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  • subtitle: ASP Sprite Soup Bowl Junior Pro And Independence Pro Bring Top International Talent To Barbados

Written by  Allison Arteaga
Tuesday, 11/26/13

By now, we all know Barbados is a hotspot for competitive talent. We also know the tiny island is blessed with world-class waves. So, why is it that the country’s top young surfers have always had to hop on a plane to compete in major international contests? Well, this November, they didn’t have to. The Sprite Soup Bowl Junior Pro presented by the Barbados Tourism Authority brought ASP 1-Star Junior Women’s and 2-Star Junior Men’s competition right to their backyard. With a whole field of international stars flying in from the US, the Caribbean, and beyond for the first stop of the ASP North American Pro Junior series, Bajan surfers finally got a chance to put on a show for their home crowd, and Soup Bowl, the island’s premier break, strutted its stuff for the international media, producing a north swell, light offshore winds, and perfectly groomed 4- to 6-foot waves for the last two days of the contest.

The ASP events went down from November 14th-17th during the 2013 McEnearney Quality, Inc. Independence Pro, a traditional local contest that has been running for the past 29 years with Open Men’s, Open Women’s, U16 Boys, and U12 Boys divisions. In all, about 100 foreign competitors flew in to Barbados for the ASP and Independence Pro divisions combined, including the likes of three-time world champ Tom Curren, who surfed in the Open Men’s division while his son Pat tackled ASP Junior Men’s.

Local surfers had the most success on the women’s side, with recent ESM cover girl and Barbados native Chelsea Tuach taking down both the ASP Junior Women’s and Open Women’s divisions. It wasn’t exactly a surprising result for Chelsea, who topped the ASP North American Pro Junior series rankings last season and is fresh off a 3rd-place finish at the ASP World Junior Championships. Her local knowledge helped her pull out a convincing win over Tia Blanco, Leilani McGonagle, and Malia Osterkamp in the ASP Junior Women’s finals, before Chelsea went on to defeat Osterkamp and Blanco again in the finals of the Open Women’s division, with fellow Bajan star Chelsea Roett coming in a close 2nd.

Meanwhile, on the ASP Junior Men’s side, the American’s dominated. Noah Schweizer was the only East Coast representative in the final and finished 3rd behind California’s Jake Marshall by just fractions of a point while Parker Coffin took the win. But it was 4th-place ASP Junior Men’s finalist Jonah Carter who would claim the Open Men’s win with a last-minute flurry of activity in the finals against Costa Rica’s Noe Mar McGonagle and fellow Californians Jake Marshall and Griffin Colapinto.

Though no local surfers made it to the podium on the men’s side, Josh Burke, Che Allan, and Bruce and Dane Mackie still represented Barbados well, making the semifinals of the Open Men’s division while young Zander Venezia made the quarterfinals of the ASP Junior Men’s event before going on to dominate the U12 Boys division. Meanwhile, Josh Burke claimed the U16 Boys division over fellow Bajans Che Allan and Dane Mackie as well as California’s Nolan Rapoza.

Overall, competitors and spectators alike were thrilled with how the whole event played out. “This weekend definitely turned on for us, and we got some really good waves, so the East Coast of America and the west coast of America got to see what the Soup Bowl can do,” Chelsea Tuach said. Barbados Surfing Association Treasurer Louis Venezia was even inspired to make a few bold statements. “There is no doubt that we have the best waves in the Caribbean, for sure, and we have the best waves on the ASP North American tour,” he said. One thing’s for sure: no one would be disappointed to see Barbados on the ASP calendar again next year.

FINAL RESULTS OF THE 2013 ASP SPRITE SOUP BOWL JUNIOR PRO AND MCENEARNEY QUALITY, INC. INDEPENDENCE PRO:

OPEN MEN

1. Jonah Carter

2. Noe Mar McGonagle

3. Griffin Colapinto

4. Jake Marshall
OPEN WOMEN

1. Chelsea Tuach

2. Chelsea Roett

3. Tia Blanco

4. Malia Osterkamp

ASP JUNIOR MEN

1. Parker Coffin

2. Jake Marshall

3. Noah Schweizer

4. Jonah Carter

ASP JUNIOR WOMEN

1. Chelsea Tuach

2. Tia Blanco

3. Leilani McGonagle

4. Malia Osterkamp

U16 BOYS

1. Joshua Burke

2. Che Allan

3. Dane Mackie

4. Nolan Rapoza

U12 BOYS

1. Zander Venezia

2. Kyle Tester

3. Titouan Veschambre

4. Darian Pitcher

   
 
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