Chelsea Tuach has struck again.
This time around, Barbados’ female surfing star won a copper medal in the short board division at the International Surfing Association’s (ISA) World Surfing Games – the ‘Olympics’ of surfing – at Popoyo Beach in Nicaragua.
It was Tuach’s second medal for Barbados, as she also won copper at the ISA’s World Junior Surfing Championships.
The Barbadian surfed strong all event long in the excellent conditions on offer, making it through five qualifying rounds on her way to the final. She was able to get the better of surfers from the world’s top surfing nations including Australia, the USA and New Zealand on route to the final.
In the quarter final round Chelsea scored a 9.5 and a 7 to take the win from former world tour surfer and number one seed from New Zealand, Paige Hareb, and Chile’s No 1 seed, Jessica Anderson to advance to the semi-final round.
Thanks to Hurricane Blanco, there were solid 2.0m swells hammering Popoyo Beach for the semi-final and final rounds on the last day of competition. The larger surf made for challenging, shifty conditions, despite the clean offshore winds and big waves on offer.
Tuach was still able to find a good wave earning an 8.5 to start her semi final clash with Tia Blanco from the United States, Ella Williams from New Zealand and Jessica Anderson from Chile. She backed this up with a 5.87 to take a convincing win and advance to the final.
Unfortunately, she was not as lucky in finding waves in the final.
“I’m really happy with my result” exclaimed Tuach. “Just to make the final surfing against this level of talent is great. The conditions were totally different on the final day from the rest of the event. It was very shifty and I just did not find any waves that opened up for me. I’m super proud to be representing Barbados and I am grateful to Hyundai, our main sponsor, for supporting the Team and to all of our sponsors and supporters,” added Tuach.
Bruce Mackie and Lewis St. John also put in good performances, with Mackie earning his top result at these Championships, ending 11th overall while Lewis placed 43rd.
Chelsea then had to race from the podium to catch a flight to Los Cabos, Mexico for the World Surf League 1000 Junior Pro and 6000 Women’s Pro.
In the Women’s Qualification Series (QS) Chelsea made it to Round 4 and narrowly missed advancing in a wave starved heat, needing only a 2.8 to make the next round, but no waves came. She ended 17th out of 96 top professional female surfers.
“It was tough to lose like that. There was a lull in my heat and no waves came at the end. I’m just grateful that my 17th place was still good enough to keep me in the top 10 on the QS rankings. I’m looking forward to my next event in Oceanside and hope to have a better result there” Tuach said.
Tuach rallied after her loss in the QS to advance through four rounds of the Girls’ Pro Juniorand a semi-final clash with Ellie Brooks from Australia. The Aussie was able to find the better waves to take the win.
She ended third overall out of 40 junior girls from around the world. Tuach was the highest placed junior from the North American region and is now at the top of the Junior Pro Rankings for North America.