The first stop on the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast, witnessed an incredible start to the season as Lakey Peterson (USA) and Julian Wilson (AUS) claimed victory today in extraordinary conditions at Kirra on the Gold Coast of Australia.
The season kicked off this month and featured multiple upsets as well as all the essential ingredients that make for a quality cup of surfing, instilling the notion that anything can happen on the tour. In addition to Peterson and Wilson taking the wins today, a new generation of surfers stepped up to showcase their progression, determination, and potential.
Peterson smoked through the comp, looking determined to surpass her Roxy Pro runner-up finish in 2017 taking down two-time WSL Champ Tyler Wright in the quarters and got the better of Keely Andrew 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.”
“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.”
In the end, the final was all Peterson putting up a solid 8.00 ride which she then backed up with a respectable 7.67. This left Andrew requiring a combo, however, she was unable to find a solid enough wave of substance giving Peterson the first event of the year,
In more news from the podium, Julian Wilson has had one helluva start to the season after picking up a shoulder injury as well as the birth of his child with wife Ashley, last week. Prior to the start of the competition, speculation was in the air with regard to whether or not Wilson would surf the event let alone go on to win it making it the fourth CT win of his career.
“This is a childhood dream come true to come down from the Sunshine Coast and win the Quiksilver Pro. This is the closest event to home for me and watching guys win this event when I was younger is what lit the fire for me to want to be on Tour, so to win, is very special. I learned a lot about myself at this event, and through this injury, and the birth of my baby girl, Olivia, and my wife, Ashley. Honestly, watching the birth of my first child gave me an unbelievable strength to just suck up the pain in my shoulder, and come down here, and do what I needed to do. My wife has been a huge inspiration through the whole experience, so I want to thank Ashley for that.”
Wilson will sport the yellow Jeep Leader Jersey heading into the next stop on the CT, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach competition, which starts March 28 and runs through April 8, 2018.
“I’m happy to have a better result in Australia than I did after all three events in Australia last year,” continued Wilson. “There’s a massive positive in that. I’m looking forward to Bells, to compete again and work off this injury.”
The men’s final was intense with both surfers trading blows out on the wave tucking into some cranking tubes as they searched for the win. Wilson rocked his first wave with a near perfect 9.93 as he came screaming out of a heavy barrel out at Kirra. The wave was cooking and the two finalists supplied the viewers with a masterclass of surfing, as Wilson and Buchan continued to charge the Kirra sets, making for a nervy finish. In the end, fought back with a 6.50 and an 8.60 but was unable to overtake his fellow Aussie.
“Obviously you want to win events, but I’m so happy to see Julian take this one out,” Buchan said. “I know he’s had so much to deal with recently with his injury and becoming a father, so this win would feel so amazing for him. Sharing pumping Kirra with one other person out — who happens to be your mate — is incredible. I don’t think you could ask for anything better than that.”
Griffin Colapinto (USA), was by far the standout rookie when he shocked the surfing community with a perfect 10 to crack open the start of the 2018 CT season. Colapinto collected three deep barrels on a single wave on the way to his perfect ride. The 19-year-old claimed some solid wins over tour veterans such as Joel Parkinson and Michel Bourez. Np doubt eyes will be on the young man as we move into the next event.
“I’ve never had three barrels on one wave so it felt amazing, particularly in a heat,” Colapinto said. “I think it was the best wave of my life. I’m so happy to get third in my first event. I’m loving the CT and hope I won’t be going anywhere for a very long time. I’m loving it here in Australia, the people on the Gold Coast are the best.”
The world’s best surfers will now head to Bells Beach for the Rip Curl Pro, Stop No. 2 on the WSL Championship Tour, starting March 28 through April 8, 2018.
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Final Results:
1 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 17.43
2 – Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.10
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 10.00 def. Tomas Hermes (BRA) 9.17
SF 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.77 def. Griffin Colapinto (USA) 11.66
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.50 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 2.50
QF 2: Tomas Hermes (BRA) 8.73 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 7.33
QF 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.44 def. Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 10.00
QF 4: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 16.43 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.44
Roxy Pro Gold Coast Final Results:
1 – Lakey Peterson (USA) 15.67
2 – Keely Andrew (AUS) 5.67
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
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