Riding The Wave To Ecuador

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: March 27, 2009

International Surfing Association COSTA RICA — With the goal of overcoming the currently held 12th place ranking reached last year in France’s International Surfing Association (ISA) World Junior Surfing Games 2008, the Costa Rica National Junior Surf Team is heading for Salinas,Ecuador from San Jose.

Ready for action beginning Saturday through April 5 are: (18 years and under) Carlos Muñoz/Esterillos, Ariel Agüero/Quepos,, Maykol Torres/Esterillos, Danny Bishko/Esterillos, (16 years and under) Carlos Muñoz/Esterillos, Jordan Hernández/Jaco, Anthony Fillingin/Jaco, Noe Mar McGonagle/Jaco. (Girls 18 years and under) Nataly Bernold/Jaco, Elisa Luna/Jaco, Anastasia Paterson/Limon, Marcela García/Jaco.

In this opportunity, a lot is expected of Costa Rica’s champion surfers Muñoz and Bernold, both of whom have accumulated previous World Junior Game experience three other times, and yet are aged only 15 and 16, respectively.

In Hossegor, France, last year, both were annointed the best Latin Americans in the rankings. Nevertheless, this time, they are gearing up to finish in the Top 10. Bernold already earned that distinction at the ISA World Surfing Games 2008 in Costa de Caparica, Portugal, when she ranked the No. 6 Women in the world.

Meanwhile, there are high hopes for the seeded athletes Filligan, Bishko, Agüero, Hernández, and Torres, all of whom have achieved excellent results in Costa Rica’s Circuito Nacional de Surf tournament. Filligan, Agüero, and Torres are going for their third international run, while this will be the first opportunity for the 12-year-old McGonagle, as well as the female surfers Luna, Paterson and Garcia.

“We made a lot of preparations for this new, great challenge that the surfers are about to face,” said José Ureña, President of the Federacion de Surf de Costa Rica (FSC). “Little by little, we have been improving in the World Junior Surfing Games and this time we are going to give our best possible without exception.”

The Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT) has taken this opportunity to support the travel and transportation as well as supply the uniforms for the Costa Rican National Junior Surf Team in order that they may promote their country. This effort was made to generate excitement and expectation for the ISA Billabong World Surfing Games Costa Rica 2009 in Hermosa this August.

The Costa Rica National Junior Surf Team departed from San Jose’s Juan Santamaria Airport and arrived in Salinas, Ecuador two days earlier than the competition — which begins on Sunday — in order to practice on waves at the site where the contest will take place.

Notably, this is the third opportunity for Costa Rica to make an Ecuadoran visit. First, the Ticos went there for the 2003 Pan-American Games where they returned with a bronze medal.

They returned in 2004 for the World Surfing Games, when they earned a 9th place ranking. (Costa Rica is currently ranked No. 5 by the ISA, after the World Surfing Games 2008 in Portugal.)