PRESS RELEASE - Barbados Independence Surf Festival 2010


**Soup Bowl, Bathsheba, Barbados (Sunday November 28th, 2010)-** Local surfer Jonathon Reece took top honors in the Men’s Open division at the Banks/Nissan Barbados Independence Surf Festival 2010, making him one of the few local surfers to ever win the event. He defeated last years champion Lewis St. John (BDS) who despite a commendable effort was unable to find the barrel he scored in round 3 qualifiers almost scoring a perfect 10.00. Also in the final, former 2007 winner Josie Graves (Isabella, PRI) and local surfer Stefan Corbin.

“Today’s competition was amazing. We had eight to 12-foot surf. You either have to commit or you get seriously hurt,” said Simon Coles, the president of the Barbados Surfing Association (BSA) and Event Director, “It was as big as Soup Bowl gets, living up to its name. Riders were exposed to life or death conditions”.

Having recently recovered from a surf related injury, Reece stepped into this competition anxious to see how he would perform in the very spot he got injured. When asked about the conditions, the newly crowed champ said, “When those waves are coming, you don’t think too much, you just go for it. I was nervous watching the waves build before the final, but a barrel in an earlier heat really put things into focus for me.” In his acceptance speech he went on to say, “I want to thank all my friends on the beach for their support and my great local sponsors Barrels and Bearings and Surf Barbados Ltd.”

For Chelsea Tuach (BDS), the competition was extra special. The 14 year-old joined an elite group of surfers who have claimed the top prize more than once. Her win in conditions that saw the organizers putting caddies in the water as a precaution, sent her to the top of the pack, as it was her second time taking the Independence Surf Festival title in the female division. She defeated Maria Kusmovich (PRI) who fought hard against the notorious rip and Jade Niccolls (BDS).

Not a stranger to big waves, the Roxy and Red Bull team rider cheerfully said, “It was fun! I was a bit worried about getting out and back in, but I felt good once I was out there.”

On Saturday, seventeen year old Jordan Heaselgrave, (BDS) took the top spot in the Under 21 title narrowly defeating his friend Stefan Corbin (BDS) as the two swapped intense exchanges in a well fought final. Also competing in the final was Jonathon Reece (BDS) and Timothe Bisso (GLP) who struggled to find high scoring rides.

When asked about his win, Pure Islands and Gorillas team rider Heaselgrave said, “I would have liked to compete against these boys in clean conditions but I felt really confident coming off my 7.0 barrel in the semi final round. I could never have won this without my family and friends supporting me on the beach, especially my dad.”

Earlier in the day thirteen-year-old Guadeloupe surfer Timothe Bisso meant business when he led the field in the Under 14 final and emerged as champion. He came out on top from a field of 31 juniors who had entered the competition. Fourteen year-old Daniel Edghill (BDS) took second, twelve year old Rafael Debierre (GLP) third, and thirteen year old Joshua Burke (BDS) fourth.

“All of our local surfers performed notably. Barbados shined in every division. These were the best results for Barbados in many years. It says the standard of our surfers can compete at any professional level.” Coles went on to passionately state, “We must continue to source funding, develop the talent, and create opportunities for our national riders. As the president of the Barbados Surfing Association and as a former champion of this event, I am humbled at how these young surfers handled themselves in such challenging conditions, and am confident Barbados has a potential World Champion in its midst. ”

The event was sponsored by Banks, Nissan, TSL Barbados Ltd Barbados Tourism Authority, Barbados Olympic Association, Diamonds International, SBI Distribution, Guinness, Mix 96.9 Aqualoc, Coretech, Kendal Sporting, Flying Fish, Sparman Clinic

**Men’s Open Final
1st, Jonathon Reece (BDS) 15.33
2nd, Lewis St John (BDS) 13. 93
3rd, Stefan Corbin (BDS) 7.47
4th, Josie Graves (PRI) 5.57* (interference)

Women’s Open Final
1st, Chelsea Tuach (BDS) 13.60
2nd, Maria Kusmovich (PRI) 10.75
3rd, Jade Niccols (BDS) 0.0

Under 21 Final
1st, Jordan Heaselgrave (BDS) 10.5
2nd, Stephan Corbin (BDS) 10.3
3rd, Jonathon Reece (BDS) 8.35
4th, Timothe Bisso (GLP) 5.9

Under 14 Final
1st, Timothe Bisso (GLP) 10.4
2nd, Daniel Edghill (BDS) 8.9
3rd, Rafael Debierre (GLP) 7.55
4th, Joshua Burke (BDS) 4.35
For more information contact:
Nickolas Donowa

About the Barbados Surfing Association:

The Barbados Surfing Association is the National Governing Body for all forms of surfing in Barbados. The BSA is dedicated to the development of surfing in Barbados.