Following a recent press conference in San Jose, the World Surf League (WSL) made the exciting announcement that Costa Rica is now back on the Men’s and Women’s Qualifying Schedule (QS). After 14 years away from this tour, this is very exciting news for the local surfing community indeed.
The 5-day event will be held at Esterillos Este, just outside of Parrita. With 3,000 points available for grabs, some of the top men and women surfers from around the world will be sure to be here to earn those needed points to qualify for the Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour.
Representing Costa Rica with pride will be Costa Rican native, Noe Mar McGonagle, who is looking for the opportunity to win in his home country. Although McGonagle says that he is not familiar with the waves found at Esterillos Este, he says that waves anywhere are fun and these ones are consistent. McGonagle goes on to say how excited he is to be competing at home, as it gives local surfers and those from Latin America an opportunity to show off their surfing skills and earn those important QS points. They have been waiting a long time for this dream to come true.
Noe Mar’s sister, Leilani McGonagle, will be the local favorite in the Women’s QS3000 event. Although she didn’t achieve the results she had hoped for in Los Cabos or El Salvador, Leilani will be taking full advantage of this opportunity to earn those valuable points here. She says that traveling only a few hours from home will be much less stressful, and is excited to have her brother and father there to help coach and support her. She sees this as such a great opportunity for those local surfers (Ticos and Ticas) to show off their talents.
The Event Director, Diego Naranjo, has great hopes that the waves at Esterillos Este will provide competitors the chance to get some really good rides in, and earn those qualifying points. Naranjo has been around the WSL for a number of years as an athlete, and is now part of the team that has been working hard to make this dream a reality. Naranjo admits that it was his dream to be part of the WSL tour, but didn’t have the support he needed. But now, with this decision by the WSL, he has helped to bring the tour back to Costa Rica and give the new generation a chance to make their own dreams come true. The team has been working with the Costa Rican Tourism Board and some private companies to highlight the real surfing life, complete with music, a food court, and of course, the beautiful Esterillos Este Beach.
Brian Robbins, WSL North American Tour Manager, shared in his delight that Costa Rica will be joining the WSL schedule once again. He is confident this one will rival the proud history established in previous competitions. He is more than excited for this one, and sees it as a big turning point for the surfing culture that continues to run deep in Costa Rica. After more
than a decade away from these shores, bringing the event back again is a testament to the dedication and hard work it took to get this far. This competition will give all the local surfers some great experience, as well as the opportunity to earn those valuable points needed to help their over-all scores this season.
Registration is now open to all competitors. For more information go to www.worldsurfleague.com, or download the WSL App to get updates on your mobile device.