Chelsea Tuach won the South Africa Open of Surfing. (Picture courtesy WSL/Damien Poullenot)
CHELSEA TUACH continues to rock the history books becoming the first Barbadian to take a win on the African continent as she was crowned the ladies’ champion at the VW South Africa Open of Surfing over the weekend.
With the 3000 points earned Tuach jumped 19 spots on the World Surf League Qualification Series international rankings, moving up to number nine in from 28th.
Competing at Pipe/Pollock Beach in Port Elizabeth, Tuach started finals day with a comfortable win over powerhouse Australian surfer, Holly Wawn, who seemed out of rhythm in the tricky beach break conditions on offer.
Her semi-final heat was a close affair against good friend and former world junior champion, Isabella Nichols, with Tuach taking the win after dropping the best wave score of the heat, a 6.83, for a peeling right which she surfed with her trademark speed, power and flow.
Tuach ended with a heat total of 11.66 to Isabella’s 11.60.
The Bajan then had to battle another former world junior champion in French surfer, Vahine Fierro, in deteriorating conditions which saw both surfers struggling to find waves that opened up to offer some scoring potential.
Highest wave score
Finally, Tuach found a nice left hander midway through the heat and belted three vertical backhand turns to earn the highest wave score of the heat and take the win.
“I am speechless right now. This is a dream come true for me and something that I have been working very hard for. It was so difficult to find a good wave in the final but at last a nice left came through that offered three solid maneuvres and gave me the lead which I was able to maintain until the end,” she said.
“I am so grateful to God first for this blessing and for all the prayers and support from home. This win is for you!” an emotional Tuach added after emerging from her 30 minute clash with Fierro in the final.
“I really wanted the win to help with my ranking this year given all the cancellations of big events and having to miss the next two qualification series events at two of my favorite breaks in California this summer because of the Pan American Games taking place in Peru at the same time. That is such a blessing. I am on top of the world right now.” (PR)