By Ellen Zoe Golden Photo courtesy ISA
Over the course of the surfing season so far, no competitor had a chance to come close to what Jair Pérez accomplished in the Kölbi Circuito Nacional de Surf presented by Junta de Protección Social.
No matter what happens in the final two dates of the tournament, Pérez is the 2019 national surf champion. This is a record as he nabbed the title without the results of the final two appointments since he had already won 1st place in three contests, 2nd in another and 5th in the other.
Both Luis Vindas in 2011 and Anthony Fillingim in 2016 became national champions before the Gran Finals of the Circuito, but in this year’s case, with Pérez’s best four dates he already has 6,705 ranking points. The two top followers on that Open chart— Gilbert Brown and Olman Morales— have the potential maximum points in the last two contests as 6,583 and 6,515, respectively. The surfer from Jaco now has his second national title with his win at the VISSLA PRO that took place in May in Avellanas.
That contest featured great waves, and a final that saw him out-maneuver Malakai Martínez of Tamarindo, Tao Rodríguez of Panamá, and Axel Castro from Limon. Castro, by the way, also broke a record that was held by Carlos Muñoz as the youngest competitor to surf and place in the Open finals. He is 14. Even without the need to surf in the next date in Jaco, nor the Gran Finals in Hermosa, Pérez plans to be there to compete with the goal of accumulating more points than anyone has ever obtained before in the Circuito Nacional.
Meanwhile, the amazing Rubiana Brownell took home the Women’s trophy once more, and also has a record in five dates of 1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd and 5th. She will be hard to beat.
The Avellanas chica is defending her national titles of Women’s, Junior Women’s and Girls from last year. Those categories as well as the remaining 10 categories in this national contest, are still in play. The last cups were: Copa Coldwell Banker, June 29 and 30 in Jacó in front of the facilities of Blú Beach Club. For the first-time ever, a Tico has landed in the Top 8 of the International Surf Association World Longboard Surfing Championships.
That would be Dorian Torres from Punteranas, who achieved this ranking in the waves of Biarritz, France, last month. It was nearly six years since the last time a Costa Rican went to these championships, when Anthony Flores and Alex Gomez gave it a go in Perú 2013.
They finished 25 and 31, respectively at that time. In order for Torres to obtain his position, he had to advance to the semifinals of the main event, and there he lost his heat, fell to a second-chance repercharge for one more heat, went back into the semifinals and finished there with the best position for a Costa Rican longboarder in a world championship.
The last best position for a Longboarder in this tournament, came in 2006, when Diego Naranjo of Jacó placed #13. Torres competed among 61 surfers, while Naranjo faced only 26. The Circuito Guanacasteco de Surf 2019 came to a close last month in Playa Negra, where Malakai Martínez was crowned this year’s Guanacaste surf champion.
At 18, he has become the youngest champion in the history of the 6-yearold tournament that brings contests to various beaches in the province including Marbella, Avellanas and Playa Negra. In addition, the Junior title was also his this year. “I’m happy to get this title as it is something I had for my goal, and it finally came to me,” said Martínez.
“This year has not been easy, but because of that, we are among the best fighting for several titles.”