This year the Caribbean got a special addition to its mini Qualifying Series (QS) leg as the women joined for both the Martinique Surf Pro QS 3,000 and Barbados Surf Pro QS 3,000. For local surfers such as Chelsea Tuach and Chelsea Roett, it's a gold ticket to capitalize on valuable points on home turf -- and Tuach did just that with a huge win at Martinique.
The 22-year-old returns to her home island a victor and now prepares for another 3,000 points on offer in hopes of re-qualifying for the Championship Tour (CT) -- after being the first-ever Barbadian surfer to do so in 2015.
"I've had such a great week and I think it's so important, when you're in a place you feel really comfortable, you enjoy all the little things more and you carry more confidence," Tuach said following her Martinique victory. "I've been putting together some good heats and everything worked out for me, and here I am with the win. It's a big week. I can't wait to go home and compete there."
Tuach not only knows the importance of these events for herself, but for the generations to come.
"Having the Barbados Surf Pro 3,000 back on schedule this year is a huge opportunity for the locals," Tuach said leading in light of Barbados being announced on the 2018 schedule. "There's myself and the other Bajan surfers who are competing full time on the QS and looking to gain crucial points in our backyard. There's also the up-and-coming juniors who have some of the best surfers in the world performing on one of their favorite waves, showing them what can be done."
"I've already seen a mood change in some of the groms since the event last year, their inspired and it's showing in their surfing."
But, Tuach took some time to herself in 2017 to do some filming and take a step back from the standard QS grind -- something that may be a difference maker in 2018. The Barbadian is currently sitting at No. 49 following the Australian leg and some time in familiar waters may be just what she needs.
"This year, having two WQS 3,000 events in the Caribbean is pretty major. It's double the incentive for the international surfers to come down and gain some points while experiencing some of the best waves in the Caribbean. And for the Caribbean surfers, there's no better advantage."
"I think taking some time to just focus on my surfing and have fun was one of the best things I've done for myself. I feel like I've got my confidence and my ‘groove' back and I'm really excited to compete."
Watch Tuach and the rest of the women's field LIVE at the Barbados Surf Pro QS 3,000 March 27 - April 1.