Contingent Ready for Competition at Soup Bowl and Honoring Barbados’ Own

Courtesy of WSL North America

  • Thomo QS 1,000 In Memory of Bill Thomson Hosts Regional Title Showdown
  • Live Like Zander Junior Pro In Memory of Zander Venezia Final Stop For Pro Juniors
  • More Available At WorldSurfLeague.com
CAPTION: The world-renowned Soup Bowl awaits the Thomo QS 1,000 In Memory of Bill Thomson and Live Like Zander Junior Pro In Memory of Zander Venezia beginning November 7 – 10.
CREDIT: © WSL / Andrew Nichols

SOUP BOWL, Bathsheba/ Barbados (Wednesday, November 6, 2019) – The World Surf League (WSL) is set to kick off the North America season’s end with the Live Like Zander Junior Pro In Memory of Zander Venezia and Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) Thomo QS 1,000 In Memory of Bill Thomson. Both events pay homage to Barbados’ own who had their respective impacts on the surf community and provide vital opportunities to compete at the world-class reef break of Soup Bowl. A solid swell on the forecast looks to give competitors their chance at showcasing their abilities with plenty at stake to close out the year and a live webcast to watch all the action unfold.

Coinciding for a third-straight year with the Live Like Zander Junior Pro, the Thomo QS 1,000 In Memory of Bill Thomson honors the “Father of Barbados Competitive Surfing.” Thomson helped pave the way for competitive surfing on the island and the event that now pays homage to him provides the men’s QS contingent a shot at valuable points to end their respective regional campaigns.

Current No. 1 Noah Schweizer (USA) is on pace to take down his first-ever Regional QS Title after a stunning season that includes two victories after his maiden win coming in Florida to start the year. The 24-year-old only has to deal with recent Oaxaca Pro QS 1,000 winner John Mel (USA), also his maiden QS victory, with 100 points separating the pair after dropping their lowest result. Both have solidified their place in the Top 2 with the opportunity to contest in the highest-rated events for the first half of 2020 and now comes down to who can take the No. 1 finish.

“I love coming back to Soup Bowl,” said Schweizer. “It’s such a good wave and I feel like it really suits my surfing and its epic that the last event of the season is here. My mindset is pretty similar to how I feel being at the other East Coast events. I’ve been here quite a few times and and feel pretty comfortable but I’m just here to surf my best every heat. I’m here with my older brother, surfing every day and just stoked to be back here.”

But, the two will have to fend off a hefty field if they’re to increase their lowest result including the island’s, and QS, standout Josh Burke along with former event winners Chauncey Robinson (USA) and Che Allan (BRB) among many more searching for their first QS victory at the iconic break.

The Live Like Zander Junior Pro, renamed in honor of the late Venezia, enters its seventh year of competition to give some of the region’s top up-and-coming talents one last opportunity to clinch a spot into World Junior Championships. At the forefront of that race, North America No. 3 Alan Cleland (MEX) looks to fend off the likes of No. 5 Tommy Coleman (USA), No. 6 Taro Watanabe (USA), No. 7 Taj Lindblad (USA) and No. 8 Nick Marshall (USA). Cleland charged his way to the Final in last year’s event, noting his second-career Finals appearance, and comes in fresh off a Final at the ISA World Junior Games in hopes of joining Kade Matson (USA) and Jett Schilling (USA) at WJC.

“This is everything I’ve worked for this year and I’m so stoked to be back here,” said Cleland. “Barbados is such a special place. The locals, everyone is so nice and welcoming here which makes it that much more special. It’s the best wave we have on the junior schedule. I’m just going to give it my all and hopefully do better than I did last year.” Among those searching to earn their place among the respective Top 2, a slew of opponents eagerly await their chance at also claiming a maiden WSL victory that includes the likes of recent ISA Junior Games Gold Medalist Ryan Huckabee (USA), 2019 Pro Junior full-time addition Jojo Whelan (USA) and Barbados’ own Caleb Rapson who looks to finish strong ahead of his final Pro Junior season in 2020 among many more.

After Caitlin Simmers (USA) dominant performance in 2019 only one spot remains for the women to guarantee their place into WJC and a tight battle will ensue between No. 2 Sawyer Lindblad (USA) and No. 4 Ella McCaffray (USA). Though No. 8 Serena Nava (USA) down to No. 18 Rachel Wilson (USA) are in the hunt, all but Nava would need a victory to seal their spot over Lindblad. This marks a break out year for Lindblad, earning her first-ever Finals appearance at the RVCA Pro Junior, in just her first season of competing among the WSL contingent as she looks for a place among the world’s best juniors later this month.
 
“I’m super excited to be here for the first time,” said Lindblad. “The water is really warm and the waves are so fun. It’s awesome to end the year off at a wave like Soup Bowl. (Locking down the No. 2 spot) will take not thinking about the rankings and just surfing each heat my best.”

Joining the women’s battle to throw a wrench in the system, recent ISA World Games Costa Rican representative Eva Woodland (CRI) joins event threat and fellow 2018 runner-up Ava McGowan (USA) to help push their competitors to their best if they’re to fight for a Top 2 finish. A 7:00am AST call will determine a possible start for either Round 1 of the men or women’s Live Like Junior Pro, or Round 1 of the Thomo QS 1,000. Tune in LIVE for all the action. The Live Like Zander Junior Pro and Thomo QS 1,000 will run November 7 – 10 at Soup Bowl, Bathsheba, Barbados.

For more information, please visit www.WorldSurfLeague.com
About the WSL 
The World Surf League (WSL) is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The organization, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, annually running more than 230 global events across the Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Redbull Airborne, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels, and in doing so crowns the undisputed Men’s and Women’s World Champions across all tours.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright, John Florence, Lakey Peterson, Grant Baker, Keala Kennelly, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Steven Sawyer, Soleil Errico, Mateus Herdy, Kirra Pinkerton, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most dynamic field of play of any global sport. For more information, please visit worldsurfleague.com.

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