Mackie moves up surfing ranks
BARBADIAN SURFER BRUCE MACKIE cracked the top 50 on the World Surfing League (WSL) professional tour last month and is looking to improve even further.
Mackie, 24, produced some impressive performances recently in Australia, over a series of five WSL events, slashing his world ranking from 242 at the end of 2016 to 49th.
The WSL events were contested in New South Wales and Queensland, between January 15 and February 15, and attracted more than 150 surfers from 27 countries. Around 1 200 surfers are ranked annually on the WSL tour.
“WSL events are very competitive and moving from 242 to 49th was a really good feeling. Australia was a good experience that boosted my confidence and I am looking to do a number of other events and further improve my rankings over the course of the year,” said Mackie, the reigning Barbados Open champion.
The financial demands of remaining on the tour are great for aspiring pro surfers and Mackie disclosed that he will be missing events in March, which will impact his points standing, but was seeking to raise funds while preparing for a major WSL 3000 event in Martinique in April.
Other top Barbadian surfers Che Allan and Dane Mackie also competed in WSL events in Australia with encouraging results, while female pro-surfer Chelsea Roett, ranked 69th, is down under contesting events in the women’s division of the WSL.
Allan, 17, qualified for the WSL World Juniors Championship last December in Australia and finished fifth among the world’s best juniors. It means the talented Barbadian, who competes among the juniors and the senior men on the WSL tour, will be seeded No.1 in WSL events in the Americas this year. (BB)