Near-Perfection, Heavy Implications Ensue at Thomo QS 1,000 and Live Like Zander Junior Pro

Courtesy of WSL North America

  • Defending Thomo QS Winner Robinson Finds Near-Perfection 
  • Barbados Duo Eliminate Current North America No. 1 Schweizer, No. 2 Mel Thrives
  • Cleland Earns Highest Single-Wave Score of Event, Pro Junior Top Seeds Debut
  • More Available At
CAPTION: Alan Burke (BRB) found a diamond among the rough to start the day’s proceedings in his Round 2 debut of the Live Like Zander Junior Pro In Memory of Zander Venezia.
CREDIT: © WSL / Andrew Nichols

SOUP BOWL, Bathsheba/Barbados (Friday, November 8, 2019) –The World Surf League (WSL) Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) Thomo QS 1,000 In Memory of Bill Thomson and Live Like Zander Junior Pro In Memory of Zander Venezia, the final stops of the North America QS and Pro Junior season respectively, scorched through a crucial day of competition in more three-to-five foot windswell at Soup Bowl. Near-perfection and heavy eliminations followed as both events completed Round 2 affairs in their entirety. The women’s Pro Junior was called off for the day.

Alan Cleland Finds Soup Bowl Dreamer

Current North America No. 3 Alan Cleland (MEX) is fighting for a spot into the WSL Junior Championships and showed he’s ready for the challenge with the event’s highest single-wave and heat total in his debut. The Pascaules, Mexico, native found a 9.60 to open up the heat after navigating through the first barrel of the event and finishing off strong on the inside. But, Cleland wasn’t done there and locked in an excellent 8.67, totaling an incredible 18.27 (out of a possible 20) heat total, on his forehand attack, and already adds points to his cause by making it out of Round 2 as well as winning his Thomo QS 1,000 Round 2 heat.

“I’ve just been having fun and getting really good waves, there’s nothing else you really need,” Cleland said. “It was the best feeling considering there was 15-to-20 knot, onshore winds and I’m glad I know how to ride barrels because it was a tricky one. I get to surf way more with both events and it helps me get more consistent. Hopefully I can make it far in both of them but my focus on the Pro Juniors and I’ll try to my best.”

Fellow WSL Junior Championship contender Tommy Coleman (USA) found his form as well and earned a crucial Round 2 victory.

From Gold to Soup Bowl Momentum for Dimitri Poulos

PICTURED: Dimitri Poulos straight off winning a Gold Medal in Huntington Beach to finding success at Soup Bowl.
CREDIT: © WSL / Andrew Nichols

Dimitri Poulos (USA) may not be in contention for a Top 3 spot, but the Ventura, California, native came out in terrific form following a solo Gold Medal at the ISA World Junior Games. Poulos’ 7.33 easily secured safe passage into the Quarterfinals as he looks to finish the year strong with one season remaining in his Pro Junior career.

“I bogged in my QS heat so it feels good to actually get waves that feel decent in a heat and get the ball rolling,” said Poulos. “My surfing felt fine, but just getting the right waves was important so I was stoked to find a couple in that heat. I don’t think you can beat winning a Gold Medal then coming straight here, it’s surreal. I didn’t do too many events this year just focusing on amateur events still but next year I’m planning on getting more into these events.”

Isauro Elizondo Right at Home

PICTURED: Isauro Elizondo came into Soup Bowl with no experience and is proving he’s a quick learner with more heats under his belt.
CREDIT: © WSL / Andrew Nichols

Panama’s own Isauro Elizondo put on a display of solid surfing after making his Soup Bowl debut in Thursday’s proceedings. Elizondo followed up that performance with more forehand dominance to lock in a 7.00 in his Round 2 battle with top seeds Taro Watanabe (USA) and Caleb Rapson (BRB), both eliminated behind Caleb Crozier (USA).

“The waves were firing in that heat and just watching the heats before mine I noticed the judges were looking for big turns on the outside so I was focusing on trying to find those waves,” said Elizondo. “This is my first time here and it reminds me a bit of home with a lot of water moving, and needing to know what board to ride. It’s such a fun wave and I feel really comfortable out there now.”

More near-perfection followed in the Thomo QS 1,000 In Memory of Bill Thomson as Round 2 action unfolded in cleaner conditions with the varying rains and lighter winds.

Defending event winner Chauncey Robinson (USA) returned to his true, Soup Bowl form with an immaculate 9.50 and 17.43 heat total – both event bests. Robinson’s lackluster start nearly witnessed an early elimination for one of the lineups most consistent competitors – earning three total Finals in three years between the Pro Juniors and QS. (Click above for interview)

Barbadian Duo Take Out North America No. 1 

PICTURED: Bruce Mackie helped dismantle the North America Regional Title race alongside compatriot Jordan Heaselgrave.
CREDIT: © WSL / Andrew Nichols

Barbadian duo Bruce Mackie and Jordan Heaselgrave stunned those in attendance after taking down current North America No. 1 Noah Schweizer (USA) in Round 2 Heat 5 with Mackie continuing to find his form once more. Heaselgrave’s early start and backup secured his runner-up, advancing over Schweizer who fell just .70 short of the required score on his final attempt and no longer controls his own fate.

“It’s always nervous having your friends in a heat like Jordan (Heaselgrave) because it’s early rounds you both want to make it to the finals day,” said Mackie. “I’m very happy to see both of us see through when you have to surf against Noah (Schweizer), he’s super dangerous and I don’t really know Caleb Crozier too well but I saw him ripping this week so it wasn’t going to be easy. The waves got better today so we just had a good time and it’s starting to feel like familiar Soup Bowl which suits my style of surfing way better.”

John Mel: From Surviving to Thriving

PICTURED: John Mel now has a the window to overtake Schweizer after starting Round 2 with a bang.
CREDIT: © WSL / Andrew Nichols
North America No. 2 John Mel (USA) now has a chance to claim the 2019 Regional Title but still has plenty of work to do after thriving in his Round 1 Heat 1 redemption. Mel came out swinging before Schweizer was eliminated, earning an excellent 8.00 to find his rhythm after nearly being eliminated in Round 1. The work is far from done for Mel, who will need to break into finals day for a chance at overtaking Schweizer to claim a maiden regional title.
“It was nice to start a heat like that finally – it’s been a minute after being on the buzzer-beater program for awhile (laughs),” said Mel. “The waves are a lot better from yesterday which helped and it’s just one of the best waves we surf all year on the QS so I’m stoked it cleaned up. I’ve never seen it so windy and blown out than I have yesterday but there was more wall today to open up on.”
Event organizers will reconvene at 9:00am AST to determine a start to either for the Live Like Zander Junior Pro women’s event before moving into men’s Quarterfinals and Thomo QS Round 3 battles.
The Thomo QS 1,000 In Memory of Bill Thomson and Live Like Zander Junior Pro In Memory of Zander Venezia will run November 7 – 10 at Soup Bowl, Bathsheba, Barbados. The event is supported by Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, Tourism Development Corporation, Eco LifeStyle and Lodge, Infra Rentals. Lynch insurance Brokers, The Atlantis Historic Inn, BHTA, TSL Barbados Glacial Pure, Sun,Group Hotels. Drive a Matic Car Rentals, Garbage Master, Peg Farms Container Services, Zander Venezia Trust, Thomo Charity, Barbados Surfing Association, Creative Junction, Ry’s on the Beach.
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, 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

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