Saturday, January 12, 2013

Local Boy Out-Surfs Legends to Win Tobago Pro 2012!

On Sunday 23rd December 2012 the Organizers and Surfers of the Surfing T&T Tobago Pro 2012 finally got what they waited all year for – a huge swell – big enough to produce waves of enough consequence to run the Open Division of this Prestigious Event. The Opening Ceremony of the 2012 edition of the Tobago Pro took place at the end of December 2011. At that time all other divisions, which include Juniors (U18) and Groms (U13) were run in excellent surf at the world famous Mt.Irvine Beach. However, in order to run the Open Division contest organizers set out a year long waiting period in hope of a swell that would produce waves big enough to do justice to the event and its Memorial Trophy namesake, Scott Tucker. Scott loved big, powerful waves and he enjoyed surfing them with his friends. On the very last Sunday of the waiting period, as if a perfect plan were being executed, the Contest Organizers got the waves and the surfers, and Scott’s presence was definitely felt. Officials and media gathered on the beach to witness the waves get bigger and bigger all morning.
In the Open Division there were 19 entrants and the names were divided by seeding into 3 Heats. Surfers' 2 top scoring waves would determine their outcome in their heat. The top 2 surfers in each heat advanced to the grand final. The surfers in each heat put on an epic display of surfing and truly demonstrated the camaraderie that makes Trinidad & Tobago surfing extra special. There were 17 surfers from Trinidad and Tobago and two International invited surfers, one from America and one from Australia. Advancing to the Grand Final Heat was a who’s who list of T&T surfing legends, with countless National Championship Titles among them, mixed in with a couple hungry underdogs. The top 3 surfers in the final made the Judges really work for their pay, as they all had excellent rides in the peaking swell. In third (3rd) place overall was local surfboard shaper and backside surfing powerhouse Alan Davis. In second (2nd) place was Stuart Hutton, who recently recovered from a serious knee injury and made an incredible comeback after nearly 2 years without surfing Mt.Irvine.
The overall winner (1st Place) Adrian De Silva, who was surfing the event on the day before his 18th birthday, dedicated his emphatic win to his dying Grand Father. Adrian’s win was especially impressive as he was the youngest and least experienced of the finalists. He surfed well beyond his years, showing knowledge and power of a seasoned veteran. Quite fitting also was the fact that Adrian was the only surfer in the final that can truly be considered a Tobago local having lived his entire life in Tobago with his family. Adrian’s name will be engraved on to the Scott Tucker Memorial Trophy and he will go down in T&T surfing history as the first to have this honor. Adrian was also awarded with a Scott Tucker Memorial Surfboard from Sharp Eye Surfboards. The Most Outstanding Waterman Prize, which is for the surfers who not only excels in the surfing performance arena of the contest, but is also a standout all-round Waterman, was also decided on the 23rd December. The winner of this award must be respectful of other watermen, be respected by other watermen, be an ambassador for surfing and Mt.Irvine, have a positive attitude, and be a role model for the youths. Stuart Hutton was the recipient of the Most Outstanding Waterman Prize, which means his name will also be engraved on the Scott Tucker Memorial Trophy and he was awarded with a Scott Tucker Memorial Surfboard from Lost Surfboards. Stuart also was the best performing over 35 (master) surfer and was rewarded with 2 nights at the Blue Waters Inn, Speyside.
In the Under 18 (Juniors) Division the separation between the top 3 surfers was less than 2 points, which spoke volumes for the performance levels. In third place was Mathew Milne, who was closely edged out by second place Adrian De Silva. First place went to Caelum Blandford who managed to claim a nice barrel in the middle section of a long point wave. In a great showing of sportsmanship and camaraderie, Blandford was carried to the podium on the shoulders of his fellow competitors to celebrate the victory. Finally, in the Mini-Groms (U13) Division, the overall performance was excellent and all the kids exceeded expectations. The goal of this division was to ensure that it was not too competitive and that all the kids had fun and everyone was a winner. Every participant was given an award. Some of the highlights were Joana Apparicio who was the “Charger of the Biggest Waves” which she did un-assisted and won $500 towards a custom made surfboard from Alan Davis Surfboards, and Kai St. George who was the “Best Overall U13 Performer” and won a Sharp Eye Surfboard. Another standout surfer was Curtis De Silva who competed in both U18 and U13 divisions and was the events “Most Improved Surfer” and took home an extensive prize package. On Sunday 30th December the Tobago Pro 2012 had its official Prize Giving on Mt.Irvine where Scott Tuckers parents and family were on hand to present the winners with their prizes. This occasion was also used to commemorate the Opening Ceremony of the Tobago Pro 2013. Event organizers would like to thank Contest Director Jason Apparicio, Contest Judges (Warren Rostant, Troy Hadeed, Ravin Ramkissoon), supporters, and most importantly the sponsors that made this event possible. These are: The Surfing Association of Trinidad and Tobago (SATT), The Tucker Family, Blue Waters Inn, The Shade Night Club, Tobago Water, Souljahs HD, Sharp Eye Surfboards, Alan Davis Surfboards, Jason Apparicio Surf Academy, Label House Group of Companies.
FINAL RESULTS OPEN MENS DIVISION 1. Adrian De Silva 2. Stuart Hutton 3. Alan Davis 4. Che Lovelace 5. Jason Apparicio 6. Stephen Makenzie 7. Keith Lewis JUNIORS (U18) 1. Caelum Blandford 2. Adrian De Silva 3. Mathew Milne MINI-GROMS (U13) Joana Apparicio – Charger of Biggest Waves Kai St.George – Best Overall Performance Curtis De Silva – Most Improved Surfer MASTERS (O35) – BEST PERFORMANCE Stuart Hutton MOST OUTSTANDING WATERMAN Stuart Hutton

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