Surf Report November 2016- NOV 21, 2016
During the break here at the Howler, Costa Rica had the international spotlight focused it. Certainly, the ambassadors of surf are out there in the world showing them what we’ve known for a long time, that Ticos are amazing surfers. Just look at young Malakai Martinez who won the Quiksilver Young Guns online search and head out to Camp Pendleton where he won the Expression session there. And Noe Mar McGonagle of Pavones capped his first finals performance in a Qualifying Series (QS) date this year, with a 3rd place finish in Azores Pro in Portugal.
And then there’s always Carlos Muñoz of Esterillos.
But, last month, the World Surf League (WSL) and former national champion Diego Naranjo of
Orange Wave Productions offered a slew of surfers an opportunity to join McGonagle and Muñoz
in the first QS to take place in Costa Rica since back in 2002.
A couple of weeks before Essential Costa Rica Pro QS3000 from the WSL, which took place in
Esterillos, Trials were launched in Playa Hermosa. Jaco’s Jair Perez won 1st place there, with
Tamarindo’s Isaac Vega 2nd, and Venezuela’s Josè Joaquin Lopez 3rd. Jaco’s Jason Torres was
given a wildcard as champion of the Costa Rica Pro Surfing Tour last year.
The surprise winner at the Trials was Camila Summers, a 14-year-old ended up surfing in the Pro
as did Lisbeth Vindas (Jaco), Emily Gussoni (Jaco) with Leilani McGonagle, the latter already on
the QS circuit.
Early on in the QS, the girls were taken out of, and one or two of the guys had a short run, but by
the third day, the only Tico remaining in the Essential Costa Rica Pro was Noe Mar.
In the end, he lost his Semifinal heat to Ethan Ewing of Australia by .13 points, but his 3rd place
finish awarded him much needed points. In the end, he jumped up the QS rankings 30 spots to 76.
Now, in the top 100 of those rankings he is able to do the WSL prime events.
“It’s incredible to have another big event here in Costa Rica and hopefully it will keep going,” said
McGonagle. “I’m really stoked with the event and my result, it is what is and now it’s time to get
ready for the next one. I think I need to make a final in Brazil now, a Semifinal won’t do it for me.
Hopefully I can pull it off.”
As to Ewing, he went on to win this first ever Essential Costa Rica Pro and the $16,000 pot.
“There were a lot of really good guys here, that was just a stacked event and surfing against Noe
Mar [McGonagle] in his home country was incredible,” Ewing explained. “I’ve just been trying to
focus on that so much here and I feel it’s really helped me. Getting second there’s that bit of
emptiness like I left something out there so to come away with a win was great.”
Before this week, Ewing was #7 on the QS ranking, but his massive win in Esterillos pushed him
up to #4. He accomplished this feat in the finals, where he knocked out a near-perfect 9.27
backside against The Women’s surfing at the Essential Costa Rica Pro was no less spectacular, because a number
of them had CT positions on the line.
The final was an all-former CT bout between Pauline Ado (FRA) and Silvana Lima (BRA), with
Lima just knocked her snaps out of the park. After a critical exchange between the two women,
Lima took the win with an 8.57 air-reverse, and an 8.83 combo. The win projects Lima in to No. 4
on the QS and her chances of CT re-qualification now nearly solidified.
Essential Costa Rica Open Pro Men’s QS3,000 Final Results:
1 – Ethan Ewing (AUS) 16.77 3,000 points $16,000
2 – Olamana Eleogram (HAW) 14.90 2,250 points $10,000
Essential Costa Rica Open Pro Women’s QS3,000 Final Results:
1 – Silvana Lima (BRA) 17.40 3,000 points $12,000
2 – Pauline Ado (FRA) 14.26 2,250 points $5,000
Essential Costa Rica Open Pro Men’s QS3,000 Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Ethan Ewing (AUS) 14.84 def. Noe Mar McGonagle (CRI) 14.70
SF 2: Olamana Eleogram (HAW) 15.00 def. Timothee Bisso (GLP) 13.40
Essential Costa Rica Open Pro Women’s QS3,000 Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Pauline Ado (FRA) 12.33 def. Mahina Maeda (HAW) 10.50
SF 2: Silvana Lima (BRA) 13.33 def. Brianna Cope (HAW) 9.20
Then there was the VSSLA World Junior Surf Championships, where Leilani and Emily helped the
youngsters make history with the country’s best-ever 7th place finish. In addition, Leilani earned
another medal for her cache, her 4th, a bronze medal for her 3rd place finish in the Under 18 Girls
behind 1st place Brisa Hennessy of Hawaii and 2nd place Vahine Fierro of Tahiti.
“This result motivates me a lot,” said McGonagle. “I really wanted to win gold, but could not, as the
conditions were very complicated. Although it is a good result for the country, I wanted more. In
addition, I was very happy that there was super, good surfing from Emily (Gussoni, Jaco). She is
amazing and the level of all the girls is up a lot.”
Gussoni finished 5th overall for the Girls Under 18. This was only her 2nd world championship, the
first being those in Jaco this past August. McGonagle and Gussoni also attribute their success in
Portugal to the fact that they had a run at the waves in Azores with a Qualifying Series date just
prior to the Junior Championships.
The Costa Ricans also scored another team medal, this one a bronze for coming in 3rd in the
Aloha Cup Tag Team contest. This marks another historic achievement, as the Juniors have never
brought home an award in this completion. The team was made up of Malakai Martinez
(Tamarindo), Joseph Mendez (Jaco), Aldo Chrinos (Playa Negra), Oscar Urbina (Puerto Viejo) and
McGonangle. Each surfer rode two waves and raced the other countries to get finished first.
Hawaii won 1st place in the Aloha Cup, with France placing 2nd.
Final Results for the VSSLA World Junior Surf Championships:
The results for the Costa Rica junior national surf team are:
Esteban Chavis 17
Malakai Martinez 25
Oscar Urbina 25
Joseph Mendez 49
Girls Under 18
Leilani McGonagle 3
Emily Gussoni 5
Boys Under 16
Malakai Martinez 10
Oscar Urbina 28
Aldo Chrinos 55
Andre Chacon 73
Girls Under 16
Zulay Martinez 25
Coral Wiggins 33