Burke hits new heights

Barbados top ranked surfer on the World Surf League Men’s Qualifying Series tour, teenager Josh Burke has completed another successful campaign, ending the year eighth overall in the WSL North American rankings.

In his first full year on the men’s qualifying series, the 19-year-old also placed 164th overall, the highest ranking ever by a Barbadian in the world’s best professional surfers competing for World Championship Tour qualification.

Reflecting on his year, Burke said he was pleased with what he had managed to accomplish.

Joshua Burke in action on the WSL tour.

“Going into my first full year on the men’s tour my goals were to qualify for the 6K and 10K events before year end by breaking the top 100 in the rankings,” Burke said.

“I started with a third at the 1K in Cocoa Beach and backed it up with a 25th position at the 3K in Martinique. These results combined with the 2015 ranking allowed me to qualify in my first ever 6K events in Japan where I advanced four rounds to place 25th and jump to 83rd in the rankings.”

Burke had a few other impressive placings, finishing ninth at the Vans Surf Open in Acapulco Mexico competition, 25th at the Ichinomiya Chiba Open in Japan and 33rd at the Essential Costa Rica Open.

Despite those performances, Burke still expressed some regret about his campaign.

“I accomplished two of my three goals for the year, the 10K event eluded me and I am not at all pleased with this although I was invited into the 10K US Open trials in Huntington Beach, California,” Burke said.

He also had stellar WSL junior career, qualifying for the World Junior Championships along with making numerous international Junior finals.

The WSL International rankings are based on a competitor’s top-five event placings combined with the current year and previous year standings.

The Qualifying series is made up of 1000, 1500, 3000, 6000 and the highest rated event – the 10 000.

The numbers signify the amount of points that a competitor can earn with an event win.

Burke has also managed to land several endorsements and is currently the Billabong footwear ambassador and also represents international brands such as Nixon watches, VZ Eyewear, Rich Price Surfboards, Futures Fins and Dakine Accessories.

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