The first stop on the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), Roxy Pro Gold Coast, witnessed an incredible start to the season as Lakey Peterson (USA) claimed victory in extraordinary conditions at Kirra on the Gold Coast of Australia.

Peterson blitzed through the competition with the goal to surpass her 2017 Roxy Pro runner-up finish. The Californian was unstoppable as she took down two-time WSL Champion Tyler Wright (AUS) in the Quarterfinals, Malia Manuel (HAW) in the Semifinals, and Keely Andrew (AUS) in the Final.

I don’t even know what to say to say — there is too much emotion, I feel like I’ve been working for seven years to get another win. Just to finally have it, it’s super surreal, and I’m so grateful. It beats you down if you don’t ever win something. It’s been a while, so the hard work pays off. I just got such a great support crew. It’s so awesome. Mike [Parsons] and I have literally been working together forever and that win means so much to the both of us.

Lakey Peterson

Peterson is one of the most consistent high-scoring surfers on Tour and continues to push performance boundaries in the competitive space. The intensity and innovation brought by Peterson are now paying off with her first CT win since 2012. Last season, the Californian had previously earned runner-up finishes at this event and in France but now overtakes Wright for the top spot on the Jeep Leaderboard.

I’m going to hold onto that Jeep yellow jersey until the very last event, My goal is to stay steady the whole year and just believe in myself and enjoy the ride. I feel like I’m finally comfortable with my life and with my surfing where I just really want to enjoy it. Thanks to the WSL for giving us such great conditions today, and pushing us and really helping us elevate our level. It’s just such a fun time to be a part of it all, and I just feel humbled and blessed to be here doing what I love.

Lakey Peterson

Peterson dominated the Final from the get-go, posting an excellent 8.00 point ride for a long barrel ride. She then backed it up immediately with a 7.67, leaving Andrew in a combination situation (needing two scores). Andrew was unable to find a wave of substance, which left Peterson to take the first event win of 2018.

Previously, Andrew took down Australian superstar Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) in the Semifinals and six-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) in the Quarterfinals. The runner-up result for Andrew is the second Finals appearance of her career. Andrew, who powerfully charged into the new season, will look to continue to climb the rankings and earn her first CT victory. The 23-year-old Australian will now vault from 11th to 2nd on the Jeep Leaderboard.

Roxy Pro Gold Coast Final Results:
1 – Lakey Peterson (USA) 15.67
2 – Keely Andrew (AUS) 5.67

2018 Women’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (After Roxy Pro Gold Coast):
1 -Lakey Peterson (USA) 10,000 pts
2 – Keely Andrew (AUS) 7,800 pts
3 – Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 6,085 pts
3 – Malia Manuel (HAW) 6,085 pts

Roxy Pro Gold Coast Semifinal Results:
Heat 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) 11.00 def. Malia Manuel (HAW) 8.33
Heat 2: Keely Andrew (AUS) 7.50 def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 6.77

2018 WSL Men’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (After Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast):
1 -Julian Wilson (AUS) 10,000 pts
2 – Adrian Buchan (AUS) 7,800 pts
3 – Griffin Colapinto (USA) 6,085 pts
3 – Tomas Hermes (BRA) 6,085 pts