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Junior surfers ready

Clifton Henry

Junior surfers ready

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ONE parent/coach eagerly looking forward to this weekend’s inaugural Barbados Surfing Association (BSA) Caribbean Junior Surf Fest is Louis Venezia.More popularly known in motor racing circles as the co-driver of Paul “The Surfer” Bourne, Venezia’s eyes will be firmly fixed on his two charges, 12-year-old daughter Isabella and nine-year-old son Zander, the two youngest surfers taking part in the tournament.  Zander started surfing at five years of age and has been competing regularly for the last three years. He is currently second in the BSA Surfer of the Year standings in the Under-12 division.Next weekend, they will both head to Cocoa Beach, Florida, to compete in the Under-9 and 10-12 age groups of the United States National Kidney Foundation’s 25th Annual Pro/Am Contest.Isabella starting surfing at eight years old and has also been competing for three years. She is the points leader in the BJSC Surfer of the Year standings in the 12-and-Under division. Venezia told the Saturday SUN he was expecting great things from Team Barbados.“I am sure the youngsters will give a good account of themselves and do Barbados proud. They are very keen to do well in front of their home crowd and have therefore responded well to the coaching by the experienced Nick Donawa.”Venezia believes 11-year-old Barbadian Che Allan will provide stiff competition for all in his division.“He is in tremendous form and has not lost in a while. Right behind him in second place is my son Zander, who has been quite successful and is looking forward to this weekend. We are not sure about the French competitors, but as usual they are expected to provide us with stiff opposition,” noted Venezia.“We never expected this level of response. It has exceeded all expectations thus far. I am of the view that if our event did not coincide with an event in West Virginia, we would have attracted a lot more competitors, so there is definitely tremendous potential in the future.”Between 30 and 40 competitors are expected to represent Barbados in this first junior pro-tournament to be staged in the Caribbean. Some of the other countries taking part are Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Martinique, Guadeloupe and the United States.