Trinidad Wins Caribbean Surf Network San Souci Contest

By Rhonda R. Harper
Updated: March 23, 2007

CALIFORNIA — Wow, the 2007 Sans Souci Pro will probably go down in the Caribbean Surf Journals as one of the best surf contest in Trinidad and Tobago for a long time.

Not a cloud in the sky, Caribbean breeze gently blowing through the endless coconut trees and true Trinidadian hospitality being expressed both by the local surfers as well as the local community.

Every one was more than accommodating to the visiting surfers who came from the USA, Hawaii, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Saturday started with 3-6ft waves with some windy conditions and the Open Men’s Round 1 and Round 2 was run entirely with some impressive rides coming from Barbados’ locals: Mark Holder, Lewis St. John, and Christian Mark.

Not to be out done by the visitors, the locals impressed the judges with their local knowledge to advance to the Quarter Finals at the end of the day – Chris Dennis, Brian Joseph, Alan Davis and Justin Tang.

Staying in line with the “Trini way of life”, all the competitors were treated to a lunar eclipse concert with Orange Sky and two other local bands that lasted to at least 3 am. It was truly magical to watch the glassy waves breaking in the bright full moon light.

Sunday started once again with some excellent conditions. The swell size had dropped to 3-4 ft with little wind, which provided the quarter finalists with some excellent opportunities to express themselves without having to look out for that “clean up set.”

New up and coming local surfer Brian Joseph was on a mission to make the finals with his cousin Chris Dennis and proved this by overcoming Mark Holder (BDS) and winning the first heat of the morning.

Part of the Barbados contingent consisted of two Jr. surfers- Christian Mark and Lewis St. John – who were blowing it up at every opportunity the wave provided, with some strong powerful turns that let everyone know that the future is in good hands.

Each of the Open Men’s Semi-Finals heats started with a 50/50 split- 2 from Barbados and 2 from Trinidad. In Semi #1 Brian Joseph once again proved that he deserved to be in the finals, by overcoming an unfortunate interference call within the 5 minute mark.

Even with the extra pressure on his shoulders, Joseph still manage to use his local knowledge to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, by earning just enough points on his last and highest scoring ride, to advance to the finals behind Christian Mark (BDS).

Semi-Final #2 was definitely one of the hottest heats of the past 2 days. Chris Dennis (TT) and Alan Davis (TT) emerged victorious over hot rising Rip Curl Jr. rider Lewis St. John (BDS) and Billabong veteran Mark Holder (BDS).

Needless to say, the beach went ecstatic when the results were announced and everyone was now ready for the finals.

The Ladies Final hit the water at 2 pm right after the Mystic Hemp Expression Session. Once again, Hawaiian Sadie Martin put down an impressive display of strong confident surfing that put the other ladies under pressure to fight for 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

When the dust settled, Sadie Martin (HAW) was declared the 2007 San Souci Pro Ladies Champion, with her fellow med student, Ashley Thorsell, in 2nd position. Trudy Aqui (TT) received 3rd and new comer Jade Nicholls (BDS) was quite satisfied with her 4th place finish.

Paul Larrier (BDS) has claimed his Hat-Trick, with a dynamite display of both prone and dropknee domination of the finals heat.

Even with an extra “bounty on his scalp”, Larrier had to bring Jason Parkinson (BDS) out of retirement/school requirements to give him any serious challenge.

At the end of the heat, Larrier claimed his third Championship event in a row, with Jason Parkinson close behind for 2nd, while Josh Bynoe (BDS) and Paul Wilson BDS) had to fight for 3rd and 4th respectively. Is there anyone who can topple Larrier’s domination?

The Men’s Finals began with the playing of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago’s National Anthem. Chris Dennis (TT), Brian Joseph (TT), Alan Davis (TT) and Christian Mark (BDS) all stood at attention mentally preparing their strategies on how they would claim the 2007 San Souci Pro Champion title.

After the competitors reached the outside line-up, the battle began with the sound of the horn. The first ten minutes of the heat showed no leaders as competitors became unglued from their boards at each maneuver attempt.

Chris Dennis gathered his composure and methodically linked 3 solid turns to head out front. By the time the 5 min flag was raised, Dennis sat comfortable in the lead, with Brian Joseph just a few points behind, and defending his position against the 16 yr. old Barbadian Jr, Christian Mark.

Mark surfed very impressively the entire contest and was unfortunate not to pick up a second high scoring ride. Alan Davis, who peaked in his Semi against Holder and St. John, only managed to connect some solid snaps and floaters in the dieing minutes of the heat.

At the sound of the second horn, Chris Dennis (TT) emerged victorious as the 2007 San Souci Pro Champion with his cousin and training partner, Brian Joseph (TT), in second position. Christian Mark (BDS) and Alan Davis (TT) rounded out the heat 3rd and 4th respectively.