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Lakey Peterson ready for WSL resumption

Lakey Peterson says anticipation is building ahead of the World Surf League's return in Newcastle.

 Fresh out of hotel quarantine, American star Lakey Peterson feels the World Surf League has pressed reset as the tour finally kicks off again next week in Newcastle.

The tour opened in Hawaii last December, with Australia's Tyler Wright winning the women's event and Hawaiian John John Florence the men's.

But due to COVID, WSL competitions in California and Portugal, as well as the iconic Bells Beach Classic, were cancelled.

Australia will host the next four - Merewether and Narrabeen in April and Margaret River and Rottnest Island in May.

"It feels like the first event of the year, everyone is so fired up," Peterson told AAP.

"It's so good to see the energy of everyone, they're so excited."

In order to get the WSL back up and running, all international surfers arrived on a charter flight and have spent two weeks in hotel quarantine in Sydney, allowed out last Monday.

Unlike some of the tennis players in hard lockdown in Melbourne before the Australian Open, the surfers at least had opening windows.

Married to Australian surfer Thomas Allan, Peterson said quarantining with her husband made it easier than for many, and she enjoyed the downtime.

Peterson, 26, said it was the longest she'd been out of the water since she was a kid.

"Aside from any injuries that was definitely the longest I haven't surfed or being out of the ocean since I was probably eight-years-old but in a way it was weirdly good to switch off," she said.

"I just totally didn't even think about surfing the whole time and in ways it was needed cause some times you don't realise you need a break until you get one."

She said that Australian surfers, such as Wright and Olympians Fitzgibbons and Stephanie Gilmore, would have a slight advantage having being able to train through that fortnight.

"They've all been surfing and have been able to put more time in so they've had a little bit of an advantage but we still have 10 days to get everything back," she said.

"An American, Jennifer Brady, was in hard lockdown and made the final of the tennis Open so it proves that a lot of it's mental."

Peterson hoped that being married to an Australian since early 2019 and spending plenty of time at their home break of Bells Beach, she would be well supported in Newcastle.

"My husband and I were so happy when the plane landed in Australia, we were like 'Yes, we're back home'.

"I love it here and I guess in a way I'm half Australian now so I really enjoy it."

Australian Associated Press

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