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Dennis shreds his way to triple-crown at surf nationals
Surfing veteran Chris Dennis reinforced his status as one of the greatest national competitors in the history of the sport, as he rode the waves in San Souci, Trinidad, to a rare triple-crown at the National Surfing Championships that took place over the weekend.
The surfer from Balandra out-surfed the 40-plus competitors who tried to unseat him, capturing both the men’s open, and master’s championships, and surfer of the year honours. Jesse Jarvis, the number two ranked surfer in the nation entering the tournament, also had a strong showing in the men’s open championship, but finished second-best to Dennis, who has now won the competition three years in a row.
Rounding out the standings in the event were surprise joint-third winners Elton John, who represented T&T at the Hyundai Independence Surf Pro Competition in Barbados last month, and Shane Henneman, who also performed admirably.
The master’s championship was equally as entertaining, as current president of the Surfing Association of T&T, Che Lovelace, went wave-for-wave with Dennis, but eventually fell short to the experienced professional. Kendell Francis and Mikey “Bully” Phillips rounded out the standings in the event, placing third and fourth respectively.
In the Under-18 contest, surfing prodigy, Oba Lewis, who won the Junior National Boys U-16 Championship in October, finished second-best to Elton John, who shredded the North-East coast waves on the way to the title.
Ziggy Shweden, who finished runner-up in the U-16 championship, had another encouraging performance as well, placing third, and Logan de Freitas nabbed fourth place. The final event of the day, was the crowning of Surfer of the Year, and the accolade was rightfully given to Dennis, who was head and heels above the competition.
The annual event, which has existed since the formation of the Association in the 1980’s, is the pinnacle of local surfing competition and continues to deliver on its goal of promoting surfing throughout T&T.
“I think it was a successful event from the level of organisation and the production of the event itself,” Lovelace told Guardian Media Sport.
“We still want to attract bigger audiences, but we feel that the event itself will bring bigger audiences, and by hosting consistent, high-quality events we will eventually attract larger audiences,” he added.