By Ellen Zoe Golden Photos by Freddie Wiggins
Someone really needs to give Anthony Fillingim sponsorship to get on the World Surf League’s Qualifying Series circuit. The 2018 Costa Rica national surf champion, who has a Guanacaste title on his shelf as well, continues to show up all the other pro surfers who are still competing inside the country. To wit, he won the first date of the sixth season of the Sun Bum presents Circuito Guanacaste de Surf (CGS) last month in Marbella.
Among 100 competitors over two days at the Copa Witch’s Rock, he found himself in the final heat with some of this year’s favored surfers including José Joaquín López, Malakai Martínez and Angelo Bonomelli. All of them have frequented the winner’s podium in the national and Guanacaste tournaments. Filligim’s win earned him $300.
One of the best female surfers, Coral Wiggins, won the CGS in Marbella, and in doing so bested Auxiela Ryan, Rhenna Rosebum, and the event organizer Chelsea Lisaius. A new aspect of the tournament this year is the Air Show. This entertaining spectacle of skill, featured López, whose top score earned him a win in the premier event. The Sharky’s Triple Crown Circuito Guanacaste de Surf continues in Avellanas this March 2 and 3.
Meanwhile, in January, at the Copa ENVISION Surf, which was the start of the 2019 Kölbi Circuito Nacional de Surf (CNS), Jair Pérez and Leilani McGonagle won 1st place and top trophies. The contest, at Playa Dominical, took place in unexpectedly lessthan-typical local waves, but a large number of the public came out to watch the contest anyway. It did not disappoint.
Pérez continued his CNS winning streak that began in the Gran Finals last July by demonstrating his serious intention for this season.
The final heat featured Tomas King, Olman Morales, and Fillingim. With a combination score of 11.33, his closest competitor was King who earned 10.60. Pérez moves into the next contest ahead of the pack. That contest was last month in Playa Cocles, Puerto Viejo. Go to www.fedesurfcr.com for an update.
McGonagle, in a rare visit back in her home country from her own QS run, was a Costa Rica national Women’s champion in 2016 and her win in Dominical keeps her in the top rankings. She outran the current national Women’s champion Rubiana Brownell in a close race that also featured multi-year champion Lisbeth Vindas and frequent podium visitor, Paula Duarte.
In other Federación de Surf de Costa Rica news, it looks like the organization will execute the finals of the Rip Curl Grom Search 2019.
This championship, which brings together several of the best younger surfers in the world, will include the 8 best Under 16 surfers in Costa Rica (tallied from the rankings after the April CNS date). That will be 4 Boys and 4 Girls competing in Jaco this May.