NAVIGATION

Surf Report

Surf Report

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Regular readers of my surf column have heard me mention
the Federación de Surf de Costa Rica (FSC) a lot,
particularly as it relates to work presenting the Circuito
Nacional de Surf and choosing the various national surf teams to
participate in international surf competitions, as well as staging
the International Surf Association (ISA) World Surfing Games in
this country.

What you may not be aware of is that for over a year
now the FSC has been the target of a lawsuit by a rival surf
association called ACOS (Asociación Costa de Surf). ACOS
presents a variety of other surf competitions including the
ProSurfing Tour and the Junior ProAm, both of which award
winners with cash, which the events from FSC do not. They
also made history this year because they were instrumental in
reinstating the World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS)
professional tournaments in this country for the first time since
2002.

Exactly why there are two surf associations in Costa Rica is a
long story, but it comes down to the fact that one group thinks
the other is operating without impunity. Most of the country’s
surfer’s, however, don’t really pay too much attention to these
politics. They just want to surf, compete and, hopefully, win.
Yet, things got very heated last year when ACOS filed a lawsuit
against FSC for the following regarding actions that they said took
place between November 26, 2005 and February 27, 2010:

  • Improper use and disbursement of funds received
    from sponsors to those persons handling positions of
    responsibilities in the FSC
  • A lack of ideological integrity including acts that were
    noted to have taken place, which the plaintiffs did not
    actually complete.
  • Secret and misappropriation of funds: Alleging using
    money received from the government (ICODER) and
    private companies for personal use.

These were very heavy allegations.

However, last month, the Criminal Court of San José
dismissed the lawsuit filed on March 10, 2016 by ACOS against
FSC which brought these charges that would have resulted in
seven felonies and would have changed the face of the surf
community irreparably.

“We knew from the beginning that they had no head or
tail, particularly since it was a demand for events that occurred
between 2005 and 2010, and I have been president from the
year 2012 onwards,” said FSC President Randall Chaves. “We
were not even called to notify us. We felt there was a bit of an
intention to damage the image of the Federation.”

Chaves made it clear from the start that all of the financial
records were open to anyone who wanted to challenge their
procedures and allocations. “We have no problem showing
our numbers,” he said. “From the beginning we have been very
transparent and clear.”

For his part, ACOS President Victor Arce was not happy with
the court’s dismissal of the lawsuit, and said his organization’s
fight will not end here.

“I am going to act in another way, to ask the Controller
(General of the Republic) to be the one to investigate this because
public funds have been used by them, such as the sponsorship
of ICODER of the World Cup,” Arce explained. “I continue to
maintain my theory that in the Federation is doing bad things.”
Arce admitted that the ACOS error was in formulating the
lawsuit during a period of time that took place a long time ago,
not during the reign of the current FSC regime.

For more information on FSC go to www.surfingcr.net and ACOS
www.acos.surf.

Meanwhile, the surfers continue on their own journeys.
Leilani McGonangle (Pavones) just finished her run at the World Junior
Championships last month in Kiama, Australia. It was very exciting to see
her compete again the best of her global peers. While she lost in a 3rd
place finish in Round 1, the tournament was using the CT (Championship
Tour) format, which meant that she got another opportunity to continue
on by competing in Round 2. In a man-to-man heat against Sophie Bell of
South Africa, she aced it and passed on to Round 3. There, however, both
Brisa Hennessey and Mahina Maeda, both of Hawaii, had a better heat.
McGonagle came in 3rd, while Hennessey was 1st and Maeda was 2nd.

On the North Shore of Hawaii in January, four Ticos hit the waves
to improve their skills, get photos and videos to promote themselves,
and well, to have fun. Paddling out were Malakai Martinez and Dean
Vandewalle of Tamarindo, joined by Aldito Chirinos and Tiago Carrique,
both of Playa Negra.

Martinez was excited about the trip this year because he went in
2016 but got sick in the latter part of the time and wasn’t really able to
catch the wave he wanted. He went to Hawaii just off another excursion
with a friend to the big wave spot of Todos Santos in Mexico. Seems like
the 15-year-old is making a name for himself as a Tico Big Wave Rider.

“I never really thought about surfing big waves, it just happened
naturally,” said Martinez. “There is a big difference in these kinds of
waves. I didn’t have to time to decide what to do. Sure, I had fear in the
beginning because I didn’t know what to expect. But I decided to go, I
focused on taking it easy.”

“I learned that big waves are not what I thought. Sure they were a lot
scarier, but I realized I needed to just take them on and not think about
it too much even though I was nervous,” he added. “Once out, it was
easier for me to process that I was just there, and to just go for it and get
on the best ones.”

His buddy Vandewalle added: “It’s awesome to have the opportunity
to be here in Hawaii. I get to surf every day, hang out with friends and
train on my surfing. Yes, I get scared sometimes when It’s big here. I try
to breathe slowly and calm myself down. Also I work myself into it. I
catch a smaller wave first then a little bigger one and then a huge one.
My favorite spot on the North Shore is Backdoor. It’s the most fun, scary
barrel ever and you get to surf with your heroes.”

That’s about it. I’d love to hear from you, the real surfers, with
comments or questions, at EllenZoe@aol.com

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