Lakey Peterson (USA), 17, 2012 Nike US Open of Surfing Champion!!!
HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Sunday, August 5, 2012) – Lakey Peterson (USA), 17, defeated Carissa Moore (HAW), 19, to clinch the final event of the 2012 ASP Women’s World Championship Tour season, the Nike US Open of Surfing, in front of a capacity crowd at Huntington Beach.
?I don?t even know what to say – I?m speechless,? Peterson said. ?The Final was really slow and I was pretty bummed because I wish we both could have got some really good waves. I?m so stoked and I really wanted to win on a high note.?
Into her first year amongst the women’s elite, Peterson capped off her season on the highest of notes, bettering last year’s Runner-Up finish at the Nike US Open where she competed as a wildcard.
?I?ve been staying calm and sticking to my game plan,? Peterson said. ?I haven?t been letting anything else faze me and I?ve been staying focused and going out and surfing and having a really good time. I?ve loved every minute of this event and it?s been great.?
Peterson finished the 2012 ASP Women’s World Championship Tour season in 7th place.
The 2012 Nike US Open of Surfing provided a window of redemption for Moore after a relatively lackluster year of results. The 2011 ASP Women’s World Champion came off of last year collecting a slew of wins and Finals appearances, but has struggled to replicate the same form this season. Today’s Runner-Up finish was a step in the right direction for the young Hawaiian and Moore will come back in 2013 re-focused and revitalized.
“It was a good event for me,” Moore said. “Lakey (Peterson) was surfing really well all event and it’s a deserved win. I haven’t have the best year in terms of results so to finish with a Finals berth is a positive place to build on for next year. I’m really looking forward to the break and working hard for next year and this gets me fired up for next year, for sure”
Moore finishes the 2012 ASP Women’s World Championship Tour season rated No. 3. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 21, last year’s event winner, went down in a controversial and extremely-close Semifinal bout against Moore. Having the young Hawaiian on the ropes early, Fitzgibbons watched as Moore chipped away at her significant lead before clinching the win in the final moments of the heat.
“It’s a tough one,” Fitzgibbons said. “No one wants to lose like that. It was a split (judging) panel and I felt like I surfed to the criteria. I had built myself a good momentum through the event and felt like I was ready for the Finals. We’re athletes. We’re here to win and anything less than that is always going to be a disappointment.”
Despite the today’s frustrating loss, Fitzgibbons has had another incredible year, finishing Runner-Up on the elite ASP Women’s World Championship Tour rankings.
“It was a good year for me,” Fitzgibbons said. “Runner-Up is another great finish for me, but the goal is the World Title. As soon as Steph (Gilmore) clinched in France, my mindset went from challenging to preparing for 2013. This event was the first part of 2013 for me mentally. I win would have been better, but I’ll just focus on the things I can do to get myself ready for next year now.”
Malia Manuel (HAW), 18, was a solid performer this week at Huntington Beach, culminating an impressive maiden year amongst the world’s elite with an Equal 3rd place finish and clinching the highly-coveted ASP Women’s Rookie of the Year Award.
?It?s my second best result, the Semis, and it?s a really good finish to the year,? Manuel said. ?The day before yesterday I knew I just had to make the Quarters to win the Rookie of the Year award and that was my goal. It?s a great award to win especially with the past rookies that have won and it?s such an honor. Especially this year, the other rookies are so progressive and women?s surfing is at its highest point.?