Wright into semis at Bells

IN ACTION: Tyler Wright advanced into the semi-finals of the Women’s Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, defeating Lakey Peterson (USA) with a heat total of 12.94 points (out of a possible 20.00) in the third quarter-final at Bells Beach yesterday.
IN ACTION: Tyler Wright advanced into the semi-finals of the Women’s Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, defeating Lakey Peterson (USA) with a heat total of 12.94 points (out of a possible 20.00) in the third quarter-final at Bells Beach yesterday. Kelly Cestari

FORMER Lennox Head surfer Tyler Wright has advanced to the semi-finals of the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach, Victoria.

She had a hard-fought quarter-final win against American Lakey Peterson in scrappy conditions yesterday.

Wright made the most of the increasing onshore conditions, smashing out a pair of six-point rides.

A 12.94 (out of a possible 20) was enough for her to finish ahead of Peterson (10.66). "I just rolled with it and didn't panic or anything," Wright said.

"When I saw a wave I just went for it and it turned out that I got two good ones.

"So did Lakey, she only had two as well.

"Lakey is a phenomenal surfer and the type that if you give her an inch she'll make you pay for it."

Wright finished runner-up on the World Championship Tour in 2013 and has been consistent this season.

Earlier she overcame Peterson and Laura Enever in the third round to advance straight to the quarter-finals.

Wright will take on five-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore in the semi-final.

The semi-finals and men's event were called off yesterday afternoon after the swell dropped off.

Contest officials are convening this morning to make the next call.

Meanwhile, another former local, Owen Wright, and Lennox Head surfer Adam Melling are still in the men's section of the event.

Both have made their way into the fifth round.

Standing in Melling's way is multiple world champion and surfing legend Kelly Slater.

Wright will also face tough competition from in-form Hawaiian Freddy Patacchia junior.

He has shown glimpses of his best since returning from a back injury in 2014.

Wright was able to beat defending Rip Curl Pro champion Adrian de Souza in an earlier heat.

"It's a big deal for me and I'm happy to get through it," Wright said.

"Snapper Rocks and Margaret River ... things didn't work out.

"I broke some boards in free-surfs, went over the falls and took sets on the head."



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