The renowned Soup Bowl in Bathsheba will have some of the best world surfers when Barbados host the World Surf League Live Like Zander Jr Pro and the WSL Thomo QS 1000, and the inaugural Association of Paddlesurfing Professional.
The announcement was made during a press conference held yesterday afternoon at the Barbados Cruising Club, Aquatic Gap. Classed as two significant events on Barbados’ sporting calendar, the World Surf League Live Like Zander Jr Pro and the WSL Thomo QS 1000 are scheduled for November 7-10 and will be organised by Surf Promotion Barbados Limited.
Louis Venezia, one of the directors at Surf Promotion Barbados Limited said 48 junior professionals, 64 men and 32 junior women have all registered to participate in the World Surf League Live Like Zander Jr Pro and the WSL Thomo QS 1000.
Meanwhile, the first-ever Association of Paddlesurfing Professional [APP] world tour event in Barbados will follow on November 11-17 and features 23 countries. Chief Executive Officer Tristan Boxford said a robust international contingent would grace the shores of Barbados.
They are Brazil, United States of America, Hawaii, France, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark and Tahiti, home of Poenaiki Raioha, the current world number one paddle surfer.
Sports manager at the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. Devon Chase expressed gratitude to the APP for choosing Barbados as one of eight destinations for the world tour event.
Chase said the APP world tour sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee Federation for Surfing Sports and the International Surfing Association was a welcomed addition to Barbados’ annual sporting calendar. He explained that this lended to Barbados’ efforts as it related to expanding water sport offerings with the view of attracting different types of visitors to the island.
“We are continually seeking to find new and exciting activities to add to what is an already diverse calendar of events. Our beautiful beaches and seascape provide us with a fantastic opportunity to attract numerous events to our shores. When one looks at our beach and water sports the landscape has evolved over the years, it can be argued that we have merely tipped the iceberg in terms of what we have been able to achieve. The likes of the WSL Surf Pro, Dragon World SAP Championship have certainly aided our cause in ensuring that Barbados remains top amongst the surfing and paddle surfing communities worldwide,” Chase said.
The top 36 men and 18 women from around the world will be competing on the world tour in Barbados. Participants will be subjected to a trial before competition because of the challenging waves at the Soup Bowl. After Barbados there are two out of the eight tour dates to be completed in Paris and finally the Canary Islands.
The APP World Tour was founded and developed by the Waterman League, event management and media production with offices in Hawaii, USA and Portugal focusing on developing multiple water sports.
A former world surfer, Boxford explained that this event was seen as a launch pad to generate an all-round experience for the family. Therefore, a community outreach programme would be held on Saturday, November 9, at Carlisle Bay before the competition begins Monday, November 11, at the Soup Bowl.
“Soup bowl is a world-class wave, one of the best in the world. So to bring the world championship tour and to have the best surfers in the world on the stand-up paddle tour come and compete in a wave like that is an incredible opportunity. That was the number one objective of the world tour. The number two objective is when you see a place like Carlisle Bay here, just an absolute paradise for people to get that first experience of standing on a board and riding. Surfing is a difficult sport, but it is an amazing sport,” Boxford said.
Surf Promotion Barbados Limited has been hosting WSL events over the last few years and will pair up this time with APP World Tour with an estimated 600 visitors expected on the island. Venezia said the main objective was to promote Barbados as a sports tourism destination.
“It is a huge steppingstone for Barbados to pair up with them and run the two events alongside each other… Like I said between five and six hundred visitors and that includes coaches, family, friends, competitors. Some of the numbers that we help the economy with would be the rental cars which are seventy-five percent to a hundred. Anywhere between a hundred and fifteen to a hundred and twenty hotel rooms are usually rented within our events which is only four days, and that amounts to thirty-five hundred audited rooms. So along with exposing Barbados it does do the local economy quite well,” Venezia said.