Tuach last Bajan hope
By Heather-Lynn Evanson | Sat, April 21, 2012 - 12:03 AM
Barbadian surfer Chelsea Tuach will be carrying the hopes of the Broken Trident into today’s competition of the Dakine ISA World Surfing Junior Championships in Panama.
In the last heat of yesterday’s competition, Tuach upped her game to bag second place, in repercharge Round 4, with a score of 3.41, behind Peruvian surfer Vania Torres, who took the top spot by a mere one point.
Tuach now advances to Round 7 and is assured a ranking among the top 12 girls in the Under-18 category.
Teammates Joshua Burke and Dane Mackie who, along with Che Allan and Caelum Blandford, stunned the judges and spectators with their six- and seven-point scoring wave rides earlier in the competition, stumbled in their repercharge rounds.
They were narrowly beaten, by fractions of a point, into third-place finishes and do not advance to today’s competition.
The combined effort of the team’s young athletes, up to the end of the sixth day of competition, has propelled Barbados up two notches in the rankings. The island is now ranked 13th out of 30 countries but that could change by the end of today’s competition.
Speaking to the SATURDAY SUN shortly after Tuach’s advance, team official Brian Allan was ecstatic.
“We are very, very happy,” he enthused. “We expected [the boys] to advance to one more round but they all came, like, third by minute points, but we’re very happy with them.”
Tuach, he added, was the team’s last hope.
Allan noted the standard of competition in Panama was extremely high and the local surfers had coped admirably.
“These are the best juniors in the world from the surfing nations. An ‘air reverse’ is a standard manoeuvre here, which our boys are now mastering. So it’s not ‘might be’ the best, but ‘are’ the best,” he added.
Allan credited the boys with earning sixes and sevens for their waves but many of the international surfers were dropping eight- and nine-point waves – testimony, he said, to the standard of the competition.
“But they are still a very young team and they still have many years in their divisions. Next year, we expect to be in the top ten for sure,” he said.
Allan was unsure of when Tuach would be in the water today, but the competition may be viewed live on the International Surfing Association’s website www.dakineisawjsc.com.
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