From Thursday, October 4th, until Sunday, October 7th, 2018, the “Essential Costa Rica Surf Pro” was held at Jacó Beach. We remind you that this is a world ranking series 1500 of the World Surf League (WSL). In this regard, Round 1 had 4 women’s heats and 3 men’s heats.
Weather conditions for the surfers’ competition were different than expected. The rain affected the view of the surfers, but while there were waves they could compete well. The rain did affect the public`s attendance, which kept the organizers in charge of the event in certain expectation.
On the 1st day of competition (October 4th), the women`s category, in heat 1 advanced the American Valeria Ojeda (11.83) and the Costa Rican Nataly Bernold (10.50), in heat 2 the Chilean Josefina Vidueira (12.30) and the Mexican Brisa Muñoz (7.50) made the best waves; in heat 3 the qualified were Candelaria Resano from Nicaragua (13.16) and Serena Nava from the United States (8.93), while in heat 4, the Venezuelan Rosanny Álvarez (14.00) and the Costa Rican Paulina Summers (5.60), was the best.
In the men’s category, the Costa Rican`s Darshan Antequera (13.77) and Carlos Jiménez (9.66) obtain the classification in heat 1, in the 2nd eliminatory the Costa Rican Steven Arauz (11.93) and the Venezuelan Jose Lopez (9.03) went to the next round, meanwhile in heat 3 the Chilean Danilo Cerda (11.00) and the Costa Rican Dennis Picado (8.60) got the best waves.
It is worth noting that the Chilean Josefina Vidueira registered the only excellent rating of the day of 8.00 (of a possible 10). On the 1st day, the Ticos who were eliminated were Auxiela Ryan, Erika Valverde, Bruno Carvalho, and Carlos Urbina.
Carlos Muñoz and Rachel Presti became champions of the Essential Costa Rica Surf Pro. The last day of competition was full of emotions, where the fabulous Carlos Muñoz had a very tight score of 14.67 on 13.30, “Cali” as he is known as the best at the closing of the championship, to place himself proudly in the first place of the podium.
The talent of the national surfers NoeMar McGonagle, Jairo Pérez, who made excellent maneuvers and advanced to the semifinals, in addition to the Peruvian Lucca Messinas, were also worth mentioning on the men’s side.
The women’s semifinals were disputed between the German Rachel Presti (10.40) and the American Meah Collins (4.26), Presti with a wide advantage was consolidated in the final; while Tia Blanco with 13.03 beat the Spanish Leticia Canales who barely managed a score of 11.33. Presti did her thing and left the first place with a score of 15.60 over White 6.93.
There are different versions of the history of surfing in Costa Rica. One of them says that this activity began to be popular in the 1980s. “El Caribe” and “Boca Barranca” became the most visited places because they had good communication routes. It was in “Boca Barranca”, where the real inspiration for practicing this sport really started.
The Essential Costa Rica Surf Pro is an event that marks a great occasion for the competitive surfing scene in Costa Rica after a brief break outside of the WSL schedule in 2018, as well as a change of location to Jaco Beach from the previous site of Esterillos Este.
It is a great opportunity for wave lovers, who also want to gain experience at a professional level through competitions with the best North American talents, as well as international competitors.
Kings of the waves
One of the most experienced QS in Costa Rica, Carlos Muñoz, has kept fighting against some of the best surfers in the world for more than seven years, ranking among the Top 150 starting in 2012.
“It seems that all the work we have been doing during all these years is paying off by seeing these events here, not only for me but for all Costa Ricans it is a great opportunity, we call it the “window” so they (Ticos) can experience the sensation, the adrenaline and why not the beginning of dreaming as athletes, I am eager to try to win it and gain some momentum by the end of the year“, said Muñoz.
On this occasion, Muñoz and QS Noe McGonagle were accompanied by the likes of Anthony Fillingim, Jairo Pérez and Aldo Chirinos, along with many more on the quest to win the title for Costa Rica.
A new opportunity for women
Through the Women’s Essential Costa Rica Surf Pro, the incredible competitor, and 2016 North American Champion, Meah Collins, returned with more strength to Costa Rica, the country where she consolidated her title, hoping to improve her previous result.
One of the best in Costa Rica, Nataly Bernold Gutierrez, gave it her all after her WSL debut at the Essential Costa Rica Surf Open 2016. The 25-year-old athlete already has a Costa Rican national title and a Championship title for Central America but is still looking for a breakthrough at the professional level.
All in all, it was a great event where Costa Rican residents, foreigners, family members and friends of competitors enjoyed and appreciated each of the competitions and victories.