Lakey Peterson is back.
The Santa Barbara professional surfer returned to the podium on the World Surfing League’s Women’s Championship Tour, finishing second at the season-opening Roxy Pro Gold Coast in Australia on Sunday.
Peterson was beaten by six-time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore of Australia. It was Gilmore’s first victory on the WISL Tour since October 2014 and her sixth win at the Roxy Pro, which is held on her home break at Snapper Rocks.
“I can’t complain too much with the result,” said Peterson, who missed half of last season after suffering a broken ankle. “I just missed it by one spot. It keeps the fire lit in me. (Finishing second) stings a little but I’m enjoying this moment for sure. I really think I put together a great contest and did my absolute best.”
Peterson had a great week at Snapper Rocks. Entered as an injury wildcard, she posted consistently high scores throughout the competition, including a perfect 10 in Round 2 and the two highest heat totals of the event.
“It was a really fun time and I’m so stoked the waves worked out as well. We got pumping surf for this event. To compete against Stephanie here gives me chills and is one to remember,” she said.
The tour’s next stop is the Margaret River Pro in Western Australia.
“Margaret River is a big shift, but I’m excited this year,” said Peterson. who finished sixth on the tour two years in a row before the injury-plagued 2016. “I feel pretty comfortable in the bigger stuff now so I hope we get some waves. Everyone is surfing so well this year so it’s really fun to be part of it. I want to win the World Title for sure. After sitting on the sidelines and watching Tyler [Wright] dominate last year, I wanted to tap into that and come out guns blazing.”
In the men’s Quiksilver Pro at Snapper Rocks, Santa Barbara’s Connor Coffin advanced to the fifth round before being eliminated by eventual champion Owen Wright.
— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.