SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Santa Barbara's Lakey Peterson was back in fine form at the first stop of the WSL Championship Tour of Surfing and is now the No. 2 ranked women's professional surfer in the world.
At the Roxy Pro Gold Coast in Australia, Peterson faced six-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore in the final and came in second place. Peterson scored a perfect 10 in round two.
"I can't complain too much with the result. I just missed it by one spot, so it keeps the fire lit in me. It stings a little, but I really think I put together a great contest and did my absolute best," Peterson said.
Peterson was seeded 16th in the world, but moved up 14 spots after her progressive surfing in the competition.
The accomplishment is no small feat considering Peterson was sidelined with a broken ankle at the start of 2016, and was prevented from competing for most of the year.
"For me, it all just finally came together. Last year was pretty hard with the ankle injury," Peterson said. "I just never felt I hit my stride. I had a lot going on, physically and mentally."
Peterson is well on her way in the hunt for the world title.
"I worked so hard this offseason and I was like, 'Just go surf and stop thinking about every single wave,' and you got to adapt and roll with it," Peterson said.
The next stop on the WSL tour is in western Australia for the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro on March 29.
"Margaret River is a big shift, but I'm excited this year," Peterson said. "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."
For more information about the tour, click here.