Barbados’ most decorated female surfer Chelsea Tuach has major plans for 2021 and qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics is still part of her mission amidst the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19.
Along with the Olympics, the 25-year-old Tuach will feature at the 2021 World Surf League Qualifying Series. That she said will allow her to requalify for the championship tour which comprises the top 18 female surfers in the world.
“It would be a dream come true. That is what I have been working towards for the last four years since I know surfing would be part of the Olympics. And it is only the first 20 men and 20 women. So, being among the first would be incredible.
“I believe I can do it. Obviously, I am feeling really confident. I know that I have definitely got the skill and mindset. It is just being able to have the opportunity to go and compete. It is not going to be an easy feat but I definitely feel prepared,” Tuach told Barbados TODAY.
Tuach is also expected to participate in a regional tour which is expected to start in March. This will be followed by a Challenger Series between August and December.
However, Tuach who became the first Barbadian to capture the International Surfing Association (ISA) medal in short board surfing is really hoping that if nothing else she qualifies for the Olympics.
An outstanding performer over the years, Tuach who has won many awards both at the international and junior level said she was looking at COVID in a positive light.
Tuach’s last competitive season was in 2019 and she explained that if taking the COVID-19 vaccine becomes mandatory then she will be more than happy to do so.
“I am looking at COVID in a positive light because I would not have had this much time to train. I’ve had the whole year specifically working on my technique, working on strength and I am really feeling the difference.
“I think we are all a bit nervous because they (vaccine) have been quote on quote expedited. But to be honest, I think we have to trust in scientists, we have to trust the government and know that it is going to work well for us.
“I mean there is always some anxiety in taking a vaccine but there is also so much anxiety about this virus. There are lots of scary aspects of the virus. So, for me I know I would be nervous to take it but I do trust the scientists and I would definitely take it,” Tuach said.
She added: “I think it is the only way we can travel in the future and being that surfing is such an international sport, I am going to be willing and ready to get the vaccine.”
Before returning home to Barbados where she will be until March, Tuach has been based in Australia for the last 10 months working alongside her renowned coaches Adam Robertson and Cahill Bell-Warren.
More confident in her skills and ability to deliver on the big waves, Tuach said she was happy particularly with her development over the past couple months.
“My surf coaches are in Australia so I got a lot of time with them which has been great. And there was also a wave pool in Melbourne, Australia, that I could go to like once a week for a few hours. I think that really expedited my training and progressed it.
“I am feeling very strong now especially coming home, I am feeling great with how my strength training and how my surfing is. It is just about fine-tuning everything as well.
“When I am here definitely I can still train in the gym at Surfside and still be able to surf. With the cases that came up, I wasn’t sure if our prime minister was going to close the beaches. I was hoping and praying she didn’t and luckily the beaches are still open and I can still surf every day because that is the most important part,” she explained.
“It just feels nice to be home. You don’t ever train as well anywhere but your home. You are always very relaxed. I know the ocean here and it is just a nice place to take some rest and get ready for a new year.
“I am just hoping for the best. I think the world needs the Olympics, they need some sports, they need something to get behind and get their spirits up,” Tuach added.