Barbados’ Chelsea Tuach, 19, has won the Women’s QS6,000 Pantin Classic Galicia Pro over Leticia Canales Bilbao, 20, in a low scoring final disputed in the early evening Pantin sun.
Tuach and Canales exchanged the lead over each wave caught for the first half of the 30-minute bout, with a little edge for Tuach who had a slightly higher best score. With only ten minutes on the clock, Tuach solidified her position with a 6.50 to put her opponent in a difficult situation.
Canales quickly followed and found a clean little lefthander of her own, but the wave didn’t stand up enough for the young Basque to perform her signature sharp forehand hacks, and she had to settle for an average score.
Tuach then controlled the rest of the final, sitting with priority to keep her opponent off of the best waves, eventually taking out the final, the first major QS win of her career.
“I’m feeling great right now, it was definitely tough the whole event, the waves have been kind of on and off,” she admitted.
“I’ve had a lot of heartbreakers this year and what happened was I would panic and go for bad waves. So I took all of my knowledge from all those bad heats and tried to play a perfect heat, I’m so stoked to end the year on a win. It feels amazing!”
With her result in Pantin, and the allocated 6,000 ranking points, Tuach has climbed to No.4 on the QS ladder, and taken one step closer to becoming a member of the elite Top17 competing on the 2016 Samsung Galaxy Women’s Championship Tour.
“It’s been my dream for so long and I’ve been working so hard for it,” Tuach added.
“It’s definitely a weight off my shoulders. To be competing against the very best surfers in the world next year is so exciting, I’m going to work hard with my coach to get strong and try to come out guns blazing when the season starts. I’ve had my first taste of the CT at the US Open and it’s a different ball game, you can’t hold anything back and I think that’s what I learnt this year.”
One of the form surfers all week, and after eliminating Hawaii’s Alessa Quizon and Malia Manuel on her way to the final, Canales Bilbao couldn’t unfortunately maintain her excellent rhythm through the last heat and placed runner-up, a career best for the Basque junior.