her winning formula again.
“This is my favorite event on the calendar, it’s just special,” Peterson said. “I’m dedicating this to my sister-in-law who we lost this time of year last year so there’s a lot of emotions, it’s really cool. We all work so hard and we’re so competitive but it’s really special when your peers want to celebrate you and they show up for you, it’s a pretty cool community and I don’t know many other sports like that.”
Peterson’s road to the Final in South Africa was anything but a walk in the park as she faced some of the toughest draws this week. She successfully dispatched up-and-coming rookie Caitlin Simmers (USA), former runner-up in the world Caroline Marks (USA), and two-time World Champion Tyler Wright (AUS) before besting Picklum in the last heat.
In the Final, a tough start with multiple falls and minor scores didn’t stop the American from believing and the powerful regular foot came back in the fight midway through with a 6.27 (out of a possible 10) before catching the best wave of the heat with an excellent 8.50 that secured her victory.
“I just kept working, just kept knocking on the door and trusting the process, it’s hard sometimes,” Peterson explained. “I love J-Bay and it just loved me right back today to be honest. It was a tricky day and it was easy to be on the wrong side of priority when the good waves came, so a bit of luck in there but I’m pretty proud of myself, this was my third final out here so third time’s a charm.”