Our surf report: Who’s to say what the biggest news is for the Costa Ricans who are surfing on the World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) contests around the world? Arguably, we feel it’s the return of the professional circuit to Costa Rica next month, October 4 to 7, in Jaco. This QS will be for 1500 points and gives local Ticos who do not have sponsors to travel the globe for other dates on the tour a change to put their talents up against pros, outside the usual suspects of Noe Mar McGonagle, Carlos Muñoz, Tomas King, Malakai Martinez, Leilani McGonagle and a handful of others who currently compete on the QS.
The ultimate goal of anybody who surfs on the QS is to reach the top of the ranks, spots that allow surfers to join the World Championship Tour (WCT), the big leagues. The men need to get to the top 10 spots, while the women need to broach the top 6.
That said, two Ticas are thisclose to getting to there. You may find the name Brisa Hennessy unfamiliar, but the 17-year-old Costa Rican-born woman, who lives in Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii, has already done time in the international junior events, including winning a a gold medal at the ISA World Junior Surfing. She was surfing for Hawaii, but now Hennessy has spent the last year surfing for her birth country of Costa Rica. Right now she ranks #10 on the Women’s QS rankings and there’s still more contests to go this year.
Her compatriot, Leilani, is at #18 on that chart.
Just days after declaring that he will “enter the WCT at any cost, Muñoz made his highest point-classicification at the Pantin Classic in Galicia, Spain. He came in 2nd place in the event against the winner, the Brazilian Weslley Dantas. The event gave him 2,250 points, and a jump up 35 places in the rankings from 71 to 36 on the Men’s QS chart.
“This is a reflection of the work I have been doing in recent months,” said Muñoz. “In that final, the conditions were quite difficult, I tried to apply my game and even with that result the truth is that I am happy, very happy. This is the beginning of my last part of the year where I started positive and now wanting to continue with pace for what is coming. Tomorrow I return to Costa Rica to continue training.”
Noe Mar, who went to Portugal in September 24 to 30, for the WQS 10,000 points EDP Billabong Pro Ericeira, was at #53 before he left.
Once again, Jair Pérez showed up in Cocoa Beach, Florida and won the NKF Surf Festival. Also, in the contest were a couple of others in different categories (Longboard: Anthony Flores and Esteban Chaves), but it was Perez who took the Open trophy.
“It’s an honor to win at this beach, it’s very difficult since the conditions of the waves are always very difficult 1-2-3 feet every year, but thank God I was able to get some waves and have fun which is the most important said Pérez.
With this victory, the Jacobean has three wins in three months, after making the last two dates of the National Circuit kölbi and is in Florida.
The NKF Surf Festival is an event that allocates all its funds to children with kidney diseases in the United States. It is estimated that about 10 million children in that country suffer from this disease.
Anthony Fillingim, who earlier this summer because a two-time national surf Champion, joined five other Costa Ricans who have been selected to compete this month at the International Surfing Association (ISA) World Championship in Tokyo. This contest is part of the country’s Olympic qualification that will ultimately decide just who among the best Tico surfers will compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The full World Championship team is:
Zulay Martinez Juárez
Coral Wiggins Araya
Eva Woodland Solano
Anthony Fillingim Abarca
Jair Pérez Quiroz
Tomas King Sabbato
This contest will be the first-time the ISA has changed its competitive format to just three men and three women (previously four and two), and the team is vying to remain in the Top 10 when all is said and done in Japan. Costa Rica has been in the Top 10 since 2003.
The common factor among the six selected for this honor is that everyone has experience in ISA events. As a matter of fact, all three of these women traveled to Japan last year to represent Costa Rica in the Junior World Cup, where that team finished in seventh place.
Fillingim, for his part, is a subchampion of the ISA, having earned a silver medal in 2014. King’s experience in the QS, and Perez’s continually strong showing in the kölbi Circuito Nacional give the Tico coach Jim Hogan a lot of confidence in a good team wide showing.