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BARBADOS - surfing 2008
by Heather-Lynn Evanson Compliments of the Barbados Nation News
NINE OF BARBADOS' top junior surfers leave today for the Quiksilver International Surfing Association's (ISA) World Junior Surfing Championships in France.
The team includes "really good standout performers", head coach Nick Donawa told the DAILY NATION.
"I feel really strong confidence with the team. We did quite a level of training and preparation for this one."
In addition, the coach singled out Jordan Heaselgrave as "the dark horse.
"He's been picking up a lot and advancing really fast in the coaching programmes we've been doing."
Donawa noted the fact that members will have to compete in wetsuits should not hamper their chances.
"We've done quite a bit of training with Margot Tuach. She was doing some individual physical training as well as performing in the water in the wetsuits to get accustomed to the flexibility," he said.
"And quite a few of them have tackled cold water before, so Barbados is getting a little bit more comfortable in the wet suit competition," Donawa added.
Conditions in France, so far, look favourable with the water temperature around 14 degrees and the waves average.
In addition, the head coach revealed that last year's ranking of 20th should work in the team's favour. He has hopes of moving up at least five places or even cracking the top ten.
"It means that we are in the top end of the lower bracket," he explained.
"Which means that if it goes true to form, our placement in the early rounds would put us in very favourable heats where we really wouldn't be seeing the top countries but mostly countries that are statistically a little better than us, but which I know we have a good chance of beating," he said.
"It's a great way for us to start. We have hopes of doing a couple quick jumps in the numbers up the ladder."
The surfers,who are due to arrive in France tomorrow, will immediately hit the waves in an attempt to acclimatise themselves to the water.
The championships take place from Saturday to June 1 and are expected to attract 250 athletes from more than 30 countries, including Brazil, Hawaii, United States and Jamaica. Australia are the defending champions. Competition begins on Sunday and will be broadcast live on the Internet.
Boys – Danny Edghill, Jordan Heaselgrave, Lewis St John, Bruce Mackie, Gavin Fernandes.
Girls – Ametza Nicholls, Chelsea Tuach, Chelsea Roett, Allyssa Fernandes.
Team management – Andrew Lewis (manager), Rachel Roett (assistant manager), Nick Donawa (coach), Jason Kistoo (assistant coach).
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