Barbados Surf Pro 2024 Being Held From March 18 – 24

For the second year in a row, Barbados will host the World Surf League (WSL) Q5000 at the renowned “Soup Bowl”, Bathsheba, St. Joseph, from Monday, March 18, to Sunday, March 24, beginning at 8:00 a.m. each day.

The WSL Q5000 men and women’s event, which has the highest rating at the Qualifying Series level and is the largest surfing event held in the Caribbean region, will have participants from 19 countries, including Barbados, competing for a chance to win first place and walk away with US$10,000 and 5,000 points.

The week of March 18 to 24 will also see the staging of the Live Like Zander Junior Pro, in memory of Zander Venezia.  The two events are being hosted by Diamonds International and Surf Promotions Barbados Limited, in conjunction with the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI). 

Speaking during a media launch today, at the BTMI’s Warrens, St. Michael, location, BTMI’s Manager of Sport, Kamal Springer, noted that one of the BTMI’s objectives is to promote Barbados as a sporting tourism destination, and by hosting and promoting events such as the WSL Q5000 it highlights the island’s capabilities for hosting major sporting events.

“It is incredibly important … for our sports tourism strategy to make sure that we partner with these massive sporting leagues [such as] World Surf League and to make sure that our events are world-class, so that we can get more people, spectatorship and more athletes coming to the destination,” Mr. Springer said.

He added that in addition, it allows the island to showcase its culture and lifestyle to millions of viewers worldwide through the various media outlets covering the event.

Co-director of Surf Promotion Barbados Limited, Louis Venezia, disclosed that when Barbados hosted last year’s WSL Q5000, the country received a $1.1 million injection into the economy as a result of competitors, coaches, family members and friends, and media personnel, who utilised accommodations, car rentals, and patronage supermarkets, restaurants, etc.

Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.’s Manager of Sport, Kamal Springer (centre) speaking during today’s media launch of the Barbados Surf Pro and Live Like Zander events while co-director of Surf Promotion Barbados Limited, Louis Venezia (left) and Tourism Development Corporation Representative, Jacqueline Gill, look on. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

“In 2023, our event attracted 456 hotel rooms, Air BnB and beach house rentals, and 115 car rentals.  These arrivals amounted to 5,838 audited nights spent. According to this data, the estimated return on investment for the 2023 event was a whopping US$1.1 million that was injected into the Barbados economy.  The tourism impact reflected through this event is an undeniable benefit to the economy of Barbados,” Mr. Venezia stated.

He shared that to date, the event had received 246 entries – 168 men and 78 women, and thanked the sponsors for helping to make the event possible.  Some local sponsors include the Tourism Development Corporation, Slam 101.1 and Y103.3 FM, Zaccios Restaurant, Infra Rentals, Mount Gay Rum, and Rémy Martin.

Barbados Surf Pro and Live Like Zander Junior Pro 2024 will be covered by various media outlets and can be followed on all WSL social media platforms.  

Barbadian Pro Surfers Chelsea Tuach and Josh Burke are encouraging the public to come out in their numbers and support the “Bajan” competitors as well as to participate in the Loyd Tea “Wellness Weekend” free activities. 

Activities include Pilates and Yoga on the beach, sunrise hikes along the east coast, a beach cleanup, free entertainment for the kids hosted by Eco Kids, and on the Saturday evening, there will be a free fashion show hosted by Sea Egg Barbados, which will be followed by live entertainment.