The World Surf League (WSL) North America Qualifying Series (QS) and Pro Juniors fired back into action at the Barbados Surf Pro QS 3,000 and Live Like Zander Junior Pro In Memory of Zander Venezia presented by Diamonds International. Women made their highly-anticipated debuts on the QS and electric surfing followed to complete their Round of 36 and 32, while men's Pro Juniors lit up Soup Bowl once more to decide Quarterfinalists in three-to-four foot swell at Soup Bowl.

Kirra Pinkerton Sets The Standard At Soup: Barbados Surf Pro
The former junior event winner and current North America No. 7 smashed her debut at the event presented by Diamonds International.

An explosive performance from Kirra Pinkerton set the standard for the women with a 15.67 (out of a possible 20) heat total and excellent 8.50 (out of a possible 10), both event bests. The two-year hiatus away from Barbados stung for Pinkerton in particular who has made the trek since age 11 and retains a close connection with the island, and it's people who she's inherited as extended family. (Full interview in video)

"This place is so special and it's unbelievable to be back," said Pinkerton. "I have a lot of warm memories here and getting my first WSL win here so I'm excited to give it my all."

Barbados Surf Pro: Sawyer Lindblad Unleashes Backhand Attack At The Bowl
The near-Championship Tour qualifier in 2021 debuted at the event presented by Diamonds International with excellence.

Goofyfoot contenders continue to deliver great performances and Sawyer Lindblad was at the forefront of their charge. The San Clemente, California surfer showcased her power and flow to earn an excellent 8.00 and 14.63 heat total, leaving her competitors chasing her until the end. But, Lindblad knows the work is far from done if she wants to retain her place among the Challenger Series contingent. (Full interview in video)

"It was amazing to get in the water after waiting for four days to compete," said Lindblad. "I'm just excited to be here and get some good waves at Soup Bowl. I'm excited for the next few heats and hopefully get some more good waves."

Barbados' Own Chelsea Tuach Keeps Pace At Home
The current North America No. 5 looks to hold her spot for the Challenger Series at the Barbados Surf Pro pres. by International Diamonds.

The island's own Chelsea Tuach found herself competing against fellow Barbados representative Chelsea Roett, emerging threat Chiasa Maruyama, and Round of 36 standout Taylor Stacy. Tuach's aggressive forehand style led her toward a solid showing while Stacy overpowered Roett in the final minutes to leave as Barbados' last standing competitor, and fighting to stay at No. 5 on the rankings. (Full interview in video)

"It's so good for confidence to get that first heat under my belt," said Tuach. "When two other surfers have 7-point rides in the score lines it can be easy to doubt yourself. But I just told myself, you're surfing Soup Bowl, you can get sevens as well. I knew that if I got the waves I could do that surfing."

Live Like Zander Junior Pro: Taro Watanabe Finds Redemption Song
A tough deal in his QS heat, Watanabe rebounded with a spark to take down his opening Pro Junior heat.

A jaw-dropping performance from Taro Watanabesuperseded all his competitors' showings so far with an excellent 16.43 heat total. Watanabe's unfortunate QS debut didn't go to plan, but he put the loss aside and delivered his signature forehand flair with power and style to put his name in the running for an event threat.

"I had a not so good heat in my QS so I was looking to regroup and it felt good to get that start," said Watanabe. "It's super fun to be here in Barbados. I'm here for the contests but it's all fun and I'm just trying to enjoy surfing."

Bathsheba, Barbados - March 31: Kade Matson (USA) surfs in Heat 5 of Round 32 of the Live Like Zander Junior Pro In Memory of Zander Venezia on March 31, 2022, in Bathsheba, Barbados. (Photo by Andrew Nichols/ World Surf League) Kade Matson is double dipping at Soup Bowl and showing great form as he moves through each new round. - WSL / Andrew Nichols

Former event runner-up Kade Matson found his rhythm after a shaky QS heat and dismantled the scale with an excellent 8.50 and 15.20 heat total. Matson currently sits at No. 5 on the rankings and has an opportunity to sneak into the Top 2 with a massive result, and showed he's up to the challenge.

"It felt good to get the rhythm going after I haven't gotten any really good waves yet," said Matson. "I was watching it before my heat and it looked a little small and slow. I was really stoked it decided to turn on in that heat and hopefully get a couple more in the next."

A 7:30 a.m. EDT call will determine a likely 8:00 a.m. EDT start for 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.

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