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Experience Barbados with Hailey Clauson

The SI Swimsuit model tries her hand at go-karting, off-roading and a spicy food challenge.

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It’s time to go discover a different side of Barbados with Hailey Clauson. “When you think of Barbados, you think of the warm, beautiful velvety sand,” the SI Swimsuit model says. “The beaches here are gorgeous. But I’m going to show you a different side of the island today. I’m about to discover a side of Barbados that you might not expect. Everything from go-kart racing at a world renowned race track to off-roading on an ATV trail. And I’ll find out how hot I can go with the Barbados spicy food challenge.”

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After meeting professional race car driver Zane Maloney in Bush Park, Clauson is fitted in a helmet and strapped into her go-kart. “They go 60 kilometers [per hour] so it’s similar to on the road,” explains Maloney. Zooming past Maloney on the track while whipping around corners, Clauson once again proves she can do it all. Standing on the top spot of the podium, Clauson is all warmed up and ready to take her driving skills off-road.

Chris Kirton, managing director of Off Road Fury, introduces Clauson to her new ride. Shifting from go-kart to dune buggy, the model is ready to explore Barbados in an entirely unique way. “That was so much fun. I really enjoyed you giving me a little tour and it was really beautiful and scenic,” says Clauson after rummaging through the backroads of Barbados. All of the driving and adventure works up an appetite so it's time to put Clauson’s tastebuds to the test with a spicy food challenge.

Sitting at a table in Cocktail Kitchen, executive chef and owner Damien Leach has a row of spicy cocktails for Clauson to try. “Everybody does wings, but we’re in the Caribbean, we can’t do wings. So this is a golden apple chow. It’s like a pickle with golden apple. We marinate in citrus, lime juice, fresh cilantro and chilies. We’ve got three different ones here. The first one is just with rum, falernum, scotch bonnet.” Tasting the first, Clauson is impressed and easily handles the heat. “The second one is a scotch bonnet and some habanero,” Leach says. After tasting it Clauson says, “That one’s delicious, definitely more spicy. You can really taste that cilantro in it.” Leach then presents the third offering, scotch bonnet and scorpion pepper. “This is the ultimate challenge,” says Clauson, trying it without hesitation. “That’s good! That’s spicy. It comes back. It’s coming. It’s coming!” Clauson covers her mouth with her hands. “It’s like that addictive heat. I love spicy and I almost like my mouth to be numb. And that's almost unbearable. Yeah, just barely bearable enough.”

Reflecting on her time at Cocktail Kitchen, Clauson says, “The spicy challenge was just spicy enough for me. Like if I would have gone any spicier, I don’t think I would have been able to handle it. So the chef did a perfect job at selecting the spices for me. And I feel like I really got to experience the Barbados flavors and spices. I feel like I learned a lot throughout that experience.”

You can view the 2022 photo shoot for Hailey Clauson here.