The dream run of Joshua Burke and Chelsea Tuach ended on Friday in Huntington Beach at the International Surfing Association’s World Surfing Games with the island’s top male and top female surfers finishing a creditable equal 11th place out of the 137 men and 109 women who competed from 50 countries.
The pair amassed 950 of the 1570 points achieved by the team with Caleb Rapson, Che Allan and Chelsea Roett all progressing to Repechage Round 3 and earning the remaining 620 points. Barbados ended with a country ranking of 16 out of the 50 countries at the Games and this without a full team.
Burke advanced through eight rounds of competition dropping big scores along the way with his explosive surfing and smart heat strategy defeating top surfers like Joel Vaughn from Australia, Federico Morais from Portugal, Leonardo Fioravanti from Italy and Mihimana Braye from Team France. His best heats were his Round 2 heat when he had a heat total of 15.76 and his Repechage Round 6 heat with a total of 16.40, two of the highest heat totals of the event.
Tuach advanced through seven rounds of competition and also dropped scores in the good to excellent range. She won both her Round 1 and Round 2 heats with impressive heat totals of 13.17 and 14.40 respectively, relegating stand-out surfer Zoe McDougall from Team USA to the Repechage rounds and getting the better of top surfers from Australia, the UK, Brazil and Peru.
She failed to advance out of her Round 3 heat in a very tight affair but came back strong to win her Repechage 4, 5 and 7 heats, taking second place to German surfer, Rachel Presti, in Repechage Roond 6, but eliminating the Olympic bronze medalist Amuro Tsuzuki from the event.
“This has been a great event for Team Barbados with Chelsea [Tuach] getting her best result since she won the copper medal in Nicaragua in 2015 and Joshua getting the best result ever of a male surfer since the inaugural ISA WSG as a separate event from the Juniors in 2003. I am very proud of the performances of all the team members. This has given Barbados a good country ranking for next year’s edition of the ISA World Surfing Games, in El Salvador which will run from May 30 to June 7,” team manager Margot Tuach said after the event.
Burke and Tuach will now be packing their suitcases for a trip across the Atlantic, to compete in the fifth Challenger Series event, the EDP Vissla Pro in Ericeira, Portugal slated to run from October 1 – 9. (PR)