BARBADOS SET TO HOST THE BIGGEST SURFING EVENT IN THE CARIBBEAN
From March 27th – April 2nd, the renowned Soup Bowl will come alive for the biggest surfing event in the English-speaking Caribbean. Hundreds of surfers from around the globe will flock to Barbados to compete in the World Surf League (WSL) QS 5000 Barbados Surf Pro events and the Live like Zander Jr Pro, in memory of Zander Venezia.
A Major Upgrade
Previously, this event allowed local and foreign athletes to compete in a World Surf League Men’s and Women’s 3000-point qualification series (QS3000) for the North American region but this year Barbados has upgraded to a QS5000 series which exposes the island to more surfers, more media attention and greater competition.
“Having the Barbados Surf Pro established as the biggest surfing event is a huge achievement. Barbados is the only country in this hemisphere that will hold a major event like this in the sporting calendar. This once again distinguishes Barbados as a unique product here in the Caribbean.,” said Corey Garett, Director of Caribbean and Latin America, Sports, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI).
Emphasising Director Garrett’s standpoint, Shelly Williams, Chair of BTMI, “Sports Tourism is the way forward and events like the Barbados Surf Pro are excellent examples of how BTMI can partner with local events to drive the business of tourism. The next step for us will be hosting the World Championships on the island.”
Highest Rated Surfing Event
The Barbados Surf Pro is presented by Diamonds International and organized by Surf Promotions Ltd in conjunction with the BTMI. The event first started as a QS 3000 on the south coast of Barbados at Drill Hall Beach now as a QS 5000, it’s the highest rating that can be achieved at the QS level. This year’s event will also have a wellness element which includes activities like flow yoga, pilates and a hike.
Speaking on the significance of the event, the Co-owner of Surf Promotions Ltd, Louis Venezia stated “Our main goal and our main objective is to promote surfing and Barbados as a sports tourism destination and increase the volume of international visitors to Barbados through hosting and promoting surfing events”.
To date, 224 surfers have entered of which 160 are men and 64 are women. Among the entries are local surfers Josh and Jacob Burke, Caleb Rapson, Kai St George, Che Allen, Chelsea Roett and of course Chelsea Tuach, the reigning QS 3000 women’s champion.
With 5,000 points on the line, anything can happen as competitors look to qualify for the 2023 Challenger Series at their shot toward Championship Tour (CT) qualification.