Lakey’s Lines: All the way to bitter end in beautiful Piha

Hey Guys!!!

Wow!! It’s over, or maybe just begun? Our time here in Piha, New Zealand was a memory of a lifetime. Over 30 countries from every continent, the top junior surfers in the world, in a place so beautiful it’s unreal.

Count down: 5,4,3,2,1. Beep goes the horn. How many times did we hear that while we were out there in the water competing? Twenty minutes can go really fast or really slow according to the position you find yourself in while surfing the heat. If you’re ahead the whole time, it’s slow; if you’re behind, it’s way to fast.

Santa Barbara's Lakey Peterson competing on the final day of the ISA World Junior Championships. (ISA Photo)

Today was the final day of the ISA World Quiksilver Championships. I woke up around 6 a.m. and headed straight for a surf. The waves were perfect 3-4 foot peeling perfect rights. At last an unbelievable day of flawless conditions.

I had to still surf two heats to make it into the final. My first heat began at 9:20. I started out with a 5, then I got a 6, then I got a 7, and then…I dropped a 9! My best score of the entire week!

I won my heat and was now headed to the semifinals. In that there was Malia Manuel from Hawaii, Felicity Palmateer from Australia, and Alessa Quizon from Hawaii. This was no walk in the park, all those girls rip! I was able to keep it together and pull off winning another heat with good solid scores. Alessa and I moved on.

The event site for this year's competition was nothing short of breathtaking. (ISA Photo)

The final was an hour later. Tyler Wright, last year’s champion from Australia, was in it with myself, Alessa, and Sarah Baum from South Africa.

Hawaii has their own team , not part of the USA, go figure. Anyways. The waves here shift all around when the tide drops dramatically, so the waves went from the right handers over to the left side of the beach to a left hander.

It was very difficult to read. I kinda got stuck over in a corner where all the waves seemed to wall up and dump a bit. It wasn’t easy for anyone. Tyler Wright, had the “right” idea and took the middle section of the beach, where no other surfers were. She ended up getting two pretty high scores at the beginning and held the lead most of the time.

Australia's Tyler Wright is carried up the beach by teammates after winning the Under-18 girls four-person final. (ISA Photo)

I was in 3rd till the very end, when Alessa Quizon caught a good one and dropped an 8.3. She then went to first but Tyler Wright answered back with a quick 8.5 and ended up winning. The gal from South Africa ended up passing me by 2 one hundredths of a point as well. I was impatient and went for a smaller wave at about 1 minute to go. I didn’t get the score I needed and then it was too late to paddle out and try for another wave.

VIEW COMPETE RESULTS

It was awesome being part of the competition and to stand on the podium and represent the United States of America was a dream. Our team placement overall was a bronze, 3rd place. We had high hopes of winning gold, but it wasn’t our turn .

We definitely had the potential and everyone surfed really well, but there were some unexpected upsets.

The boys 18 final was amazing with Gabriel Medina from Brazil winning with a 9 and another 9. We had no Americans in that heat. For the boys 16-and-under Jake Halstead from La Jolla grabbed the silver. He was the only other American beside myself to medal.

Thank you Santa Barbara for all your emails, your support , positive thoughts and prayers. We couldn’t have done it without you. I won’t be home till March, so I’ll just keep writing. Now its off to Australia next for more adventures…hopefully no sharks!!!

Chow for now…Lakey’s Lines

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