After surfing for two days in poorly formed small waves, a local surfer very familiar with the Playa Avellanas point break in Costa Rica was able to use his experience to come out ahead of 77 registered competitors in this weekend’s Pinilla Classic. That surfer was Tamarindo’s Isaac Vega, the 2005-06 Costa Rican National Surf Champion, who also won this very same date of the Circuito Nacional de Surf (CNS) last year.
Today, as with yesterday, the waves in front of the beach at Hacienda Pinilla Beach Resort and Resident Community never topped 3 feet. But Vega remained calm, chose his rides carefully, and scored high with the best controlled, most risked maneuvers. He begins the 2006-07 year with 1,000 points towards his #1 Open ranking.
“In the Finals, it was very difficult: I had 4 really good surfers out there, we had little waves, and only 20 minutes to surf," Vega recalled. “But, I waited for the right waves. Federico (Pilurzu, the Central American Surf Champion and Costa Rican surfer on the ASP World Qualifying Series tour) told me to be calm in the Finals, to relax. I had 3 good waves—one at the start, one about 6 minutes into it and then one at the end. I had that tactic out there." “And now, I’m very happy," he laughed.
Thirteen-year-old Nataly Bernold, also of Tamarindo, today claimed victory in the Women’s division. Just one week after winning the Junior Women’s category in the Copa Mango Boca Barranco contest, Bernold maintained the fearless attack that has made her one of the most promising athletes of the Circuito. (Yesterday, the CNS drew another international surfing star with 2005 Women’s World Longboard Champion Kristy Murphy from Florida, making her contest debut in the Women’s category. She surfed on a specially-crafted 80’s-style tri-fin 6’0 board made by her sponsor Siren Surfboards, and passed to the Semifinals, but was unable to return to the beach today due to illness.)
"One always competes with a strong desire to win and I’m happy I could win 1st place. This season, I know I can go very far and with that belief I am delivering a great attack," said Bernold. “I have begun with a big accumulation of points and am 1st in the general rankings. Hopefully, what I’ve started I can repeat in the next dates of the Championships."
According to Antonio Pilurzu, President of the Federacion de Surf de Costa Rica, this weekend’s challenging waves were “very good training" for the competitors, and subsequent winners of these, as well as the other divisions—Longboard, Bodyboarding, Masters and Novices.
“Many big contests—even 6 star events—get waves this small," Pilurzu said. “Here in Costa Rica, there are so many places to go for waves, that I don’t think these surfers have had such small ones. Therefore, it’s good practice for our guys to learn to choose the best moment and what technique to use on these waves. The ones who won were able to adapt."
The third date of Costa Rica’s 2006-07 Circuito Nacional de Surf (CNS) will be the 3 Star Trofeo High Tide Tamarindo on December 16 and 17. Once again the contest features the Open, Women’s, Bodyboard, Longboard, Longboard Women’s, Longboard Juniors and Masters (35 and over) categories.
International sponsors for the the 2006-07 Circuito Nacional de Surf include Freestyle, Red Bull, Quiksilver, Roxy, Billabong and Op.
For more information about the Circuito Nacional de Surf (CNS) or the Federacion de Surf de Costa Rica (FSC), please check the website www.surfingcr.net