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Chelsea ready for 2018 season

RIA GOODMAN, [email protected]

Chelsea ready for 2018 season

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Chelsea Tuach is ready to ride the waves of the 2018 surfing season.

And the 22-year-old said she believes the ups and downs of the 2017 season have prepared her for them.  

“I kind of started with a bang and ended with a bang and overall had some really good contest results to keep my world ranking up. I think this was just the year to work on my competitive game plan,” Tuach told SATURDAY SUN SPORT.

“I had a good year, but I took some confidence hits. I was switching coaches and playing around with equipment that made me quite unsure of myself.  At the end of the year, I realised that I needed to buckle down and simplify my plan going into competition and this year, I was able to do it because I was working with a mental coach, that was new for 2017.

“I have now figured out a successful game plan in competition and I have a really strong mind-set which has been very important for me outside of competition that I feel like I am very well equipped for 2018 with my surf equipment and contest strategy,” she said. 

Fresh from capturing a silver medal at the Pan American Surfing Games in Peru, Tuach said she is eager to wear the gold around her neck at next year’s games.

“This year I have learnt the waves. I know what the judges are looking for and I have more experience going into next year and because the gold was taken from me, I am even hungrier and more determined to get there,” she explained.

The former Queen’s College student, who was the first Caribbean surfer to qualify for the World Tour in 2015, added that the experience was surreal but she was sad the Barbadian team wasn’t beside her to celebrate.

“It was a really incredible experience. I knew that it was my final event for the year and I knew that it was going to be different from what I was doing all year. Moving through the realms I think I gained a lot of momentum and positivity from the messages on Facebook and the people around me.

“That was my goal so getting into what they call the gold match I was really excited. It was going to be my first event to represent Barbados and not just myself. I was really disappointed because the Barbados surf team cancelled at the last minute.

“It was a team event and I was overseas. It was quite sad. I was still happy to go overseas and give a strong representation of Barbados. I personally like these team events because you have that support. That brings a different element to competition that I really enjoy,” she noted.

Tuach began the year winning a WQS event in California and made a number of other good performances to finish the year ranked number 25 in the world.

The young surfer, who was recognised by the Barbados Olympic Association during their annual awards on Wednesday night as one of the Senior Outstanding Athletes of the Year is hoping to bring her ranking down to the top six, which will assist her in re-qualifying for the World Championship Tour.

Apart from surfing competitively and taking on online studies in nutrition, she has also broken into film surf movies.

“I started it this year and the first episode is called Wondering Indonesia.  That’s a new project for 2017. It’s just a two-minute first video but it was made to promote surfing and the female active healthy lifestyle. I created it because right now the industry is male dominated.

“When I was growing up, I used to watch female surf videos and that is what inspired me. I can watch a male surf edit, but I don’t get the same feeling because males and females surf differently.

“I was just craving something different to watch and I just thought about creating it myself. It was a way to step away from the competition and find balance and to give the surf industry something different to watch. That was my goal and the first episode was received really well,” she said.

She mentioned that the second episode entitled Wondering El Salvador would be out next week and she is hoping to film the third on home soil.

Tuach added that surfing has changed tremendously over the years where surfers are now considered to be serious athletes.

“When I was growing up I would be surfing and a lot of people would ask my parents, ‘do you really want to get your daughter into surfing?’ In the 80s and 90s they [surfers] were referred to as beach bums and would do drugs. When I graduated from QC, I had a decision to make. Do I want to go to university or do I want to pursue being a professional athlete?” she said. (RG)