After the Surfing T&T International Surf Festival 2010, Surfing in Trinidad and Tobago will never be the same. This is not just because it was the largest prize purse (US$10,000) ever offered locally, or because it was the first time that the Beach Byte Electronic Score Tabulation system and professional ASP World Tour judges were employed, or even that it was the largest and most dynamic field of competitors ever to compete in an event in Trinidad and Tobago. Surfing in Trinidad and Tobago will never be the same because everyone present in Sans Souci this weekend, surfers and spectators alike, witnessed the most radical, high performance, aerial surfing ever to take place on our waves.
Due to the fact that the waves at “Beach Break” did not live up to its potential by providing larger and more powerful surf, many of the traditional powerhouse surfers were left looking a little slow and powerless. However, the waves on hand were very contestable nonetheless, and looked a lot like an average day of surf in South Florida or Venezuela. This played to the benefit of the visiting surfers who took advantage of the conditions and looked right at home, comfortably executing maneuvers at a level on par with the worlds best surfers.
From the first horn of the event, it quickly became obvious that the bar had been raised for performance and that traditional maneuvers like ‘cut-backs’ and ‘off the lips’ would not suffice, especially in these conditions, to win heats. Aerial surfing, or surfing above the lip, was the order of the day and surfers like Elohe Ali Alvarez (BRA), Jeremy Johnston (USA), and Rafael Pereira (VEN) had no problem serving it up!
The build up to this event saw a lot of media attention focused on the American and Caribbean surfers that had confirmed their attendance. Very little attention, if any, was given to the two young Venezuelan dark horses that subsequently stole the show. Rafael Pereira and Francisco Bellorin took 1st place (USD$3000) and 2nd place (USD$1100) respectively in the Open Mens Division. The two countrymen went on to trade places in the Pro Jr. (U21), with Bellorin taking 1st place (USD$500) and Pereira taking 2nd Place (USD$250). To top it all off, Pereira also took home an additional USD$250 for best wave in the Expression Session.
In the Mens Open, Jesse Heilman (USA) got 3rd place (USD$800) and Jean Carlo Schaffer finished 4th (USD$500). In the Pro Jr. (U21) Georgio Gomez (USA) finished 3rd and Jordan Heaselgrave (BAR) finished 4th. In the Womens Open, Chelsea Tuach (BAR) finished 1st and Sarah Cox (BAH) finished 2nd. Finally, the best manouver of the Expression Session was awarded to Jensen Callaway for a ‘Pop-Shovit’ aerial.
In addition to the incredible surfing performances on show, the spectators had lots more to look at, with a live performance by the Orange Sky and a top class Bikini Contest by Carolina Swimwear. It was an all round perfect weekend in rural Toco with sun, surf and sand, and a great family atmosphere. All the visiting surfers have already begun making plans to return to beautiful Trinidad.
This event was the second event of five events on the Western Atlantic Pro Surf Series (www.westernatlanticsurf.com) and the first event of three on the Caribbean Surf Network Tour (www.csnsurf.com). Be sure to follow the action as the regional pro surfing circuits continue.
Sponsors for the event include Épicé Sunscreen, Surfing T&T, the Tourism Development Company (TDC), Josef’s Sports Bar, the Western Atlantic Pro Surf Series, Carolina Swimwear, Beach Break Surf Shop, Caribbean Waterman, Mystic Hemp, and Tropical Power Limited.
All surfers, team managers, officials and press can contact SURFING T&T by contact Lee Quesnel by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
MENS OPEN RESULTS
RAFAEL PEREIRA 1ST - $3,000
FRANCISCO BELLORIN 2ND - $1,100
JESSE HEILMAN 3RD - $800
JEAN CARLO SCHAFFER 4TH - $500
JEREMY JOHNSTON EQUAL 5TH - $350US PRIZE
NILS SCHWEIZER EQUAL 5TH - $350US PRIZE
COLIN SAUNDERS EQUAL 7TH - $250US PRIZE
CHRIS DENNIS EQUAL 7TH - $250US PRIZE
MICHAEL PANTIN EQUAL 7TH - $250US PRIZE
LEWIS ST. JOHN EQUAL 10TH - $200US PRIZE
JORDAN HEASELGRAVE EQUAL 10TH - $200US PRIZE
AARON CORMICAN EQUAL 10TH - $200US PRIZE
ICAH WILMOT EQUAL 13TH - $150US PRIZE
JUSTIN TANG EQUAL 13TH - $150US PRIZE
JENSEN CALLAWAY EQUAL 13TH - $150US PRIZE
JONOTHAN REECE EQUAL 13TH - $150US PRIZE
TRAVIS AJAY EQUAL 13TH - $150US PRIZE
ELOHE ALI ALVAREZ EQUAL 13TH - $150US PRIZE