- WSL / Andrew Nichols

Each year, a regional Qualifying Series (QS) champion is determined. Now, that title holds more weight with the newly formatted tours and competitions that qualify regional competitors to the Challenger Series for their shot at the ultimate dream of Championship Tour (CT) qualification.

Taste of Soup Bowl
Jordan Heaselgrave, Jacob and Josh Burke all enjoying a bit of home before the Thomo QS 1,000 In Memory of Bill Thomson.

For North America, that capstone is the upcoming Barbados Surf Pro presented by Diamonds International. A massive opportunity is at hand with 3,000 points on the line and leaves the door for Challenger Series qualification scenarios to nearly the end of the rankings for men's competitors and a much tighter window for the women to make their moves.

A clear standout this year, Alyssa Spencer has a 2,000-point lead as North America No. 1 after four victories this season. However, the race to determine the cutline couldn't be closer with four surfers all within 300 points of one another. Among them, former Live Like Zander Junior Pro Leilani McGonagle enters the Soup Bowl arena for the first time since her 2016 victory.

Leilani McGonagle (CRI) winning her Quarterfinal heat at the Soup Bowl Pro Junior McGonagle's backhand attack led her to a maiden WSL victory en route to claiming a North America Pro Junior Regional Title. - WSL / Andrew Nichols

The likes of Barbados' own Josh Burke, who was the last competitor to win at Soup Bowl, rising star Crosby Colapinto, fellow San Clemente, California talents Taj Lindblad and Cole Houshmand, Mexico's top threat Alan Cleland, and more are on the cusp of overtaking a Top 9 spot.

Former Soup Bowl Victors In The Hunt

Chelsea Tuach (BRB) opened her Copa El Salvador Impresionante account brilliantly, winning her Round 3 heat. Chelsea Tuach and righthanders have a great relationship after all her success at Soup Bowl - WSL / Kurt Steinmetz

The Live Like Zander Junior Pro, formerly Soup Bowl Junior Pro, has ran since 2013 and held its place as the crowning jewel for North America's top up-and-coming surfers. Now, those competitors are looking to rekindle that success and claim their spot on the Challenger Series.

Former CT surfer, Barbados' first-ever representative, Chelsea Tuach laid her claim as the Queen of Soup Bowl with three-consecutive wins from 2013-2015. The now 26-year-old looks for her chance to rejoin the world's best and can secure her first step in doing so by keeping pace at this event.

Kirra Pinkerton (USA) winning her Round One heat at the Live Like Zander Junior Pro In Memory of Zander Venezia. A first-ever WSL win came for Pinkerton at this very wave in 2017. - WSL / Andrew Nichols

Joining Tuach as former victors are McGonagle, reigning Barbados Surf Pro victor and 2016 Soup Bowl winner, and 2017 standout Kirra Pinkerton - who then went on to win the World Junior Championships the following year, who currently sits at No .7.

Ripping through this year's Sprite Soup Bowl Pro Junior, Cam Richards (USA) lost only one heat en route to his Finals win. Cam Richards' found victory here in 2014 as a Pro Junior and looks for more as - WSL / NATHANIEL HARRINGTON

After a dynamic performance at Morro Bay, 2014 Soup Bowl victor Cam Richards returns to the famed wave in a jersey for the first time since 2015. 2016's victor Che Allan, who also has a Thomo QS 1,000 victory to his name, is back alongside San Clemente's duo of Houshmand and Colapinto - taking their wins in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Josh Burke Claims Maiden WSL Soup Bowl Win
The island's own reclaimed the Thomo QS 1,000 In Memory of Bill Thomson title for Barbados.

Also in the draw, 2018 Thomo QS 1,000 victor Chauncey Robinson returns as a major threat alongside the 2019 winner and Soup Bowl standout Josh Burke.

Watch all the storylines unravel LIVE beginning March 28 - April 3.

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