Lakey Peterson took top marks in the high-scoring first round of the 2013 Roxy Pro Gold Coast on Sunday afternoon. The 18-year-old Californian closed out 2012 just shy of a Rookie of the Year title with her win at the Nike U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach. She returned for her sophomore season more ardent than ever, nabbing the highest wave and highest heat scores of the round.
"I was just having a blast, getting my feet wet, getting back to contest surfing again, and I just really was selective on the waves I went on. I think that's kind of what you need to do out there, is just pick the right ones," Peterson said. "It's so good to be back. I love the Gold Coast and I love contests and … just the start of the year. It's exciting."
Atrocious weather marked the first day of the 2013 ASP Women's World Tour season. However, some dolphins didn't mind the pouring rain and occasionally glassy 3- to 4-foot waves in Rainbow Bay, just up the beach from Snapper Rocks. And the ladies were on fire.
Defending champion and reigning ASP Women's World Champ Steph Gilmore tucked into a couple of little barrels and ended up with a pair of 8.0s, playfully sending Sage Erickson and wild-card Dimity Stoyle to Round 2. Gilmore seemed primarily concerned with enjoying herself, which seems to go hand in hand with winning heats.
"That end section in front of the headland there [at Greenmount] is one of my favorite places to surf in the entire world," she said, "so to have it in a heat with people on the headland watching you surf … I've actually never had a heat down there before. It was really cool."
World No. 2 Sally Fitzgibbons and former world champion Sofia Mulanovich put forth stellar performances as they waged war in Heat 4. Fitzgibbons won the heat 17.77 to 17.43, telling the ASP, "I really wanted to go out there and push myself. Silvana [Lima] and Sof were really flaring in that heat so it was a lot of fun."
Coco Ho, Carissa Moore, and Pauline Ado all looked sharp and posted excellent scores as well. Roxy Pro officials will convene at 6:30 a.m. Monday for a possible 8 a.m. start.
ROXY PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Pauline Ado (FRA) 16.17, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.66, Laura Enever (AUS) 12.97
Heat 2: Coco Ho (HAW) 16.87, Tyler Wright (AUS) 15.34, Rebecca Woods (AUS) 10.83
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.84, Sage Erickson (USA) 11.90, Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 8.54
Heat 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 17.77, Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 17.43, Silvana Lima (BRA) 13.67
Heat 5: Carissa Moore (HAW) 16.66, Paige Hareb (NZL) 11.60, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 7.76
Heat 6: Lakey Peterson (USA) 19.13, Malia Manuel (HAW) 14.36, Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 11.27
ROXY PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Paige Hareb (NZL) vs. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF)
Heat 2: Laura Enever (AUS) vs. Rebecca Woods (AUS)
Heat 3: Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Dimity Stoyle (AUS)
Heat 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA) vs. Sofia Mulanovich (PER)
Heat 5: Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Alana Blanchard (HAW)
Heat 6: Silvana Lima (BRA) vs. Sage Erickson (USA)