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World’s top surfers head for Surf Pro on Martinique

Published on April 13, 2015 by   ·   No Comments

The Caribbean doesn’t immediately spring to mind when you think of fantastic surfing destinations, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few world-class secret surf spots hidden around the islands.

One of the best, Basse Pointe on the northern tip of Martinique, is about to become a lot more famous.

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For five days, starting 21 April, the French Caribbean island is hosting Martinique Surf Pro, the newest leg on the World Surf League Qualification Series (QS).

It looks like it will be a popular stage of the QS as there are already around 100 surfers from five continents signed up to take advantage of the amazing right-handers in Basse Pointe.

However it won’t all be surf surf surf, the organisers are also setting up an activity village with shops and restaurants and there are a variety of free events for surfers and non-surfers alike.

 

There will also be DJs accompanying the competitors as they perform and, no doubt, there’ll be a little bit of rum consumed post performance.

The winner of the Martinique Surf Pro will walk away with 3,000 QS points and a none-too-shabby 100,000 USD prize. Yes, you read that right, 100K.

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If you thought surfing was simply about hanging out on the beach with your homies you would be mistaken. Board shorts, flip flops and the smell of sunscreen belie the extremely competitive nature of the world of surfing, and with five and six figure prizes on offer it’s hardly surprising.

In 2014 Gabriel Medina, the current world champion, walked away with 431,500 USD in prize money (not to be sniffed at for a 21 year old) and that’s not even counting sponsorship deals.

The big pro competitions are run by the World Surf League (WSL), the newly unveiled name for the Association of Surfing Professionals – the governing body for the world of surfing.

 

 

A short explanation for those not in the know: to become a pro surfer you need to compete in the Qualifying Series (QS) and finish in the top ten. The QS, sometimes referred to as ‘The Grind’, is open to everyone and points and prizes are awarded to the winners.

Obviously to win the points you need to compete, and with competitions as far flung as Tahiti, Australia, South Africa and Spain, you need to circumnavigate the globe, and that’s not cheap.

The events within the QS are graded and points awarded for first place can be 1,000, 1,500, 3,000, 6,000 or 10,000 each – with prizes to match. Martinique is a 3,000 QS event.

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At the end of the season the top ten qualifiers move up to the big leagues and compete with the top 34 surfers in the world in the Championship Tours – 11 events with a whopping 525,000 USD prize money up for grabs at each.

So what can you expect to see in Martinique? There will be plenty of world-class Caribbean surfers there fighting their corner.

Louca Jourdan and Jerry Schaefer from Martinique, Gatien Delahaye, Enzo Cavallini and Timothée Bisso representing Guadeloupe, as well as Barbados-based Joshua Burke and Dane McKie will all be competing.

We’re sure they will be keen to make sure that this inaugural Caribbean crown stays local, but with competitors from all over the world it’ll be a tough challenge.

www.worldsurfleague.com

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