World No. 3 Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) came out on top of the women’s opening Seeding Round heat but the fireworks really started in the second matchup, with an amazing three-way battle between Macy Callaghan (AUS), Lakey Peterson (USA) and Nikki Van Dijk (AUS). While Peterson is locked in the World Title race in second position on the rankings, for Callaghan and Van Dijk a result in Peniche could turn their season around with potential requalification through the CT.
All three surfers decided to attack the lefts on their backhand and laid critical turns for good scores in the 6+ range, Callaghan leading the way with two good waves. Peterson seemed safe in the second advancing position until Van Dijk found a last-second opportunity and pulled a miracle comeback to force the world title contender into the Elimination Round 2.
“I’m really happy with that heat it’s always a nice way to start an event,” said Callaghan. “I love beach breaks so I felt very good and comfortable out there. I’m pretty much last so I don’t really have any pressure, you can only go up from there. I’m just having fun and trying to surf my best to show that I’m capable to be here and that I want to be here for a while.”