|Keely Andrew (AUS), the replacement surfer for Tyler Wright (AUS), dispatched World No. 2 Caroline Marks (USA) in R/16, Heat 3. Andrew suffered a knee injury in October last year that pulled her out of the final two events of the season and hindered her requalification for the 2019 CT. Now as the replacement for Wright, Andrew has had the past five events to make a comeback for a full-time spot on the 2020 CT. Today’s result is Andrew’s first move past the R/16, and she will work to continue her run at one of her favorite events. Andrew will be against event favorite Lima in the second Quarterfinal.
“I got pretty winded just paddling out,” said Andrew. “I passed by Sally (Fitzgibbons) and she said, ‘Good luck in the washing machine,’ but that’s what we train for and it feels good when you can pull it off. I’m using the same equipment that I used at Margaret River so I’m confident in this board and trusting myself. I love Brasil and I always have, it’s one of my favorite countries in the world. The people are always so passionate and the energy is so positive, plus I love my farofa and beans.”
Marks now exits in Equal 9th, her second Round 3 elimination in 2019 after a first-place finish on the Gold Coast and two Final Series appearances at Bells and in Western Australia.
2018 Oi Rio Pro runner-up Lakey Peterson (USA) eliminated rookie Macy Callaghan (AUS) in the first heat of the R/16. Earlier this month, Peterson conquered the wild conditions in Western Australia for the win and showed the same composure today in the rough surf. Peterson will match-up with Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), who took down Johanne Defay (FRA) in R/16, Heat 2.
“I was out there while it was still dark because I was in the first heat and I just wanted to feel it before I got out there in a heat, that’s something super important to me,” said Peterson. “I went out on a 5’,9” and thought ‘nope’, there’s too much water moving, so I moved up to a bigger board. But I’m super stoked to make it through because it was a really grindy heat. It’s really hard out there, so you’ve got adapt and I eventually found that right for a backup score. I think it’s a good challenge for me and I am always willing to learn something new. The Title race is super close and I feel like this event can really distance the pack.”