A few weeks ago, I found myself driving with my brother Steve down the east coast of Barbados on a thin strip of sun-beaten asphalt that marked the dividing line between blissfully underdeveloped, wind-cleared land and the violent, crashing waves of the Atlantic. The sun was shining, the weather was sweet and nothing could have been further from our minds than competition. Sure, us Bennett boys were raised competing in the full selection of sports on offer during our youth in St. Croix, but at that moment, we were more interested in taking in the massive beauty of Lakes Beach, the West Indian family vibe of Barclays Park, or just the view from The New Edgewater Hotel.
But regardless of our intentions of skylarking all day, competition was in the air! Or, to be more precise, in the water. It just so happened, that on that day, a few miles down the coast at Soup Bowl, the best and brightest of Barbados’ elite young surfers, like Caelum Blandford, were competing for the opportunity to represent their home island in upcoming international tournaments.
This was just the type of competition to fit into our day: one where other people did the competing while we ate souse and drank rum courtesy of the Barbados Surfing Association. This group is THE authority for surfing on Barbados and yet, as we found out, they’re woefully under-sponsored. We’ll definitely be keeping an eye on these good folks and hope to lend a hand at some of their future events… Especially if there’s more of that souse!
In the meantime, we captured some of the action (and practice surfing between rounds) in the photo essay below. Just click on an image to enter the slideshow.