Eleven surfing events on cards
HEATHER-LYNN EVANSON SURFING IS ABOUT to crest one of its biggest waves this year with double the number of contests and a new selection format for international contests.
News of this came when the Barbados Surfing Association held its annual general meeting last Saturday at the PEG Farm and Nature Reserve, in Easy Hall, St John.
Paul Bourne, in delivering his president’s address, revealed there would be 11 contests on the packed calendar, four of which would be trials specifically geared to selecting a team for international events.
Five of the remaining seven events will be the
Surfer Of The Year (SOTY) championship series, one of which will be the November Independence Pro, while the
Scholastics and the Nationals round out the contests.
There were five contests – three SOTYS, the Nationals and the Independence Pro – on the 2018 calendar.
And the SOTY this year will have an international flavour and possibly a monetary component.
“The five SOTY championships will be open to everyone. This is a global championship, so if there are any guys (international surfers) who are here and want to compete, it will be open to them,” Bourne said.
He also revealed that instead of offering only points to be totalled at the end of the year, the association was looking at adding prize money to at least one event.
“We are going to try our best to get some money into the championships. If we can’t do it for each contest, maybe it will be at the end but we will know that before the first contest starts,” he said.
“We know how the money situation is and we don’t have anyone who is committed to anything yet but we are hopeful that we will be able to do something to make the championships worth something because we can’t offer points like the QS (qualifying series – an international ranking system for surfers) does, but we can offer some kind of funding through winnings that could then help someone who is trying to do the QS.”
The Surfing Association president also revealed that the SOTY series would no longer be used as team selection criteria and would be replaced by a trial series.
“We felt it would be a lot more prudent to have a trial series to pick the team and it also give the kids (a taste) of contest surfing. We are only going to do it for the Under-16 and Under-18. The Open can be included but only if there are more than three people seriously interested in going to the Olympics or the World Titles this year.” BARBADOS SURFING ASSOCIATION president Paul Bourne announced more contests and a new team selection series of events.
Those four trials will be held every two weeks at four different and “not familiar venues”. In addition, the Scholastics have been moved to mid-term instead of during the vacation period to allow those surfers who usually travel when schools are on a break, to compete.
The annual general meeting was followed by the association’s annual awards ceremony at which the top surfers from
2018 were honoured for their achievements in the water.
THE TOP UNDER-12 BOYS: (from left) Warren Povey,Kai St George, Jaden Hill and Rafe Gooding with their trophies.
THE TOP UNDER-16 GIRLS: (from left) Gabriella Gittens; Olivia Rapson and Ava Parfait.