Leilani McGonagle is the new National Women’s Surf Champion

Written by Tamarindo News

By Tamarindo News Staff Photos by: Alfredo Barquero

The intrigue of who would win the 2016 Women’s title concluded in Playa Hermosa last month for the Reef Gran Finals. After an intense final against her main rival, Emily Gussoni of Jaco, who gave a good fight up until the last minute, Leilani McGonagle of Pavones was named the new national Women’s champion. Her win broke a streak of titles between just two other surfers in this category.

As expected, the two best surfers of the season, Gussoni and McGonagle, reached the ultimate day of the Reef Gran Final of the Circuito Nacional de Surf Kölbi presented by Adrenaline Rush. A complicated series of mathematics was applied to the one female that ended up higher than the other in that final heat.

Leilani started strong during the first minutes of the final series against Gussoni, Paula Duarte and Lisbeth (the latter two from Jaco). Vindas launched a closing lob with a backhand in the last minutes that scored 8.33, pushing her to the lead of the heat and the winner of the contest.

However, between Leilani and Emily, they only needed to determine who finished higher. Emily needed a wave of 6.84 to beat Leilani, who combined for 13.33 (7.00 and 6.33). But it never came. This positioning: Vindas 1st, McGonagle 2nd, Emily 3rd, gave Leilani the right to be the 3rd ever national Women’s champion since the Circuito began in 2001. (The others were 12-time winner Vindas, and 3-time winner Nataly Bernold of Puerto Viejo.)

“I feel super happy right now. The title came down to this final, and it had complicated waves. However, I want to congratulate Emily for giving me a great fight, and the winner of the date, Lisbeth, who I have admired a lot since I started competing,” said Leilani.

Gussoni was able to win the title for the Junior Women’s national championship, while McGonagle was the runner-up in that category.

Anthony Fillingim of Malpais was already named national champion in the Open in June, but he competed in Hermosa and fell out early in. The winner of the date in the Open was Jaco’s  Jair Perez, who beat Manuel Mesen (Jaco), Gilbert Brown (Puerto Viejo) and Anderson Tascon (Jaco).

This year, the podium ceremony for the 2016 national champions also included the winners of the 2016 SUP, Longboard and Masters categories.  See all the winners below.


  1. Anthony Fillingim (Santa Teresa)
  2. Angelo Bonomelli (Puerto Viejo)
  3. Anderson Tascón (Herradura)
  4. Durby Castillo (Pavones)

Open Women’s

  1. Leilani McGonagle (Pavones)
  2. Emily Gussoni (Jacó)
  3. Lisbeth Vindas (Jacó)
  4. Zulay Martínez (Tamarindo)


  1. José Joaquín López (Jacó)
  2. Oscar Urbina (Puerto Viejo)
    3. Malakai Martínez (Tamarindo)
  3. Dean Vandewalle (Tamarindo)

Junior Women’s

  1. Emily Gussoni (Jaco)
  2. Leilani McGonagle (Pavones)
  3. Serena Nava (Playa Grande)
  4. Zulay Martínez (Tamarindo)


  1. Oscar Urbina (Puerto Viejo)
  2. Malakai Martínez (Tamarindo)
  3. Francisco Coronado (Brasilito)
  4. Aldo Chirinos (Playa Negra)


  1. Serena Nava (Playa Grande)
  2. Coral Wiggins (Avellanas)
  3. Zulay Martínez (Tamarindo)
  4. Paulina Summers (Puerto Viejo)


  1. Dean Vandewalle (Tamarindo)
  2. Samuel Reidy (Dominical)
  3. Kenneth Peralta (Jacó)
  4. Aaron Ramírez (Jacó)


  1. Axel Castro (Limón)
  2. Kalani Abrahao (Tamarindo)
  3. ZIggie Myrie (Jacó)
  4. Ethan Hollander (Dominical)

Mini-Grommets Girls

  1. Lia Díaz (Tamarindo)
  2. Auxiela Ryan (Puerto Viejo)
  3. Danielle Guzman (Limón)
    4. Candelaria Resano (Nicaragua)

SUP Race Men

  1. Rolando Herrera
  2. Geovani Espinoza
  3. JC Demarchevier
  4. Michael Gutiérrez

SUP Race Women

  1. Daniela Wooster
  2. Valeria Salustri
  3. Selena Cubero
  4. Silvia Ramírez

SUP Surf

  1. Erick Antonson
  2. Marcel Oliveira
  3. Bryan Sandoval
  4. José Ruiz


  1. Adolfo Gómez
  2. Alex Gómez
  3. Marcel Oliveira
  4. Andrés Rojas


  1. Adolfo Gómez
  2. Alvaro Solano
  3. Cristian Salazar
  4. Early Farrier

Masters Women

  1. Verónica Quirós
  2. Yenory Godínez
  3.  Andrea Díaz

4 .Florencia Maldonado

Grand Masters

  1. Early Farrier
  2. Cristian Salazar
  3. Adolfo Gómez
  4. Gustavo Castillo


  1. Craig “Tequila” Schieber
  2. Ian Bean
  3. Alejandro Monge

Grand Kahuna

  1. Craig “Tequila” Schieber
  2. Roberto Miranda

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