Shoe fits Tuach in California
BARBADOS sports tourism ambassador Chelsea Tuach has started the new year in grand style by winning the World Surf League (WSL) Shoe City Pro in Huntington Beach, California, on Sunday.
Competing in tricky, wind-swept conditions, the top 20-rated international surfer was impressive throughout the event, the first of the 2017 WSL Qualification Series.
Tuach showed off her powerful backhand and dropped the highest single wave score of the women’s event.
This came in her quarter-final heat which she dominated against Hawaiian Mainei Kinimaka and United States surfers Rachel Presti and Alexxa Elseewi, earning nine points out of ten.
In her semi-final heat, Tuach dispatched Hawaiian surfers Bailey Nagy and Mainei Kinimaka to advance to the final.
Going up against the event’s wild card, emerging American Samantha Sibley, and two other US surfers, Tia Blanco and former Olympian Kaleigh Gilchrist, Tuach emerged victorious.
She finished with a two-wave total of 14.30 to Sibley’s 13.27, while reigning ISA World champion Blanco was third with 12.56 and Gilchrist fourth with 7.10.
“This win means the world to me and I just want to thank God, my sponsors Suzuki Caribbean, Sol, the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. and Dragon,” Tuach said shortly after emerging from her heat victory.
“Thanks also to all of my Barbadian supporters for continuing to believe in me and encourage me. This win has renewed my belief in my ability and given me greater confidence as I head into the Australian leg of the season next month” (EZS/PR)