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Golden boy De Silva out-surfs legends
Organisers and surfers of the Surfing T&T Tobago Pro 2012 finally got what they waited all year for—a huge swell—big enough to produce waves of enough consequence to run the open division of this prestigious event on Sunday, December 23.
The opening ceremony of the 2012 edition of the Tobago Pro took place at the end of December 2011 when all other divisions were run in excellent surf at the world famous Mt Irvine Beach.
However, in order to run the open division, organisers set out a year long wait in hope of a swell that would produce waves big enough to do justice to the event and its memorial trophy namesake, Scott Tucker.
Scott loved big, powerful waves and he enjoyed surfing them with his friends. On the very last Sunday of the waiting period, as if a perfect plan were being executed, organisers got the waves and the surfers, and Scott’s presence was definitely felt. Officials and media gathered on the beach to witness the waves get bigger and bigger all morning.
There were 19 entrants and the names were divided by seeding into three heats. The top two surfers in each heat advanced to the grand final. The surfers put on an epic display and demonstrated the camaraderie that makes local surfing extra special.
There were 17 local surfers and two International invited surfers, one from the US and one from Australia.
The top three surfers in the final made the judges really work for their pay, as they all had excellent rides in the peaking swell. In third place overall was local surfboard shaper and backside surfing powerhouse Alan Davis, while Stuart Hutton, who recently recovered from a serious knee injury and made an incredible comeback after nearly two years, was second.
Winner was Adrian De Silva, who was competing on the day before his 18th birthday. De Silva dedicated his win to his dying grandfather. The performance was especially impressive as he was the youngest and least experienced of the finalists. He surfed well beyond his years, showing knowledge and power of a seasoned veteran.
Quite fitting also was the fact that he was the only surfer in the final that could truly be considered a Tobago local, having lived his entire life in Tobago with his family. De Silva’s name will be engraved on to the Scott Tucker Memorial Trophy and he will go down in T&T surfing history as the first to have this honour. He was also awarded a Scott Tucker Memorial Surfboard from Sharp Eye Surfboards.
The Most Outstanding Waterman prize, which is for the surfers who not only excels in the surfing performance arena of the contest, but is also a standout all-round Waterman, was also decided.
Stuart Hutton was the recipient which entitled his name to be engraved on the Scott Tucker Memorial Trophy and he was awarded with a Scott Tucker Memorial Surfboard from Lost Surfboards. He was also the best performing over 35 (master) surfer and was rewarded with two nights at the Blue Waters Inn, Speyside.
In the Under 18 (Juniors) division, the separation between the top three surfers was less than two points, which spoke volumes for the performance levels. First place went to Caelum Blandford who managed to claim a nice barrel in the middle section of a long point wave. In a great showing of sportsmanship and camaraderie, Blandford was carried to the podium on the shoulders of his fellow competitors to celebrate the victory. De Silva was second while Mathew Milne was third.
In the Mini-Groms (U13) division, all the kids exceeded expectations. The goal of this division was to ensure that it was not too competitive and that all the kids had fun.
Some of the highlights were Joana Apparicio who was the Charger of the Biggest Waves which she did un-assisted and won $500 towards a custom made surfboard from Alan Davis Surfboards, and Kai St George who was the Best Overall U13 Performer and won a Sharp Eye Surfboard. Another standout surfer was Curtis De Silva who competed in both U18 and U13 divisions and was the event’s Most Improved Surfer and took home an extensive prize package.
On December 30, the Tobago Pro had its official prize-giving on Mt Irvine where Scott Tuckers parents and family were on hand to present the winners with their prizes. This occasion was also used to commemorate the opening ceremony of the Tobago Pro 2013. Event organisers would like to thank contest director Jason Apparicio, judges (Warren Rostant, Troy Hadeed, Ravin Ramkissoon), supporters, and most importantly the sponsors that made this event possible.
These are The Surfing Association of Trinidad and Tobago (SATT), The Tucker Family, Blue Waters Inn, The Shade Night Club, Tobago Water, Souljahs HD, Sharp Eye Surfboards, Alan Davis Surfboards, Jason Apparicio Surf Academy, Label House Group of Companies.
OPEN MEN’S DIVISION
1. Adrian De Silva
2. Stuart Hutton
3. Alan Davis
4. Che Lovelace
5. Jason Apparicio
6. Stephen Makenzie
7. Keith Lewis
1. Caelum Blandford
2. Adrian De Silva
3. Mathew Milne
Joana Apparicio – Charger of Biggest Waves
Kai St George – Best Overall Performance
Curtis De Silva – Most Improved Surfer
MASTERS (O35) – BEST PERFORMANCE
MOST OUTSTANDING WATERMAN
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