Lakey Peterson Falls Out of World Title Race at lululemon Maui Pro
2 December, 2019
The lululemon Maui Pro, the final stop on the World Surf League (WSL) Women’s Championship Tour (CT), commenced today with the first three rounds of competition in four-to-six foot (1.2 – 1.8 meter) waves at Honolua Bay. With only one day left of the women’s 2019 season, the World Title will come down to the final day of competition that is likely to run tomorrow.
World No. 2 Peterson’s World Title Dreams Cut Short by Wright in R/16
For the second year in a row, Peterson fell short of the World Title with an early elimination in Maui. This time, Peterson’s World Title and Olympic dreams were cut short by Tyler Wright (AUS), who returned to competition at this event after a 17-month recovery from illness. The close heat saw Peterson lose out by only 1.07 points with a 9th place finish.
“That was a rough blow, but that is the way it goes,” said Peterson. “Super stoked Tyler is back, to be honest, as weird as that sounds. I know she has been through a very long road so she deserves it. Great job to Carissa and Caroline. They’ve had incredible an incredible year so whatever happens with them will be exciting.”
“I definitely made errors and so I think I will go back and look at that and try to learn for next year,” Peterson continued. “I guess to be World Champ you can’t really make those mistakes so in my mind then I didn’t deserve it. I prepared as well as I possibly could so at least I took that off the list and didn’t have any doubts in my mind with boards or equipment or preparation. I really did my best there. I think there is a lot to learn for me and hopefully it will just make me better and one day I will walk up this cliff happy.”
Carissa Moore and Caroline Marks Ready for World Title Showdown
The dramatic elimination of Peterson now sets the battle between Carissa Moore (HAW) and Caroline Marks (USA). Moore blazed through her heats today, while Marks had a shaky start with the challenging morning conditions.
A loss in the first heat of the day sent Marks into the Elimination Round, but she redeemed herself with an excellent 8.83 (out of a possible 10) and a strong 7.00 to win the heat and eliminate Australian Keely Andrew in Equal 17th place. The 17-year-old continued to the Round of 16 where she dispatched Coco Ho (HAW) to climb one step closer to the World Title and secure her spot for the Olympics with her provisional qualification.
Moore’s hunt for her fourth World Title will continue into Finals Day after winning her Round 1 heat and her Round of 16 heat, taking out event wildcardSummer Macedo (HAW). To clinch the World Title, Moore will need to make the Finals but could potentially match-up with Marks in the Semifinal, should they both advance from the Quarterfinal. Moore will be against Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) in Quarterfinal 3, while Marks will be in Quarterfinal 4 against seven-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS).
“A lot of emotion and a lot of different pressures and stress, but I am really stoked to be going into Finals Day,” said Moore. “I love this wave. It is actually a bit of a different direction so I am learning a lot but enjoying it all. I am feeling good. I’ve gone into this event saying I am in my own lane and I am just trying to do my own thing. I wish the best for Caroline, she’s had such a great year so far and I know she’s worked incredibly hard, and so has Lakey. I have a tremendous support crew here so I am going to go spend time with them, have a mellow night and get ready for tomorrow.”
The World Title scenarios ahead of the lululemon Maui Pro:
– If Carissa Moore wins Maui, she clinches the World Title;
– If Moore gets a 3rd, Caroline Marks needs a 1st;
– If Moore gets a 5th, Marks needs a 2nd to force a Surf Off for World Title decision in Maui
Multiple qualification and requalification scenarios were contingent on World No. 10 Brisa Hennessy’s success at this event as only the Top 10 surfers on the CT Jeep Leaderboard and Top 6 on the Qualifying Series (QS) qualify for the 2020 Championship Tour Japan’s Amuro Tsuzuki needed Hennessy to double qualify (qualify via both CT and QS) in order claim a spot on the 2020 CT. On the other hand, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) and Silvana Lima (BRA) needed Hennessy to lose early in order to try to surpass her current ranking on the Jeep Leaderboard.
An incredibly close heat saw Hennessy narrowly lose to Johanne Defay(FRA) in Round 2. Van Dijk, who sat at No. 11 on the Jeep Leaderboard, capitalized on Hennessy’s loss with a victory over 2018 event runner-up Malia Manuel (HAW). With Lima, Coco Ho (HAW), and Paige Hareb (NZL) losing in their R/16 heats, Van Dijk clinched her 2020 qualification spot with her Quarterfinal entry.
Carissa Moore (HAW), Caroline Marks (USA), Silvana Lima (BRA), and Brisa Hennessy (CRI) have provisionally qualified through the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT). Moore and Marks will represent USA, Lima will represent Brasil, and Hennessy will represent Costa Rica at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“I am honored to be going to the Olympics next year and representing the US,” said Moore. “I haven’t even let myself dream about it because I wanted to make it and then finally dream about it. I am excited to go home and celebrate with my family. More work to do tomorrow for Finals Day but overall I am so grateful and happy.”
“I’m over the moon, this is probably one of the biggest moments of my career so it’s a special day for sure and I’ve got my whole family here,” said Marks. “It’s so rad to be part of surfing at this time and I’m really stoked. This is something super cool and that no one can ever take away from me. I’m honored to represent my country and I want to thank everyone that’s in my corner, I wouldn’t be here without them.”
“I’m completely speechless and honored,” said Hennessy. “This has ended my season on such a positive note. I’m filled with gratitude to have Costa Rica and so many supportive people behind me. It’s going to be great to put surfing on the Olympic map. I want to be able to show the world the beautiful sport that it is and to have the opportunity to be one of those surfers. I think everyone should be a surfer and I think the ocean is very healing and to spread that love for surfing and the ocean is very exciting!”
“The dream has come true so let’s go Brasil,” said Lima. “This is really special for me and I never thought this was going to happen. I used to think about being in the Olympics and now that dream has come true. I am so happy that I get to do this for Brasil, for my family, my sponsors, my team and I’ll be there!”
Surfing will make its Olympic debut in Tokyo in 2020 and the 2019 WSL CT, the elite year-long tour that crowns the World Champions each season, will be an important qualification pathway for the world’s best surfers.
The next call for the lululemon Maui Pro will be tomorrow at 7:00 a.m. HST for a possible 7:35 a.m. start. The event will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com and the free WSL app. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.