The 2014 Association of Surfing Professionals Soup Bowl Pro Junior was called ON today in mixed up, but highly contestable 2-4 ft. conditions at the famous Soup Bowl in Bathsheba, Barbados. Both Round 2 of the Junior Men's and the Quarterfinals of the Junior Women's were completed in their entirety. High scores were being dropped as competitors laid it all on the line in hopes of advancing to the final day of competition.
Noah Schweizer (USA) put on one of the day's top performances for the Junior Men with a high single wave score of a near-perfect 9.17 in Heat 8. The East Coast native put together a combination critical forehand maneuvers and finished strong on the inside reform. Schweizer showed that he is motivated and hungry going into this new qualification year, and to start out with a good result here at Soup Bowl would be crucial to his 2015 campaign.
â€œWhen I first took off on that wave I didn't think I was going to make it, so when I came around the section I just threw it up into the lip and it worked out.â€ Said Noah, â€œLast year definitely fired me up with it being so tight towards the end, and hopefully I can come back even stronger this year. I'm feeling good so I'm just going to take it one heat at a time.â€
Being from New Smyrna, Florida, the regular-footer is no stranger to the waves down in Barbados, with this being his third time coming down to Soup Bowl. Schweizer made the Final in last year's event placing third, and is looking to take home another solid result.
The day's Junior Women's competition saw a standout performance from Malia Ward (USA) who confidently took down her Quarterfinal heat with the day's highest wave score of a 9.17 on a clean Soup Bowl right-hander. The San Clemente local has been dialing in her surfing all year long from big waves to beach breaks, and it looks to be paying off here in Barbados.
â€œOnce I saw that wave on the horizon and knew I was in position for it. I just told myself not to back down. I like to block out everybody else out in my mind when a wave like that comes in.â€ Malia said, â€œThis whole summer the swell has been pumping in California and I definitely feel like surfing bigger waves has helped boost my confidence in contests.â€
Junior Men's competitor Matt Passaquindici (USA) also put on a dominant display of precise surfing in Heat 3. The strong regular-footer took off on his first wave and dropped the hammer on a long right-hander where he connected a string of strong forehand blasts to the inside. Not only did the young Californian walk away with a heat win, but he also claimed one of the event's highest single wave scores with near-perfect 9.0, contributing to his impressive 15.93 two-wave total.
â€œI saw that wave come in and luckily there were a few other guys that were a little too deep up the point. It just bowled up at me and let me hit it like four times so I was just trying to stay on my feet since it was my first wave.â€ Explained Matt, â€œIt's always good to get a quick start like that, and the rest of the heat all I had to do was just back it up with another decent score. This is such an amazing wave for a contest and it really shows everyone's best surfing.â€
Another noteworthy Junior Men's performance came from Luke Marks (USA) who went on a tear in Heat 6 . The Florida native looked sharp in the rippable Carribean conditions and pocketed the day's second highest two-wave total just behind Passaquindici at 15.90 points.
â€œThat was one of the best waves that I've caught since I've been here in Barbados. Luckily I was the only one out far enough for it and when it came in I knew it was going to be a good one.â€ Said Luke, â€œLately I've just been trying to not put as much pressure on myself before heats and surf the waves as they come and it seems to be working for me.â€
The 2014 Soup Bowl Pro Junior is set to run from Friday, November 14th through Sunday, November 16th. The event will be webcast LIVE via www.barbadossurfingassociation.org