Tuach & Richards Win Big In Barbados

November 17, 2015 • WSL

  • WSL Sprite Soup Bowl Pro Junior. This year's WSL Sprite Soup Bowl Pro Junior and Barbados Surfing Association Independence Pro returned to the finest Bajan surf spot on the island with a couple hundred of the world's best young surfers in tow. Photo: WSL/Nathaniel Harrington
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  • Maddie Peterson. Photo: Harrington
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  • Chelsea Tuach. Photo: WSL/Harrington
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  • Brisa Hennessy. Photo: WSL/Harrington
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  • Jacob Burke. Photo: WSL/Harrington
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  • Josh Burke. Photo: WSL/Harrington
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  • Matt Passaquindici. Photo: WSL/Harrington
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  • Griffin Colapinto. Photo: WSL/Harrington
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  • Photo: WSL/Harrington
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  • Noah Schweizer. Photo: Harrington
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  • Dane Mackie. Photo: Harrington
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  • Photo: WSL/Harrington
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  • Boys U12 finalists. Photo: Mark Harris
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  • Boys U16 finalists. Photo: Mark Harris
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Winning their last career Junior events, Cam Richards (USA) and Chelsea Tuach (BRB) earned the World Surf League (WSL) Sprite Soup Bowl Junior Pro titles today, as Tuach solidified the North America Junior Women’s season title. With a new rising swell in the water, competitors were given plenty of scoring opportunity and took full advantage of the best conditions during the event window – posting near-excellent scores (8.00 or higher) throughout the day under beautiful Caribbean conditions.

Richards capped off his illustrious Sprite Soup Bowl Pro Junior campaign, winning every heat except his Quarterfinal, with a victory over Griffin Colapinto (USA), Dane Mackie (BRB), and Colt Ward (USA). Posting an early 6.93, Richards took control of the heat early with two six point rides before ultimately improving his back up with a 6.73 for a big air reverse on a Soup Bowl left. Aging out of the Junior Series, Richards will now compete on the WSL Qualifying Series (QS) in 2016.
“It’s amazing to go out with a bang,” Richards said. “It was my first time to Barbados and I had a great crew around me. I don’t think I had priority once during the whole Final and was just having fun surfing out there. It’s really my strategy in every Final I make, to just get as many waves as I can, definitely involved a bit of luck – just so stoked it went my way.”
“I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for the Junior Series,” Richards added. “It’s a great stepping stone and feels great to get a win at the end of it all. Hopefully I can carry this momentum into the QS since I’ll be doing that all year next season so I’m really fired up.”
Earning runner-up, and a spot into the World Junior Championships, Griffin Colapinto (USA) was ecstatic to make the Final and solidify a qualification spot to Portugal in January. Keeping Richards on his toes, Colapinto gave his best efforts but fell just short of clinching this year’s Bajan crown.  “I’m super stoked on the trip down here and making a Final,” Colapinto said. “Unfortunately I couldn’t get an excellent score on the board and Cam got those two 6s so I couldn’t get past him. I really wanted to pass Kanoa [Igarashi] on the rankings, but I’m excited to have made three Finals this year. I can’t wait for Worlds, I’ve been there before so I’m beyond thrilled to go back.”
Despite his Semifinal exit, Noah Schweizer (USA) punched his ticket to Portugal for the World Junior Championships after Lucca Mesinas (PER) couldn’t find the 8.34 needed to advance into the Finals. It will be the New Smyrna Beach, FL native’s first appearance at the World Championships and he couldn’t believe hearing the news he qualified.  “Last year was a huge shocker for me so this year I tried working a lot harder and I’m just so stoked to have made it,” Schweizer said. “My Quarterfinal heat against Burke was the most nervous I’ve ever felt going into one. Luckily it went my way with the scores, as I was going as hard as I could.”
Representing North America at the WSL Junior Championships will be Kanoa Igarashi (USA) and Noe Mar McGonagle (CRI) who secured their qualification spots through their rankings on the WSL QS, and Colapinto, Parker Coffin (USA), Daniel Glenn (USA) and Schweizer for their performances on the Junior Series.  Claiming her third consecutive Sprite Soup Bowl Junior Pro, Chelsea Tuach (BRB) put up a brilliant final performance to earn a victory over runner-up Brisa Hennessy (HAW). Putting the final touch on her dream year, Tuach’s form has taken her to the top of the North America Junior Women’s rankings, securing her a spot into the World Junior Championships again, as well as earning qualification to the elite Samsung Galaxy Women’s Championship Tour (CT) through her performance on the Women’s QS.
“It feels so great to win my last event here at home,” Tuach said. “There was so much tough competition this year, the girls were making me work for it. Luckily we had some waves for the Final and I was able to snag two really good ones – I was pretty nervous for a while and didn’t think I would take it. I’m so relieved and so happy to be at home to celebrate with my family and friends.”
Posting a 15.00 heat total in the Final, Tuach defeated the talents of Hennessy, Maddie Peterson (USA), and Dax McGill (HAW). Finding her 7.83 and 7.17 on her final two rides, the Bajan looked to be in trouble but found the waves necessary to turn the heat and win in front of the hometown crowd.
“I went into the Final just thinking I only need two waves so I sat out the back just waiting,” Tuach said. “All the girls had gotten a wave on the previous set and I was just left waiting but a really good one came through and I was actually too late and went over the falls, so I really needed to regroup. I only had to find a medium wave to get back on my feet and got a 5 so I didn’t need a big score to get into first – played it cool and Maddie was too deep on a set wave and couldn’t go so I took advantage of that.”
Earning runner-up and solidifying her place in the World Junior Championships through the Hawaiian region, Brisa Hennessy (HAW) ripped through a stacked Semifinal and found herself in the Final – but couldn’t quite find the scores to overtake the in-form Tuach. “I’m so happy with my result here,” Hennessy said. “The waves were super fun and I got to surf against so many amazing girls. Finding out I qualified for the Worlds is the best feeling ever. It was great to have that rhythm in the Semifinals but just couldn’t get it together in the Final against Chelsea. She was surfing amazing and it’s so inspiring to surf against these talented girls.”
Making it to the Semifinals, Tia Blanco (USA) earned her qualification into the World Championships alongside Tuach for North America and is elated with the opportunity. Watching from the sidelines in past years, it is now her chance to compete for a World Title. “I’ve never made Worlds before and this is my last year as a Junior so I’m really excited to make it,” Blanco said. “Surprisingly I don’t feel a lot of pressure and just want to give it my best. I’ve watched the World Juniors for the past three years and I can’t believe I’m going to be a part of it.”
Junior Men’s Final Results:
1. Cam Richards (USA) 13.66 – $2,500
2. Griffin Colapinto (USA) 12.60 – $1,500
3. Dane Mackie (BRB) 11.60 – $1,100
4. Colt Ward (USA) 2.64 – $900
Junior Women’s Final Results:
1. Chelsea Tuach (BRB) 15.00 – $900
2. Brisa Hennessy (HAW) 13.17 – $400
3. Maddie Peterson (USA) 9.93 – $160
4. Dax McGill (HAW) 8.37 – $140
Junior Men’s Semifinal Results:
Heat 1: Cam Richards (USA) 16.07, Griffin Colapinto (USA) 14.67, Lucca Mesinas (PER) 11.60, Braden Jones (USA) 7.43
Heat 2: Colt Ward (USA) 14.47, Dane Mackie (BRB) 13.80, Noah Schweizer (USA) 13.54, Kevin Schulz (USA) 11.23
Junior Women’s Semifinal Results:
Heat 1: Dax McGill (HAW) 14.66, Maddie Peterson (USA) 14.00, Autumn Hays (USA) 9.76, Meah Collins (USA) 8.97
Heat 2: Brisa Hennessy (HAW) 15.33, Chelsea Tuach (BRB) 12.90, Summer Macedo (HAW) 11.17, Tia Blanco (USA) 10.60
 
Open Men  (Barbados Surfing Association Independence Pro)
1. Jake Davis
2. Griffin Colapinto
3. Matt Passaquindici
4. Dane Mackie
Open Women’s  (Barbados Surfing Association Independence Pro)
1. Brisa Hennessey
2. Tia Blanco
3. Summer Macedo
4. Chelsea Tuach
Boys U16  (Barbados Surfing Association Independence Pro)
1. Leo Paul Etienne (Guadeloupe)
2. Thomas Debierre (Guadeloupe)
3. Ché Allan (Barbados)
4. Jacob Burke (Barbados)
Boys U12 (Barbados Surfing Association Independence Pro)
1. Thomas Ledee (Guadeloupe)
2. Noe Ledee (Guadeloupe)
3. Seamus Carey (New Jersey)
4. Luke Stanley (Barbados)

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