Eleven surf­ing events on cards

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Sport 3 - By heather­lynevan­[email protected] na­tion­news.com

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.

(Pic­tures by Heather-lynn Evanson.)

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.

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