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Tuesday, March 19 , 2019, 1:15 am | Fair 53º

 
 
 
 

Waves of Young Surfers Join Lakey Peterson at Inaugural Leadbetter Beach Surf Competition

Popular local pro surfer partners with Surf Happens to help inspire kids to paddle out and follow in her wake

Santa Barbara native and champion surfer Lakey Peterson helps Brooklyn Gittisarn, 7, catch a wave during the inaugural Lakey Peterson Leadbetter Classic surf competition Saturday at Leadbetter Beach. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara native and champion surfer Lakey Peterson helps Brooklyn Gittisarn, 7, catch a wave during the inaugural Lakey Peterson Leadbetter Classic surf competition Saturday at Leadbetter Beach. (Mike Eliason / Noozhawk photo)

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

Scores of young surfers stormed Santa Barbara’s Leadbetter Beach on Saturday for the inaugural Lakey Peterson Leadbetter Classic surf competition.

The free event was open to all skill levels for youths 14 and under, and no one was eliminated in the first round.

The competition was hosted by the nonprofit Surf Happens, an arm of the Surf Happens Surf School. Organizers hope to make the Lakey Peterson Leadbetter Classic an annual December event.

The day’s events also included a surfing class to promote the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation.

Peterson, 20, a champion professional surfer who grew up in Montecito, first competed in a Surf Happens Santa Barbara Surfing Series event at Campus Point when she was 9 years old. She has been a longtime Surf Happens supporter, including as a regular at the annual Rincon Classic.

Before she was 13, Peterson had won several National Scholastic Surfing Association​ titles and, at 14, won the NSSA Open Women’s Title. As a 16 year old, she was runner-up in the 2011 U.S. Open of Surfing, and earned a spot on the official Association of Surfing Professionals Women’s World Tour.

She is currently ranked No. 6 in the world on the 2014 tour.

Noozhawk news editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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