A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Another Impressive ISA Victory
COSTA RICA — A magnificent summer-like day came to a close in Playa Hermosa de Jaco on the second and last day of completion of the Christian Surfers surf contest called the Eterna Corona with Jaco’s Jason Torres standing on the winner’s podium with the first place trophy.
In the end of a massive “give and take” that occurred between Luis Vindas (Jaco) and Torres, fought in the 20 minutes final heat, the winner was ultimately awarded rewarded 250,000 colones ($436.00).
Jaco’s Jair PÃ©rez and Tamarindo’s Isaac Vega (Costa Rica’s 2006 national surf champion) completed waves in the finals as well. Yet the show belonged to Vindas and Torres, who put in high combinations at the Corona Eterna, scoring with waves between an average of 7 and 8 points.
Ultimately, it was Torres — ranked by the International Surfing Association (ISA) as No. 5 in the world — who inched ahead by less than a point to earn both the trophy and the money by way of control, innovation, and radical maneuvering, concluding what the Federacion de Surf de Costa Rica officials are calling one of the hardest-fought battles in the history of this annual event.
“This is one of my favorite events because my spiritual beliefs inspire me to attend and give everything I’ve got, all because I remember that years ago, I changed my life with this when negativity was my reality,” expressed the new champion Torres in his speech.
“Thanks to associations like these, today hundreds of surfers that were once involved in drugs and vandalism are changing their way of life to praise God and to dedicate themselves to surfing.”
Torres, PÃ©rez and Vindas have all be pre-selected as members of the Costa Rica National Surf Team and are hoping to make the final cut to compete for their country at the Billabong International Surfing Association World Surfing Games Costa Rica 2009, scheduled to take place in Playa Hermosa July 31 to August 8.
Although the Open category put hundreds of spectators on Playa Hermosa, it was the Junior division that presented a fresh style of surfing from the new generation Anderson TascÃ³n (Jaco), Carlos MuÃ±oz (Esterillos), Anthony Segura (Jaco) and Noe Mar McGonagle (Pavones).
These kids all were scoring high in their final heat. During the 20 minutes there, Tascon, McGonagle and Segura played to the public, looking like the winner would be among these three.
Nevertheless, MuÃ±oz hoped by three waves he’d make the points and by that third one he annihilated any work of his opponents with an aerial reverse with a grab that the judges awarded with a 7.77 in the last 30 seconds.
When MuÃ±oz was awarded his trophy, and the prize courtesy of Wooster Surf Boards, he gave the surfboard to his friend from Esterillos’ Maikol Torres. “Thank God, I managed to obtain fmy own surfboard sponsor a few months ago, and Maikol is my friend who has been surfing incredibly and needs this tool to get ahead,” said MuÃ±oz, who is also the current Costa Rica National surf champion for 2008-2009.
On the Women’s side, Jaco’s Nataly Bernold was the best of the Corona Eterna, after beating Lisbeth Vindas (Jaco), Mariana Samudio (Jaco) and Elisa Luna (Jaco). Bernold, Vindas and Samudio are pre-selected for the Costa Rican National Surf Team. Bernold, a frequent challenger to Vindas, dominated the series this time.
In Grommets, the Under 14 years of age category, Noe Mar McGonagle — all of 13 years old — took home a new surfboard, for winning this divisiÃ³n. Anthony Flores, a Longboard competitor, received the 1st place trophy. Flores is a pre-selected Tico Team member.
The sponsors for the Christian Surfers of Costa Rica’s Corona Eterna contest are: Federation of Surf of Costa Rica, Chuck’s W.O.W Surf Shop, Jass Surf Shop, Radical Church, Hill of the Sea, Wooster Surf Boards, Surfos, Terrace of the Pacific, Vista the Dreams Canopy Tour, Surf Handle and Skate, Paradise of the Sun, Hotel Club of the Sea, Sanctuary Spa, Amigos and Tsuami Sushi.