Thomo QS1,000 Kicks Off Opening Day Action at Soup Bowl

Courtesy of WSL North America

–  fun conditions and exciting surfing completes full day of competition 
– up-and-coming talent flourish
–  Che Allan and Josh Burke remain as last Barbadians in contention
– more information available AT WORLDSURFLEAGUE.COM

An exciting opening day of action unfolded at the Thomo QS1,000 In Memory of Bill Thomson, but only Josh Burke (BRB) (pictured) and Che Allan (BRB) remain for the local contingent. Credit: © WSL / Andrew Nichols

SOUP BOWL, Bathsheba/ Barbados (Thursday, November 9, 2017) – The World Surf League (WSL) Thomo Qualifying Series (QS) 1,000 In Memory of Bill Thomson powered through Rounds One and Two on opening day at the righthand reefbreak of Soup Bowl as the Live Like Zander Junior Pro In Memory of Zander Venezia was off for the day. Building two-to-three foot, occasional plus, conditions provided plenty of action throughout the day that witnessed excellent surfing from competitors. A few up-and-coming talents, as well as some of Barbados’ own, steamrolled their way into the weekend’s action and furthered their hopes of an inaugural Thomo QS1,000 win.

Caption: An in-form Nolan Rapoza (USA) came out firing and unleashed his backhand on what Soup Bowl had to offer for a near-perfect 9.17.
Credit: WSL/ Nichols

Nolan Rapoza (USA) returned to Soup Bowl as a full-time QS competitor after claiming the North America Regional Junior Title here last year and felt right at home. Rapoza earned a near-perfect 9.17 (out of a possible 10), the day’s highest single-wave score, along with a Round One heat win. The Long Beach, California, native then carried that momentum into Round Two where he stole a last-second victory over heat leader Asher Nolan (USA). Though Rapoza hasn’t quite had the year he’s wanted as  a QS rookie, his outlook remains bright and ready for the task at hand.

“I really just wanted to make a statement for my first heat and get my surfing out there,” Rapoza said. “It was definitely my best surfing since I’ve been here so far. That last heat was really diverse having Giorgio [Gomez] and Micha [Cantor], who are both my good friends, and then a veteran like Asher [Nolan], so I knew it could go anyway possible. I just wanted to be smart and get the job done. It’s great being back here now for the QS and trying to build my seed toward the QS10,000s next year — which is what I’m striving for at the end of this year with China planned next.”

Caption: Gabriel Morvil’s (USA) explosive laybacks may have been accidental in his own words, but the recoveries from these vicious attacks went unrivaled.
Credit: WSL/ Nichols

East Coast native Gabriel Morvil (USA) garnered a huge Round Two victory over the in-form Barbados native Josh Burke (BRB), who claimd the day’s highest heat total of a 16.04 (out of a possible 20) in Round One — as well as Round One standouts Rey Hernandez (MEX) and Chris Enever (AUS). Morvil’s aggressive, forehand maneuvers earned him a 7.33 midway through the heat and propelled him to the front where he did not relinquish that lead. This also marks Morvil’s first trip to the island nation and found his rhythm right away despite the shifting peaks.

“That was so fun and I didn’t really go out there with any particular strategy since there’s waves were everywhere,” Morvil said. “It’s not just the one dominant peak so you just had to be on the right one. I felt like I got lucky on that 7.33 with some open face that let me get some maneuvers in. It feels good to make it into the weekend and it’s my first time here so I’ve just been surfing a bunch to figure it out. It’s a different kind of contest atmosphere and I like it a lot just being able to relax and have fun.”

Caption: Che Allan (BRB) continued his competitive tear at Soup Bowl and is into Round Three.
Credit: WSL/ Nichols

Burke’s fellow Barbadian competitor Che Allan (BRB) came out in great form and earned victories in both rounds today. Allan’s backhand attack continues to earn him results in 2017, after a win at the righthand pointbreak at Zippers earlier this year and here at Soup Bowl just last weekend for a local event. The 18-year-old is also the reigning Pro Junior winner and showed that dominant surfing once more for a spot into Round Three, though his mindset lies elsewhere.

“Of course there’s some good prize money and points for this event, but I see this as more of a great warm-up for the Pro Junior event which is what I’m focused on,” Allan said. “Being a local here helps since I surf it like this a lot, but there’s so much luck that factors in. You just have to hope you have priority at the right time. I just wanted to stay busy and the win last weekend gave me more confidence heading into these events. The past two weeks have been the bigger crowds I’ve ever seen the last few years so I just have to try and keep my mind on getting the result I need here.”

Caption: Taro Watanabe’s (USA) style is one to watch in coming years as the teenager continues to deliver.
Credit: WSL/ Nichols

Another up-and-coming talent, Taro Watanabe (USA), claimed wins in both Round One and Round Two after struggling on the QS front so far in 2017. But, the 15-year-old has plenty of time to find his way among the ranks and continues to build his form with each passing event. Watanabe will also be set for the Live Like Zander Junior after being absent from the previous Junior Tour event in Newport Beach, California.

“I’m so stoked to make it through since I always lose in the second round on the QS,” Watanabe said. “I was trying to get the inside waves that hit the reef right for a few turns. It feels so good to be back, this place is one of the best for surfing in the world and I’m just blessed to be out there with only three other people. I’m just trying to do these events for points and keep my seeding there so that I can really make a run for the QS10,000s in the next two years or so.”

Event organizers will meet at 7:30 a.m. AST for a possible 8:00 a.m. AST start. Tune in live for all the action at

The Thomo QS1,000 In Memory of Bill Thomson event window begins November 9 through 11 and the Live Like Zander Junior Pro In Memory of Zander Venezia will run alongside it November 9 through 12.

For more information, please visit or download the WSL App to receive updates on your mobile device.

Thomo QS1,000 In Memory of Bill Thomson Round One Results:
Heat 1: Jordy Collins (USA) 12.34, Tommy McKeown (USA) 10.53, Evan Brownell (USA) 7.53
Heat 2: Taro Watanabe (USA) 11.66, Dane Mackie (BRB) 8.46, Jordan Heaselgrave (USA) 7.27
Heat 3: Tommy Coleman (USA) 9.67, David Economos (USA) 8.90, Garren Pryce (JAM) 8.66, Laird Myers (USA) 5.50
Heat 4: Jackson Butler (USA) 9.00, Eithan Osborne (USA) 8.34, Elton John (TTO) 7.73, Ben Wingate (USA) 5.54
Heat 5: John Mel (USA) 14.06, Axe Garrett (BRB) 11.10, Chase Modelski (USA) 10.03, James Hogan (USA) 5.23
Heat 6: Tyler Gunter (USA) 13.66, Luke Gordon (USA) 12.53, Micah Crozier (USA) 7.83, Mick Davey (USA) 7.30
Heat 7: Adam Auffary (MTQ) 8.50, Jackson De Gruchy (CAN) 8.34, Jason Oliver (BRB) 7.04, Cole Houshmand (USA) 4.87
Heat 8: Chauncey Robinson (USA) 11.17, Myles Laine-Toner (USA) 9.74, Italo Mesinas (USA) 8.37, Blake Speir (USA) 7.60
Heat 9: Josh Burke (BRB) 16.50, Liam Murray (USA) 10.04, Caleb Rapson (BRB) 8.93, Evan Moll (BRB) 8.53
Heat 10: Rey Hernandez (MEX) 9.83, Daniel Edgehill (BRB) 8.83, Jacob Burke (BRB) 8.74, Jose Umana (NIC) 6.70
Heat 11: Bruce Mackie (BRB) 11.84, Chris Enever (AUS) 10.44, Kyle Tester (USA) 6.96, Remy Juboori (USA) 6.24
Heat 12: Che Allan (BRB) 13.40, Gabriel Morvil (USA) 10.50, Chris Dennis (USA) 8.80, Dean Vandewalle (BEL) 8.74
Heat 13: Kade Matson (USA) 14.40, Giorgio Gomez (USA) 11.57, Sebastian Mendes (USA) 9.34, Lance Blades (BRB) 6.93
Heat 14: Ryland Rubens (USA) 12.90, Asher Nolan (USA) 10.77, David Dorne (GLP) 10.00, Nikita Avdeev (RUS) 5.40
Heat 15: Nolan Rapoza (USA) 15.34, Dylan Hord (USA) 11.77, Max Beach (USA) 6.60, Kai Bourne (BRB) 5.20
Heat 16: Micha Cantor (USA) 10.67, Jim Hogan (USA) 10.37, Nicolas Chalonec (MTQ) 5.80

Thomo QS1,000 In Memory of Bill Thomson Round Two Results:
Heat 1: Taro Watanabe (USA) 12.93, Jordy Collins (USA) 12.30, Eithan Osborne (USA) 9.86, David Economos (USA) 8.90
Heat 2: Tommy McKeown (USA) 13.00, Jackson Butler (USA) 11.16, Dane Mackie (BRB) 8.36, Tommy Coleman (USA) 7.73
Heat 3: John Mel (USA) 12.20, Tyler Gunter (USA) 11.50, Myles Laine-Toner (USA) 6.34, Jackson De Gruchy (CAN) 6.16
Heat 4: Luke Gordon (USA) 13.43, Chauncey Robinson (USA) 10.33, Adam Auffay (MTQ) 7.26, Axe Garrett (BRB) 7.10
Heat 5: Gabriel Morvil (USA) 13.33, Josh Burke (BRB) 11.60, Rey Hernandez (MEX) 10.33, Chris Enever (AUS) 6.80
Heat 6: Che Allan (BRB) 11.63, Liam Murray (USA) 11.57, Bruce Mackie (BRB) 10.83, Daniel Edghill (BRB) 7.90
Heat 7: Ryland Rubens (USA) 13.90, Kade Matson (USA) 13.23, Dylan Hord (USA), Jim Hogan (USA) 6.27
Heat 8: Nolan Rapoza (USA) 12.37, Asher Nolan (USA) 10.34, Micha Cantor (USA) 9.04, Giorgio Gomez (USA) 7.34

Upcoming Thomo QS1,000 In Memory of Bill Thomson Round Three Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Taro Watanbe (USA), Tyler Gunter (USA), Tommy Mckeown (USA), Chauncey Robinson (USA)
Heat 2: John Mel (USA), Jordy Collins (USA), Luke Gordon (USA), Jackson Butler (USA)
Heat 3: Gabriel Morvil (USA), Kade Matson (USA), Che Allan (BRB), Nolan Rapoza (USA)
Heat 4: Ryland Rubens (USA), Josh Burke (BRB), Liam Murray (USA), Asher Nolan (USA)


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