Barbados will be represented by six of its finest surfers at the upcoming ISA World Surfing Games slated to be held at El Sunzal/La Bocana, El Salvador from May 29 to June 6.
Leading the charge is Barbados’ top ranked international surfer, Chelsea Tuach, who will be joined by Joshua Burke, Che Allan, Chelsea Roett, Bruce Mackie and Gabriella Gittens.
Tuach ended the last full season of competition in 2019 as the number 12th ranked surfer on the WSL International rankings after winning the Volkswagon South Africa Open of Surfing, a WSL 3,000 event and reaching the semifinals of the Abanca Galicia Surf Pro, a WSL 10,000 event. She had a solid start to the 2020 season and is currently ranked 9th on the North American Regional rankings. She is the only Barbadian surfer to have won medals at both the Junior (2013) and Senior (2015) levels of the ISA World Surfing Championships and the Pan Am Surfing Games (2017).
Joshua Burke ended 2019 ranked 144 on the International rankings and 7th in North America after winning the Thomo QS in Barbados in November 2019 and had a stellar start to the 2020 WSL QS season, jumping to a ranking of 75 in the world after a 3rd place finish at the Ron Jon Quicksilver Pro in Florida and a 9th place at the Vissla Central Coast Pro held in Australia.
Che Allan ended the 2019 season as the 13th ranked surfer in the WSL North American Region with a 5th place finish at the Thomo QS held in Barbados in November 2019 and a 9th place finish at the WRV Outer Banks Pro earlier that year. He also boasts the highest finish of a Barbadian male at the WSL World Junior Championships, finishing 5th in Australia in 2016.
Meanwhile, Chelsea Roett ended the 2019 season ranked number 5 on the WSL North American Regional rankings after taking 3rd place at the WRV Outer Banks Surf Pro. She also had her most recent international win that year at the APSPR Corona Pro held in Puerto Rico and finished a commendable 2nd place at the 2019 Barbados Independence Surf Pro.
Bruce Mackie surfed his way through a strong field of international surfers to place 3rd at the 2019 Thomo QS in Barbados and has one of the highest placings of any Caribbean male athlete at the ISA World Surfing Games with an equal 11th in Nicaragua in 2015.
Rounding out the field is the youngest member of the team, 18-year-old up and coming surfer, Gabriella Gittens. She was crowned the Girl’s Under-16 and U-18 Barbados national champion for three consecutive years – 2017, 2018 and 2019. Over the years, Gabriella has enjoyed travelling and competing in surf events around the world such as the ISA World Junior Surfing Championships in California, Japan and Portugal.
“This is certainly one of the strongest contingents to represent Barbados at an international team event. The team has been training hard as this event means a lot to these six surfers since it is a qualifying event for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Our goal is to get at least four surfers to finish in the top 10 of their respective Divisions to gain one of the seven qualifying spots remaining for the women, and five qualifying spots remaining for the men,” said team manager Margot Tuach.
The ISA World Surfing Games will kick off with the Opening Ceremony on May 29th followed by the start of competition on May 30th and will run for eight days. (PR)