By Ellen Zoe Golden Photo by: Alfredo Barquero courtesy: Federación de Surf de CR
SUP surfing is in no way the stepchild of the more familiar sport; it’s simply an evolution and one that has just exploded.
For us in Costa Rica, it’s important to pay attention to the SUP surf contests as well, which take place nationally along with the Masters, the veteran typical surfers, and Longboarders, who also need respect.
After three dates, the Triple Corona Masters & SUP & Longboard was completed in Playa Avellanas in front of Cabinas Las Olas last month.
The SUP category was for wave surfing, which is a shame, because the racing aspect of this sport can be very exciting and takes a lot of strength and endurance.
Costa Rica did include a new category this year, Adaptive Surfing, for disabled athletes to compete.
The 9 national champions are: SUP Surfing: Marcel Oliveira (Jacó) Longboard: Dorian Torres (Tamarindo) Adaptive Surfing: Ismael Araya (Puerto Viejo) Masters (Older than 35): Freddy Camacho (Jacó) Grand Masters (Older than 40): Cassio Carvalho (Jacó) Kahuna (Older than 45): Cassio Carvalho (Jacó).
In total, 90 different competitors— the largest combined total of surfers in this contest since the launch of this circuit—began this journey in February where they surfered Nosara.
The next stop was Santa Teresa, and Avellanas concluded the year. Winners from the Masters & SUP & Longboard have, in the past years, participated in the International Surfing Association (ISA) World Championships in their categories.
The Federación de Surf de Costa Rica has not confirmed international participation as yet this year. As always it comes down to money.
For his part, Carvalho, who is the coach for the Costa Rica national junior surf team, made an excellent showing with 2 divisions, while Camacho, Araya, Oliveira and Torres all made the national podium for the first time ever.
“I won the Triple Crown, which is a dream realized after fighting hard,” said Camacho. “The truth is this makes me very happy primarily because today I won with the support of my family and sponsors.”
It seemed like all the best Costa Rican surfing kids made their way to Los Cabos Open de Surf in Zippers, Mexico last month.
There were two contests taking place, the Womens QS6000, which would reward very high points to the winning ladies, and Juniors events for both boys and girls.
Coral Wiggins (Avellanas) had a taste of the top professional QS because she seeded there because of her quarterfinals win at the Costa Rica Pro QS3000 here last year. In Mexico, Round 1, she came in 3rd with two waves under 3 points. Meanwhile, the more experienced Leilani McGonagle (Pavones) who was seeded in Round 2, didn’t fare much better with her 4th place finish.
Participating in their respective Juniors contests were Tamarindo’s Malakai Martínez (1st place in Round 1, 3rd Place in Round 2); Playa Grande’s Serena Neva (4th in Round 1); Jaco’s Emily Gussoni (4th in seeded Round 2); Wiggins (3rd in seeded Round 2); and McGonagle (passed her seeded Round 1 and fell to 3rd in the next one).
While Martínez has yet to rank on the North American junior chart for the Men’s, the Women’s rankings show McGonagle at #4, Wiggins at #16, and Gussoni at #29. And finally, Noe Mar McGonagle (Pavones) is still on the hunt for a Top 10 spot on the Men’s QS.
At the Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing in Durbin last month it looked like he would continue his impressive showings. However, a pass in his seeded Round 3, ended his run in a 3rd place spot in the next go-around. Still, he is at #30 on the QS rankings.
Ta m a r i n d o ’s Tomas King was also in South Africa, and placed 4th in his seeded Round 2 heat.