Saturday, April 20, 2024

Small waves big winners


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 THE WEATHER WAS sombre and the waves were small.
It was as if the conditions at Soup Bowl were mirroring the feeling that pervaded the island as Barbadians mourned the loss of former Prime Minister David Thompson.
And as a mark of respect the island’s surfers, led by the Barbados Surfing Association (BSA), observed a moment of silence this weekend as they paid tribute to the late Prime Minister.
Under the grey skies, which at times gave way to heavy showers, the BSA held its Lazy Days/Nissan Barbados Surfing Nationals at Bathsheba in almost negligible waves.
It brought a few upset victories, and with the absence of some names because of overseas commitment, certain surfers took the opportunity to stamp their authority on their pet events.
One such surfer was Chelsea Roett.
She had the best wave in the best heat of the day, and under one of the few patches of sunshine to boot. So good was her wave that it earned her the highest wave score – eight points.
It was also good enough to secure the title of National Champion in the Open Women’s division, to add to her National Under-18 girls’ title, and it capped a spectacular year-long winning streak.
However, it was the day of the Burkes.
Alan Burke, who has claimed the long board division as his own, ended the year with that title, as well as the senior men’s and the masters titles, under his belt. But it was no easy feat, for Wayne Roett, in the senior men’s, and Simon Coles, in the masters, matched him wave for wave.
However, Burke was forced to surrender last year’s title in the Open Division to Stefan Corbin, who proved to be the better surfer on the day. Coles also went one better on Burke to cop second place in front of Jonathan Reece, who was coming off an injury that, at one point, placed his surfing career in doubt.
Meanwhile, Burke’s son Joshua dethroned Corbin, last year’s Under-21 National Champion, in that division.
The closest heat of the day, however, was the Under-16 boys’ division.
In challenging conditions, that made the boys fight for every wave, Joshua Burke took the top spot and national title. However, less than one point separated second place Danny Edghill and third place Dane Mackie – mute testimony to how keenly contested the final was.
Che Allan, however, will not get to add the title of National Champion in the Under-12 division to his many victories this year. Battling a cold, the prolific winner had to settle for second place behind Andrew Rose, who has been flirting with victory all year long.
At the end of the day, one of the sponsors, Bill Thomson of Lazy Days Surf Shop, commended the surfers, especially the younger ones.
“I can’t tell you how impressed I am with these young kids surfing. They are a notch above what we’ve seen for years and I am really impressed,” he said.
Longboard: Alan Burke; Wayne Roett; Junior Williams; Jonathan Reece.
Under-12 Boys: Andrew Rose; Che Allan; Zander Venezia; Jacob Burke.
Under-18 Girls: Chelsea Roett; Isabella Venezia.
Under-16 Boys: Joshua Burke; Danny Edghill; Dane Mackie; Nathan Allan.
Senior Men: Alan Burke; Wayne Roett; Louis Venezia; Simon Coles; Christopher Clarke.
Masters: Alan Burke; Simon Coles; Louis Venezia; Wayne Roett.
Under-21 Boys: Joshua Burke; Stefan Corbin; Danny Edghill; Dane Mackie.
Open Women: Chelsea Roett; Melanie Pitcher; Isabella Venezia.
Open Men: Stefan Corbin; Simon Coles; Jonathan Reece; Alan Burke.


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