Huge Victory For Caroline Marks At the Meo Rip Curl | Portugal

Caroline Marks vs. Lakey Peterson

Caroline Marks , the 17-year-old surfing phenomenon, showed once again that she is a major threat to the world’s best surfers and now has a shot at a maiden World Title in only her second year on the elite Tour heading into the Hawaii Pro in Maui next month, starting November 25. 

Caroline Marks © Masurel/WSL

“That was incredible I’ve been dreaming of making a Final against Lakey Peterson and we’ve been talking about it since I started working with Mike Parsons,” said Marks. “I just want to say thanks to her for pushing me so much, I wouldn’t be here without her. That was super fun, I’m so stoked this is the best year of my life and I can’t believe it!”

Caroline Marks © Poullenot/WSL

Caroline Marks claimed a second event win this season (after the Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast) in only her second season on the Championship Tour to get even closer in the World Title race conversation. The young sophomore eclipsed seven-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore in the Quarters before eliminating Tatiana Weston-Webb  in the Semis and Peterson in the Final. The Floridian came in ranked fourth on the Jeep Leaderboard and will leave Europe in third position after a runner-up in France and the win in Peniche.

“I’m just trying to live in the moment but staying in the Title Race is the goal,” she added. “I want to go all the way for sure, that’s so exciting. I’m not going to change anything, I’m just going to surf all day and have fun.”

Caroline Marks got the nod in the first half of the women’s Final, nailing a couple of good turns on her lethal backhand to build a healthy 12 point total and push Lakey Peterson against the ropes early on. The 17-year-old stayed patient in the lineup while Peterson scoured the beach for opportunities and once again Marks got the better of the next exchange to improve her lead and put Lakey Peterson in a combination situation

Caroline Marks © Poullenot/WSL

Lakey Peterson has arguably been one of the strongest surfers in the back half of the 2019 Championship Tour season, posting an equal 3rd, two runner-ups and a win in the last four events to tighten up the World Title race before the last event of the season. In a remake of their Roxy Pro France Semifinal, Peterson this time eliminated the Jeep Frontrunner Carissa Moore to make her way in the Final today. She solidifies her second spot on the Jeep Leaderboard and narrows down the Title Race to less than 3,500 points between her and Moore.

“It’s almost like I put too much into that Semifinal and ran out of fuel in the Final,” said Peterson. “There is so much on the line for everyone right now, and I was just so stoked to have a heat with Carissa again in conditions that were a bit better. I was so stoked to make the Final with Caroline, we surf a ton together and she’s pushed me a lot so I just want to say congratulations to you, Caroline, you really deserved it.”

Lakey Peterson © Poullenot/WSL

With a third equal 3rd place finish this season, Carissa Moore retains the Jeep Yellow jersey heading into the final event of the season, but the gap with Lakey Peterson and Caroline Marks has melted slightly with the two Americans’ results today. The domination of the three compatriots atop the Jeep Leaderboard marks a historic first in 38 years, since the Margo Oberg , Liz Benavidez  and Brenda Scott-Rogers  era in the 1981 season.

Women’s Championship Tour Top 5:
1 - Carissa Moore (HAW) - 58,600 pts
2 - Lakey Peterson (USA) - 55,125 pts
3 - Caroline Marks (USA) - 53,410 pts
4 - Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) - 48,950 pts
5 - Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) - 44,555 pts