Mackie leads local charge
by mikeking @nationnews.com
Dynamic Dane Mackie gave the most exhilarating performance on a day that hometown surfers made their mark at the PEG International Festival at the Soup Bowl, Bathsheba.
Mackie and Che Allan and Josh Burke all advanced to the round of 16 in the World Surf League Thomo QS, with the Barbadian trio also marching through to the quarter-finals of the TSL Independence Pro.
In the Independence Pro, Mackie drew gasps from a crowd that included Barbados Surfing Association (BSA) president Paul “The Surfer” Bourne and former ace surfer Anderson “Hoggie” Mayers, with some jawdropping manoeuvres in the morning that earned him a 9.77, far and away the best wave score of the day.
The big names delivered on a day in which the surf was a little smaller than on the two previous two days, with waves ranging from three to four feet.
Chauncey Robinson, a 20-year-old American who hails from Melbourne Beach, Florida, surfed in the same heat as Mackie in the Independence Pro, and topped that group with a combined score of 15.86, having scored 9.10 on one of his waves.
Mackie, who hails from the South Coast, was the second qualifier from his heat with a combined score of 14.34. The fast-rising Burke and Allan were 1-2 in Heat 6, while Tyler Gunter, the North American Junior Tour champion, was the top qualifier from Heat 5.
The script was basically similar for the Thomo QS, a World Surfing League event held in memory of local founding father Bill Thompson. Robinson and Burke were impressive winners of their heats, along with Frenchman Leo-paul Etienne and Americans Stevie Pittman and Gabriel Morvil.
Robinson had scores of 8.50 and 5.83, while Burke had scores of 7.83 and 7.10. Allan, who was grouped in Heat 3 with Robinson, had scores of 7.83 and 6.37.
Pittman got the loudest cheers in the evening with some delightful turns and a tail-sliding manoeuvre to finish a big wave that earned him a wave score of 9.27 and a combined total of 16.27. Mackie was second in that heat with scores of 6.33 and 6.07.
Chelsea Roett kept the Barbados flag flying by storming through to the semi-finals of the Independence Pro women’s competition. In the quarter-finals, she captured Heat 4 with a combined score of 10.93.
The favourites Samantha Sibley and Tiare Thompson of the United States won Heats 2 and 3, respectively, with combined totals of 13.63 and 13.24.
WSL tour manager Brian Robbins told Weekend Sport that surfing fans are in for a bigger splash this weekend, as Pittman, Robinson, Gunter and the Barbadian stars, raise the bar.
The six-day festival, organised by Surf Promotions Barbados Limited in conjunction with the Barbados Surfing Association, is attracting over 120 competitors from 12 countries and features four surf contests.
Dane Mackie had some jaw-dropping manoeuvres in the morning that earned him a 9.77, far and away the best wave score of the day.
Josh Burke glided through to the round of 16 in the Thomo QS with some delightful manoeuvres.