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Barbados ‘the future of surfing’

Heather-Lynn Evanson

Barbados ‘the future of surfing’

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Where is the future of international surfing?
Right here in Barbados, says Barbados Surfing Association (BSA) treasurer Louis Venezia.
He was speaking as the BSA held its 2011 Surfer Of The Year Awards (SOTY) at Blakeys on the Boardwalk last Saturday.
Venezia noted that last year he accompanied the junior surfers to many of their overseas competitions and he had an opportunity to compare how they stacked up against their North American rivals.
“I know that a lot of you parents don’t realise what kind of talent and calibre of surfers we have in these kids,” he told the audience, “but I had the joy of travelling with a lot of them last year and seeing their accomplishments and what they have done overseas, not to mention here in Barbados.
“I don’t think there was a single event that almost all of the kids that were there did not make the finals and Barbados is really taking its place on the map as the future of surfing,” he said.
He added that the island’s young surfers not only held their own but, in many cases, beat the competition.
Venezia also thanked the BSA’s sponsors who helped them last year.
Meanwhile, the 2011 battle for supremacy on the waves of Barbados is over and the top surfers collected their awards that night.
Danny Edghill cemented his versatility by copping not only the top award, the Men’s Open, but the Under-21 and Longboard awards as well.
Last year’s see-saw battle between Edghill and Joshua Burke saw Edghill besting Burke in the Open Men, but Burke taking the titles in the Under-16 and Under-18 Boys, in which categories Edghill placed third and fourth, respectively.
Chelsea Tuach capped another brilliant year by taking the Under-18 Girls’ and Women’s Open titles. But her victories were hard fought as she narrowly beat Chelsea Roett in the Under-18 Girls’ division.
The two girls also showed they were equal to the task in any mixed final, placing second and third, respectively behind Edghill in the Under-21 division.
Zander Venezia also showed that he was an up-and-coming surfing sensation, taking the Under-10 Boys’ final and finishing second in the Under-12 division.
That latter division was won by the dominating Ché Allan, also a finalist in the Under-16 Boys’ category.
Meanwhile, board shaper Andrew Rapson led the way in the older surfers’ categories, winning both the Senior Men and Masters divisions.
The first SOTY competition on the 2012 calendar is slated for Brandens/Drill Hall beach on February 25 and 26.