By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Brown, Vindas Fight for National Title
COSTA RICA – JosÃ© UreÃ±a, President of the Federacion de Surf de Costa Rica (FSC), announced that the seventh, and final date of the 2007-08 Circuito Nacional de Surf (CNS) will take place this weekend, in Playa Hermosa in front of Hotel Terraza del Pacifico.
It will be here, that the surfers Gilbert Brown of Puerto Viejo, and Luis Vindas of Jaco will fight until death for the National Surf Championship title, since they are both mathematically — as certainly, physically — capable of earning that trophy.
For this last stage, the CNS Gran Final Terraza-REEF 5-star tournament will award 2,000 points to the winner of each category, and in the Open division that would bring Vindas — the winner of the last two dates of the Circuito in Dominical and Playa Carmen — to the top of the CNS rankings.
Brown, a finalist in all of the Circuito dates, and winner of two — Hermosa and Tamarindo — is the current rankings leader at #1 before the Gran Finals. After the Gran Finals, the winner will be the one with their four best dates.
Back at the rankings table, there are others within statistical reach, including
MattÃas Braun (Montezuma), Jason Torres (Jaco) and Juan Carlos Naranjo (Jaco).
Yet, Brown and Vindas need only to pass to the Quarterfinals to come within reach of the title and leaving the aforementioned athletes wanting, and the one of those two with the better position at the end of the day on Saturday will earn the overall crown.
Previously, in 2006 and 2007, Playa Hermosa was the scene where Luis Vindas surfed the best: He earned five consecutive wins at Federacion de Surf contests at two different points: Backyard and Terraza.
Nevertheless, it was Brown who managed to end the monopoly that Vindas was holding on the spot, when the Caribbean surfer grabbed the CNS first place Open trophy there earlier this contest season in conditions of exceptional surge.
It’s been a stellar year for Gilbert Brown. In November 2007, he managed to make history by obtaining a bronze medal in the Pan-American Games in Chile.
The Tico surfer has been finalist in all the competitions in which he has participated this past year: Pan-American , Central American and six nationals. According to his own declaration, Brown considers this to be the highest level of accomplishment so far in his surfing career.
At the same time, Luis Vindas has also had an extraordinary year: two nationals and one Central American final. In addition, he recently received an award from the Latin American Association of Surf (ALAS) for the Best Aerialist of Latin America.
With Lisbeth Vindas of Jaco, we are seeing the return of the five-time National Women’s Surf Champion of Costa Rica as she is retaking the footpath towards another championship.
Counting her three best dates, and supposing that the CNS Gran Final Terraza-REEF will be her best one yet, Lisbeth is almost 400 points maximum of Nataly Bernold, the present defender of the National title.
Bernold would have to not only win the Gran Finals, then trust that Lisbeth would make a mistake, in order to qualify for the final title. Highly unlikely, considering Lisbeth has made it to the finals in all six Women’s contests this year, and won four of those.
The Junior division continues to surprise as the surfer from Esterillos, Carlos MuÃ±oz, moved ahead of the favorite from Jaco, Jairo PÃ©rez, by almost 500 points, when the former won two consecutive 4-star dates — Dominical and Playa Carmen.
PÃ©rez, the current National Junior Surf Champion, was well on his way to clinching a second title, yet loosened the grip in the past three dates.
MuÃ±oz, on the other hand, did not begin strong this year, but evolved remarkably, especially for one all of 15 years of age. In addition, Anderson TascÃ³n of Jaco, who managed to beat PÃ©rez for first in Nosara last February, is also looking for MuÃ±oz and the champ to err at the Gran Finals, in order to scoop in and win the whole thing.
Conditions for the CNS Gran Final Terraza-REEF, according to reports on www.wetsand.com, say that Playa Hermosa can expect waves between 3 to 5 feet in height.
Typically, at the point of Hotel Terraza del Pacifico the characteristics of the wave are very consistent, solid and tubular. During the days of the competition, high tide is scheduled for the first hours of the morning.
For this date, UreÃ±a expects more than 250 surfers to register for the competition, setting a record for the tournament as well as the attendant activities involved in the CNS Gran Final Terraza-REEF.
This includes, among others, a beach cleanup organized with the primary school of Jaco, Escuela Las Nubes, along with the REEF girls, on Friday from 9-11 a.m.
On Saturday, at 6:30 p.m., the Federacion de Surf de Costa Rica will run a nighttime surf championship contest that will distribute $500 in cash to the winning team.
Inscriptions for the CNS Gran Final Terraza-REEF took place on Thursday from 5-7 p.m. at TabacÃ³n Bar and Restaurant. The cost will be c6,000 by category.
Rip Curl Pro Junior Goes Off in Massive Supertubes at Peniche
The Rip Curl Pro Junior powered by Renault, an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Europe pro Junior 3-Star event, got underway in massive 5 to 6 ft (1.5 to 2 meter) waves at the world class beachbreak of Supertubes, under clear blue skies.
Mario Azurza (EUK) was the man of the day in the massive waves coming in for the opening of the 2008 season, the basque surfer posting an impressive 15.27 point heat tally to advance to Round 2.
“This heat was amazing,” Azurza said. “It is the first time I have surfed such good waves in a contest. It was like Puerto Escondido (a famous Mexican beachbreak) at Peniche.”
Azurza, who posted a near perfect 9.60 point ride after getting out of a 6 ft barrel, showed great comitment and control to tame Supertubos’ waves.
“I am stoked with my result,” Azurza said. “I was kind of stressed before my heat because you always want to make good for the first heat of the year. When this wave came I just paddled really hard into it and then it was just perfect.”
The Rip Curl Pro Junior, first ever event to feature man-on-man heats from the quarterfinals, brought some of the most spectacular waves in a year to all under-21 best European surfers getting their go in Round 1.
Ian Fontaine (FRA), youngest of three brothers well known among the top ASP Europe Pro Junior surfers, got the second best ride of the day. Fontaine, 14, posted a strong 8.33 point ride to advance through to Round 2 and meet best seeded surfers when competitions resumes tomorrow.
Ten boards were broken during Day 1 of the Rip Curl Pro. The event is scheduled to re-start from 10 AM local time (GMT)
The swell is supposed to keep picking up tomorrow and all best seeded surfers, including event favorite Nicolau Von Rupp (DEU), will paddle out for crazy barrels and vertical off-the-lip turns.
NOTE: All news, results and photos at www.aspeurope.com.