Barbadians Lewis St John and Chelsea Tuach along with local boy Shane Simmonds shared the championship honors at the 2009 SUZUKI MAKKA PRO surf contest which went off without hitch at the “Makka” surfing beach in Southaven, Yallahs St Thomas on the 4th and 5th of July in 4’-5’ waves.
The event which featured top Caribbean pro surfers attracted 16 pro men, 5 pro women, and 12 junior pro surfers along with thousands of patrons to the south coast’s premier surf contest venue.
The event, now in its third year, has taken on the title of biggest surfing contest in the English-speaking Caribbean and attracted a diverse demographic of spectators from babes in arms to great grandmothers from all sectors of the society.
There was much excitement as Jamaica’s top surfers matched up against the best from Barbados and showed that the Jamaicans are a force to be reckoned with. JSA President Billy Wilmot provided lively commentary throughout the day with help from CSN Director Nic Donawah.
There were loud cheers and whistles from the crowd on the beach each time a surfer executed an impressive maneuver and by the end of the day, the patrons had become expert surf judges themselves.
Jamaica’s top performers this year were Shane Simmonds who successfully defended his junior title while nabbing a second place in the open men division. Other top finishers in the open men included last year's runner-up in the men’s open Inilek Wilmot, Luke Williams, Ackeam Phillips, Icah Wilmot, and Michael Panton who all finished in the money.
In the women’s division, Imani Wilmot and Jessica Williams made it to the money round with Eneson Lightbourn finishing in the prizes in the pro juniors.
“This event is another step towards the JSA realizing the association’s mandate of making surfing a sport of choice for all Jamaicans,” said Mr. Wilmot.
“The fact that our event has by far the most spectator support of any surf event in the region is proof of the interest this spectator-friendly sport generates here in Jamaica. Combined with the possibilities in alternate tourism we see surfing doing for Saint Thomas what Reggae and Tourism have done for Jamaica.”
The event was made possible through the kind sponsorship of Suzuki, Ipath, Xtrak, The SDF,
MEN'S DIVISION (US$)
1st Lewis St John BAR $1,200.00
2nd Shane Simmonds JAM $ 700.00
3rd Jordan Heaselgrave BAR $ 500.00
4th Inilek Wilmot JAM $ 300.00
5th Luke Williams JAM $ 250.00
6th Ackeam Philli8ps JAM $ 200.00
7th Icah Wilmot JAM $ 150.00
8th Michael Panton JAM $ 100.00
WOMEN'S DIVISION (US$)
1st Chelsea Tuach BAR $600.00
2nd Ametza Nichols BAR $300.00
3rd Imani Wilmot JAM $150.00
4th Jessica Williams JAM $100.00
1st Shane Simmonds JAM Trip to Trinidad
2nd Jordan Heaselgrave BAR Prizes
3rd Stefan Corbin BAR Prizes
4th Eneson Lightbourn JAM Prizes