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Lakey Peterson and Filipe Toledo Win 2023 Corona Open J-Bay

Lakey Peterson (USA) and Filipe Toledo (BRA) won the Corona Open J-Bay, Stop No. 9 on the World Surf League (WSL) 2023 Championship Tour (CT), in perfectly groomed, three-to-five foot surf at Supertubes.

Pictured: Lakey Petersen (USA) and Filipe Toledo (BRA), winners of the Corona Open J-Bay 2023 Credit: © WSL / Ryder Slightly slower conditions proved challenging for some of the surfers on Finals Day, but the cream rose to the top as the world’s best picked apart the long rights of J-Bay in exciting matchups all day.


Peterson Wins Fifth CT Event, Inches Closer to WSL Final 5 Picture

California’s Lakey Peterson (USA) is officially back to winning form as she claimed a career-fifth event title on the Championship Tour, her first win since 2019. A legitimate world title threat in 2018 and 2019, the powerful surfer from Santa Barbara suffered a lower-back injury early in 2021 and has since been fighting to find her winning formula again. “This is my favorite event on the calendar, it’s just special,” Peterson said. “I’m dedicating this to my sister-in-law who we lost this time of year last year so there’s a lot of emotions, it’s really cool. We all work so hard and we’re so competitive but it’s really special when your peers want to celebrate you and they show up for you, it’s a pretty cool community and I don’t know many other sports like that.” Peterson’s road to the Final in South Africa was anything but a walk in the park as she faced some of the toughest draws this week. She successfully dispatched up-and-coming rookie Caitlin Simmers (USA), former runner-up in the world Caroline Marks (USA), and two-time World Champion Tyler Wright (AUS) before besting Picklum in the last heat. In the Final, a tough start with multiple falls and minor scores didn’t stop the American from believing and the powerful regular foot came back in the fight midway through with a 6.27 (out of a possible 10) before catching the best wave of the heat with an excellent 8.50 that secured her victory. “I just kept working, just kept knocking on the door and trusting the process, it’s hard sometimes,” Peterson explained. “I love J-Bay and it just loved me right back today to be honest. It was a tricky day and it was easy to be on the wrong side of priority when the good waves came, so a bit of luck in there but I’m pretty proud of myself, this was my third final out here so third time’s a charm.”


Toledo Finds Near-Perfection, Adds Third J-Bay Title to Incredible Pedigree

The reigning World Champion and current rankings leader Filipe Toledo (BRA) continued to demonstrate his superiority with a near-perfect display of progressive, technical surfing in the Final against defending event winner Ethan Ewing (AUS). Today’s result marks the Brazilian’s 15th CT win and the third at the famed South African point break after back-to-back wins in 2017 and 2018. “J-Bay sure has a big place in my heart, I love the vibes here and love the people,” Toledo said. “I couldn’t have done it without the help from my team, those in my corner so thanks to all of them. This is definitely a big confidence boost, knowing I clinched the Final 5, now going to Tahiti with the Yellow jersey is extra special.” His third win in 2023 further cemented Toledo’s spot atop the rankings as the tour heads to the last event of the season before the Rip Curl WSL Finals. Impeccable on the long rights of J-Bay where he surfed to an incredible 18.76 heat total (out of a possible 20) in the Final, nothing could stop the Brazilian as he peaked right at the perfect time when it mattered most.



Picklum Breaks Quarterfinal Trend, Posts Second Runner-Up This Season



Molly Picklum (AUS) came firing right out of the gates in 2023 with renewed confidence after a short-lived first CT season last year. The Australian won her first event and wore the Yellow jersey through Bells before a string of four consecutive Quarterfinal exits moved her back slightly in the rankings. She finally broke the trend today in South Africa when she defeated the eight-time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) before advancing past Carissa Moore (HAW) into the Final.


“It’s always interesting on Finals Day when you take down big names like Steph and Carissa that feels like a final,” Picklum reacted. “When you put everything into a heat it’s hard to carry the momentum through the day. To crack the Quarters was amazing, and it’s bittersweet to get second but to do it against one of my best friends on tour, I’m super happy for her. I’m happy we both had a couple of opportunities to get some waves and put on a performance for the fans in South Africa because they’re super passionate here and we love giving them something to watch.”


In the Final, the Australian seemed in control of her destiny with a great start and a good backup. But when her opponent Peterson managed to turn the heat with an excellent number, Picklum wasn’t able to find enough wall on the fast rights at high tide and had to settle for second place.


Today’s result guaranteed Picklum a spot in the WSL Final 5 as the tour heads to the last event of the regular season in Tahiti next month. From a mid-season cut in 2022 to a chance to fight for the World Title in 2023, Picklum’s rise has been incredible to witness and she will likely be contending for the ultimate crown in years to come.


“It’s so good, to be officially in, is so great,” Picklum said. “Last year I was fighting to get back here so to find my feet and back myself, I’m still growing and learning so I’m getting better and I’m honored to be here. I feel like I’ve put blood, sweat, and tears into everything I do. I’m a super passionate and hard-working person so to get a shot at this is going to be epic.”


Ewing Confirms Dominance at J-Bay, Moves Into World Title Conversation

The defending event winner in South Africa, Ethan Ewing (AUS) reached the Final again on a tricky day, only to be denied a second win by an untouchable Toledo. The North Stradbroke Island surfer’s clean, powerful carves once again scored high as he defeated the likes of Jordy Smith (RSA), Connor O'Leary (AUS) and Gabriel Medina (BRA) on his way to the Final. “This place is super special, the first time I came here I felt connected to it and I just had a great week with my dad here with me,” Ewing said. “Back-to-back Finals is pretty cool but Filipe is just too good, he’s the best surfer in the world today so good job to him and good job to the girls who were super inspiring.” The runner-up’s 7,800 points collected today pushed Ewing up into second place on the rankings, clinching him a spot in the WSL Final 5 for a chance to fight for the World Title at Trestles later this year.


WSL Final 5 Race Intensifies as Colapinto, Ewing, Picklum, Marks Clinch Spots



Among all the finals day excitement, a few surfers kept a close look at the ever-evolving CT rankings as they waited on confirmation whether they would have a shot at the World Title come the Rip Curl WSL Finals this September. Today, four of them received the good news, namely Griffin Colapinto (USA), Ethan Ewing (AUS), Molly Picklum (AUS), and Caroline Marks (USA).


“Wow, I only found out this morning when I was with my brother and my Dad,” Colapinto reacted. “I honestly have such stressful memories about the past two years just missing out by a couple of points, so to finally get it this year is just insane. I can go home and relax a bit more. I almost started tearing up earlier. When Kanoa (Igarashi) got that score last year in Tahiti, it was a heartbreaker for me so right now I’m over the moon.”


On the women’s side of the draw, Marks joined Picklum clinching a spot in the WSL Final 5 after Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) failed to advance past the Quarterfinals.


Colapinto, Ewing and Toledo Provisionally Qualify for Olympic Games Paris 2024

Ethan Ewing (AUS) provisionally qualified to represent his country at the upcoming Olympic Games Paris 2024 as he’s guaranteed to be the highest-ranked Australian come year-end. “It’s huge,” Ewing stated. “It’s been a huge goal of mine and to go to the Olympics, especially at a wave like Teahupo’o, it’s going to be exciting and something to work towards.” Griffin Colapinto (USA) and Filipe Toledo (BRA) joined Ewing in provisionally qualifying for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 through their ranking on the WSL CT. “How easily things can turn around!” Colapinto added. “I was so upset after losing in J-Bay yesterday, but these were my goals for this year. I won one CT event and now this, so the only thing left to do is win the title. It’s so cool to put it all down on paper and feel it come to life, it feels so good.” “I feel like now this is the top of the top that we can reach for in our sport,” Toledo added. “Winning a World Title there’s no words for that, but to compete as an Olympian is just extra special. I’ll do my best to go there and represent my country, my family and win another medal for Brazil.”

Women’s Championship Tour Rankings following Corona Open J-Bay:

1 - Carissa Moore (HAW) 57,745 points

2 - Tyler Wright (AUS) 55,980

3 - Caroline Marks (USA) 49,870

4 - Molly Picklum (AUS) 49,325

5 - Caitlin Simmers (USA) 41,270


Men’s Championship Tour Rankings following Corona Open J-Bay:

1 - Filipe Toledo (BRA) 54,980 points

2 - Ethan Ewing (AUS) 47,815

3 - Griffin Colapinto (USA) 47,540

4 - Joao Chianca (BRA) 42,960

5 - Yago Dora (BRA) 36,865


Corona Open J-Bay Women’s Final Results:

1 - Lakey Peterson (USA) 14.70

2 - Molly Picklum (AUS) 13.50


Corona Open J-Bay Men’s Final Results:

1 - Filipe Toledo (BRA) 18.76

2 - Ethan Ewing (AUS) 12.60


Corona Open J-Bay Women’s Semifinal Results:

HEAT 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) 11.47 DEF. Tyler Wright (AUS) 10.00

HEAT 2: Molly Picklum (AUS) 10.00 DEF. Carissa Moore (HAW) 9.40


Corona Open J-Bay Men’s Semifinal Results:

HEAT 1: Ethan Ewing (AUS) 13.50 DEF. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.04

HEAT 2: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.33 DEF. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 10.50


Corona Open J-Bay Women’s Quarterfinal Results:

HEAT 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) 12.93 DEF. Gabriela Bryan (HAW) 12.60

HEAT 2: Lakey Peterson (USA) 14.50 DEF. Caroline Marks (USA) 7.50

HEAT 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.50 DEF. Sarah Baum (RSA) 8.50

HEAT 4: Molly Picklum (AUS) 15.67 DEF. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.10


Corona Open J-Bay Men’s Quarterfinal Results:

HEAT 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.50 DEF. Ian Gentil (HAW) 11.93

HEAT 2: Ethan Ewing (AUS) 14.60 DEF. Connor O'Leary (AUS) 9.87

HEAT 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.33 DEF. Jack Robinson (AUS) 15.06

HEAT 4: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 12.00 DEF. Yago Dora (BRA) 7.10


Watch LIVE: Corona Open J-Bay

The Corona Open J-Bay holds a competition window from July 13, through July 22, 2023. Once called on, the competition will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL’s YouTube channel, and the free WSL app. Check out more ways to watch from the WSL’s broadcast partners. For fans watching in Brazil, coverage of the competition's Quarterfinals and beyond will continue exclusively on WorldSurfLeague.com and SporTV.


The Corona Open J-Bay is proudly supported by Corona, Shiseido, YETI, Surfline, True Surf, Kouga Municipality, and Sealand Gear.


For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.


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