Naranjo opens with a bang

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: December 9, 2008



COSTA RICA – At the very last minute of the Final heat with surfers Jason Torres (Jaco), Olman Morales (Santa Teresa) and Federico Pilurzu (Tamarindo), the 2006-2007 Costa Rica National Champion Diego Naranjo (Jaco) Monday was victorious in Playa Hermosa’s La Curva, becoming the first winner of the 2008-09 season of the Circuito Nacional de Surf 2008-09 DAYSTAR Copa Mango tournament.

Naranjo accomplished his winning trophy task by the elimination of important candidates to this title in earlier rounds of Quarterfinals and Semifinals, including Argentinean Leandro Usuna, Ticos Jairo Perez, Luiz Vindas, Juan Carlos Naranjo (all of Jaco), Carlos Muñoz (Esterillos), Matías Braun (Montezuma), among others.

In doing so, the former Champion reiterated his suitability, and ultimately, his surety, of running the waves for a win at La Curva in good conditions yesterday that stayed between two to four feet, breaking very well, with tubes that threw to both sides.

During the end of the contest, in a day filled with rain, and a chocolate color sea, Diego killed his opponents like he knows how with a, fluid variety and ultimately his trademark frontside roundhouse maneuver.

However, this didn’t happen before the end of the first 15 minutes of the heat had passed in regulation, due to the frustrating, but excellent manifestations of both Morales and Pilurzu, who eventually came in third and fourth, respectively. Of course, there, was also the impediment of Torres — just back from the 2008 International Surfing Association (ISA) World Surfing Games (WSG) in Costa de Caprica, Portugal, where he earned a super shot of confidence and a No. 5 in the world ranking.

Ultimately, the notations were not very high for any of the four finalists until Naranjo gave more to the judges with his particular style of run. With this gain of five-star points, Naranjo begins his dream of harvesting a second National title that would, if realized, put him tied with Gilbert Brown and Alvaro Solano as two-time Costa Rica National Surf Champions.

“The public speculated that the Finals looked easy to obtain the first position, but with these rivals it was not easy, by no means,” assured Naranjo.

On the other hand, the revelation of this particular date might have been the fact that Morales reached the Finals at all. It was his first time in that spot in a Nacional Circuito date.

Morales, a surfer that has been competing in the CNS for three years, demonstrated sufficient radical risk, according to officials of the Federacion de Surf de Costa (FSC), during this weekend’s competition, and made strong and concrete maneuvers. His rise to the Finals reflected just that.

Monday in his best wave, during the Quarterfinals, he flew higher than anyone in an aerial of about four feet above the wave. Thus the surfer from Santa Teresa, added to the already elite Ticos in what looks to be another potential possibility for the National Costa Rica Surf Team, when the time comes for the FSC to choose candidates for the Billabong ISA 2009 WSG.

Those Games are slated to take place in August of 2009 in Playa Hermosa.

Leading the figures of a new generation in the Juniors category, which have proven to demonstrate the highest levels of surfing already, 15-year-old Carlos “Cali” Muñoz, seems to be riding ahead in a wake.

Sunday, Muñoz won in front of rivals Rudy Jimenez, Anthony Fillingam (both of Jaco) and Ariel Agüero (Quepos). His best wave of the event was one he beat with a long right, on which he did an aerial 360 grab — perfect. Muñoz, the 2007-08 Juniors and Boys National Champion, again gained the trophy in both those categories as well.

“It was very important to me to work that particular maneuver so well,” Muñoz said. “Once I managed to perfect it, my results in the competition improved a lot.”

Also in Sunday, Lisbeth Vindas (Jaco), the six-time Costa Rica National Women’s Champion, won the Copa Mango in her category once more. This makes the husband-wife team winners: Diego Narango is married to Lisbeth Vindas, and according to Naranjo, he chose the spot that provided the left that she took to win!

The next date of the Circuito Nacional de Surf 2008-2009 DAYSTAR will be the Torneo Coca Cola Zero in Jaco, in front of the Hotel Enchanted Bay, this Friday through Sunday. This will follow the Association Latinamerica de Surfistas Profesionales (ALAS) Latin American Pro date that took place last week in Jaco.

NOTE: For more information on the CNS or the FSC, please go to