The World Surf League (WSL) North America Qualifying Series (QS) Barbados Surf Pro QS 3,000 presented by Diamonds International continued with men's top seeds making their highly-anticipated debuts. Some of North America's finest turned in exquisite performances amid tough, two-to-three foot conditions and dwindled the field to the Round of 32. Women's QS, men's and women's Pro Juniors were called off for the day.
Though it's been four years since San Clemente, California's Cole Houshmand set foot on Barbados soil, the 21-year-old still has a connection with Soup Bowl. The former Live Like Zander Junior Pro In Memory of Zander Venezia winner debuted with an event-best 15.10 (out of a possible 20) heat total.
Houshmand's decimating backhand attack put the event on notice as he looks for a big result to get on the Challenger Series. (Full interview in video)
A brilliant showing from emerging talent, Houshmand's fellow San Clemente, surfer Nicholas Coli garnered an excellent 8.50 (out of a possible 10) and 14.33 heat total. competitor found himself facing Round of 64 seeded competitors, former Soup Bowl victor, Chauncey Robinson and current North America No. 10 John Mel, in a stacked affair that he control from the start. This marks Coli's first Round of 32 appearance of the season and did so in defining fashion - eliminating Mel. (Full interview in newsfeed)
"It feels pretty good and not try to think about who's in my heat if someone's better than me or worst than me," said Coli. "I just focus on the heat. You have to make it to the Final somehow (laughs)."
An immaculate debut from former Live Like Zander Junior Pro winner Crosby Colapinto rounded off the San Clemente trio's dominance. Colapinto's searing forehand garnered a 14.27 heat total alongside an in-form Alan Cleland - who shared Colapinto's winning junior Final in 2018. The 20-year-old has ground to make up and showed he's ready for the challenge. (Full interview in newsfeed)
"Back at the Bowl, it feels good and this wave is all world," said Colapinto. "It's sick that it's like a championships. It's a (QS) 3,000. It's at the best wave on the whole QS North America region, it's just insane."
Current North America No. 1 Michael Dunphy headed into the final minutes of his debut in need of a score and delivered the event's highest single-wave score so far of an excellent 8.67. The East Coast veteran returns to Soup Bowl in a jersey for the first time since 2018 and fell right back into rhythm, showing his patience and utilizing priority brilliantly. (Full interview in newsfeed)
"I've actually only done one event here in the past," said Dunphy. "Before it was on the other side but this wave is way more of my favorite. I'm just excited to come back and surf in a heat (here)."
Upsets Scattered, Notable Names Through To Round Of 32
Early upsets unfolded as the event lost the likes of top seeded surfers Mel, Luke Gordon, Taro Watanabe, Taj Lindblad, Derek Gomes, and Barbados' own powerhouse Josh Burke. Braden Jones and Kai Kushner emerged one-and-two to overtake one of Soup Bowl's top competitors in Burke.
Big performances from the likes of top-seeded standouts Kei Kobayashi, Kei Kobayashi, Tyler Gunter, Jett Schilling, Ryland Rubens, Levi Slawson also highlighted today's action. Round of 96 top performers continued their campaigns with clutch wins including Parker Coffin, Che Allan, Jeremy Carter, and Tao Rodriguez.
A 7:30 a.m. EDT call will determine a likely 8:00 a.m. EDT start to competition.
The Barbados Surf Pro QS 3,000 and Live Like Zander Junior Pro In Memory of Zander Venezia presented by Diamonds International will run March 28 - April 3.
Watch all the action LIVE beginning from start to finish at www.WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL App, or YouTube platforms.