At the age of 21, Chelsea Tuach has won more international awards and accolades than any Barbadian surfer in the history of the sport. Chelsea is known the world over as the “Barbados Surfer Girl”. She has surfed competitions around the world, winning titles from Costa Rica to N. Carolina, Florida, Puerto Rico, California and Spain. She has been a three time recipient of the Barbados Olympic Association’s Junior Female Athlete of the Year and was granted an Individual Recognition Award for her achievements in surfing in 2015 and 2016. She has also been nominated by the Barbados National Sports Council for seven (7) consecutive years (2008 – 2014) as Barbados’ Junior Female Outstanding Athlete. In 2014, she won the country’s highest sports award – the title of Sports Personality of the Year for her achievements in surfing in 2013. Chelsea again received an award in the Senior Female Athlete of the Year Award category in 2015.
Indeed, 2015 was a banner year for Chelsea Tuach on both the World Surf League’s (WSL) professional junior circuit and on the Women’s World Qualification series.
In November 2015, Chelsea was crowned the WSL North American Junior Women’s Champion after leading the rankings all year with outstanding performances in Cocoa Beach, Florida, at the US Open of Surfing in California, at the Los Cabos Open of Surf in Mexico and at the Soup Bowl Pro in Barbados which she won for the third consecutive year. In 2015, she came out on top of the best junior female surfers from the United States. She is the first Barbadian surfer to have won the WSL North American Junior Pro Championships, and has done so twice in her career.
Chelsea ended her 2015 campaign on the World Surf League’s (WSL) Women’s World Qualification (WQS) series with a career high ranking of 4th in the world after facing over 250 of the world’s top professional surfers in contests in China, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Mexico, El Salvador, France and Spain.
Indeed, Chelsea became the first Caribbean surfer to win a WSL QS 6000 event when she was crowned the Women’s Champion at the Pantin Classic held in Galicia, Spain in September 2015. With the 6000 points she earned from this win, Chelsea climbed up the WSL Qualification Series rankings to achieve her life-long goal and qualify for the 2016 WSL Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour which is only open to the top seventeen (17) professional female surfers in the world. She is the first surfer, not only from Barbados, but from the entire Caribbean region to achieve this honour and represents the smallest country ever to have a representative on the World Tour.
Despite her heavy professional contest schedule in 2015, Chelsea’s love of her country saw her compete at the International Surfing Association’s World Surfing Games, the ‘olympics’ of surfing, held in Nicaragua in May and theree she won Barbados’ first medal in short board surfing at these Games. She also owns Barbados’ only ISA medal from the ISA World Junior Surfing Championships when she placed forth at these championships in Nicaragua in 2013.
2016 saw Chelsea flying the Barbados flag high in Australia, Brazil, Fiji, Mexico, El Salvador, Spain, Portugal, France and Japan. She ended the year ranked eighteenth (18th) on the World Championship Tour and twentieth (20th) on the WQS, the highest ranked surfer, male or female, from the Caribbean region and the second highest ranked international surfer from the North American region.
Chelsea has been featured in a documentary called the ‘Barbados Surfer Girl’ that has already won numerous awards both locally and abroad. She has also been featured in a number of local, regional and international magazines because of her outstanding achievements in surfing, bringing tremendous exposure to Barbados.
This exposure brought to the island by Chelsea’s sterling performances around the world led the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. to appoint her as Barbados’ first Sports Tourism Ambassador, along with well known waterman, Brian Talma.