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
|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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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 www.worldsurfleague.com.
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.
Thomo QS1,000 In Memory of Bill Thomson Round One Results:
Thomo QS1,000 In Memory of Bill Thomson Round Two Results:
Upcoming Thomo QS1,000 In Memory of Bill Thomson Round Three Match-Ups:
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The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), 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 League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly 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, running in excess of 180 global events across the Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, 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 world champions in Men’s, Women’s across all divisions within the tour.
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