By Ellen Zoe Golden Photo by Andrew Nicholas/WSL
It’s that time again in Costa Rica. Yes sir, the national and regional surf tournaments are set to kick off their 2019 seasons.
Beginning this month, January 26 and 27 in Dominical, the Circuito Nacional de Surf Kölbi (CNS) returns for its 19th year of countrywide competition. These are the events that determine the national surf rankings that contribute to decisions of just which athletes get to compete on the Costa Rica national surf teams in International Surf Association (ISA) World championships and Olympic qualifiers as well. The rest of the CNS dates are February 23 and 24 in Puerto Viejo, March 23 and 24 in Playa Guiones, April 27 and 28 in Santa Teresa, May 18 and 19 in Avellanas, June 29 and 30 in Jacó and the Gran Finals July 26, 27 and 28 in Hermosa.
The surfers who will be defending their national championship titles from 2018 are: Anthony Fillingim (Open), Rubiana Brownell (Women’s, Junior Women’s, Girls), Malakai Martínez (Junior), Aaron Ramirez (Boys), Axel Castro (Grommets), Leonardo Apreda (Minigrommets), and Candelaria Resano (Minigrommets Girls).
Just what can be expected this year on the national stage?
According to Carlos Brenes of the Federación de Surf de Costa Rica (FSC), things continue to get better each year with the Circuito Nacional and 2019 will continue that trend.
At press time, the Federacion is working on incorporating the Longboard, Bodyboard and Master categories back into the main Circuito rather than breaking it out into a separate series of events. That’s because the FSC has invested in its own podium for judges, and with that and the additional one they receive from sponsors means that the contest can run in two separate areas at the same time.
“There will be more heats, more competitions, and a better infrastructure,” Brenes explained. “Our expectations for this year are with the Juniors and Boys,” he added “Those guys are ripping and are totally different types of surfers than those in the categories 10 years ago.
They are training in the gym, doing yoga, doing good in school and traveling already to places like the United States, Brazil and Europe. Those divisions have higher levels of surfing than before. It’s amazing, even what the Minigrommets can do now. Just watch.”
Costa Rica’s surf team, made of up high-ranking national surfers and of those available guys and gals on the international circuits like the World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS), will do the Pan American Games in Lima around July or August this year, as well as the ISA Open and Junior World Championships, and a Central American competition, dates and locations to be announced.
Meanwhile, Sun Bum presents Circuito Guanacasteco de Surf 2019 (CGS) Sharkys Triple Crown, fulfills its promise: “Our mission is to encourage children to compete and interact with friendship and good sports ethics in a competitive environment. As well as inviting the best surfers from around the country to our events to demonstrate the highest level of surfing in Costa Rica for our little competitors, and the future of surfing: The Dolphins.
” The dates for the CGS are February 16 and 17 Marbella, March 2 and 3 Avellanas and June 1 and 2 in Playa Negra, the latter are the finals.
Look for surfers to try and beat the 2018 CGS champions Angelo Bonomelli (Open), Rubiana Brownell (Women’s, Girls), Malakai Martinez (Junior), Kai Gale (Boys), Christian Boos (Master), and Nico Boos (Dolphins). Some of our better known Tica surfers are back the international stage with the QS’s start at the Florida Pro in Sebastian Inlet, Florida.
This 3000 point contest featured 2019 debuts from Leilani McGonagle and Brisa Hennessy, both of whom stalled in Round 3 (Hennessy will begin the Women’s Championship Tour or CT April 3 at the Gold Coast Women’s Pro in Queensland, Australia).
Serena Nava (surfing as a US representative) and Rubiana Brownell passed one round to end at Round 2, while Eva Woodland and Paulina Summers did not move on from their start and ended in Round 1.