Photo: Surf Channel/Jason Alexander
Written by Lauren Taniyama
The women of the World Championship Tour are astounding; they’re beautiful, humble, well-rounded and just plain awesome. It is so great to see such a high level of surfing coming from them every event this year. It gives everyone something to look forward to for next year. You know it is a short season, when you are left wanting to see more. Let’s cross our fingers for maybe one or two more tour stops for the ladies for 2013.
Today’s semifinal match-ups were ones that we could easily have see in any final throughout the year. Lakey Peterson (USA) and Malia Manuel (HAW) are the top two rookies on tour and have so much to show for it. These two women are pushing the envelope super hard. They are so smooth and their power seems effortless. Neither had won a contest this year, until now. Peterson is a true competitor, and it is pretty obvious.
Malia Manuel started it off and stayed busy catching ten waves before Lakey Peterson caught one. Unfortunately, Peterson was on fire and just built on her scores: 7.0 then 8.77, and of course skip 9, and straight to 10. A perfect 10 on a nice long left where she did two huge snaps out the back, totally vertical, with multiple solid inside jams. She tore the wave apart and made it look relatively easy. Manuel caught more waves but couldn’t answer back.
The second semi-final was one where the winner really rose to the pressure of needing the score in the last seconds of the heat. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) and Carissa Moore (HAW) faced each other a couple times this year and Fitzgibbons got the best of it. Carissa Moore was probably pretty hungry for the win. Fitzgibbons caught a ton of waves before Moore caught her first wave, being selective. She was trailing the entire heat needing a 7.65 in the last seconds she catches a right and goes for broke and busts an air on the inside. She received a 8.20 in the last second and Fitzgibbons tried to answer back and didn’t get the score.
The final was a good battle, it was Moore’s second final for the year and Peterson’s first. Lakey caught a left early on and did two turns out the back with a small inside foam climb for a 6.5 that Carissa was not able to better for the duration of the heat. Moore had a 4.4 on a single cutback and another wave at the end with a last attempt to chip away at the score she needed and received a 5.17. Peterson took her maiden win on the WCT in her first final. Peterson showcased her powerful backside surfing to take down many fierce competitors. This win will indeed give her confidence for next year and of course keep her amped on the next few Women’s Star Events.
Stay tuned for more action from all of these ladies at the next 6 Star ASP Surfing event, the Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro in Oceanside, CA, August 9-12.