Surf Report January 2016

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With the high season comes the beginning of the surf competitions. Last month, the Circuito Guanacaste de Surf (CGS) presented by Otis, kicked off its round of five dates in Tamarindo, with a contest that was postponed from November because of Hurricane Otto’s threat. CGS, in its 4th year, has a big sponsor this year with KIA, and will follow February 11-12 in Marbella, March 11-12 in Santa Teresa, April 8-9 in Avellanas, and finish up May 6-7 in Playa Negra. You may remember that Tamarindo’s Tomas King was last year’s champion. Details and inscriptions at

“I expect this year’s contests will push surfers to compete even harder,” explained Chelsea Lisaius, organizer of CGS. “After seeing Tomas make the National Team after winning the CGS, a lot of the surfers understand and see how important the results are in CGS. Our goal is to bring the surfers the most professionally run contest, one that will help improve their level of surfing.”

This month, the Kolbi Circuito Nacional de Surf presented by Adrenaline Rush, begins its 17th year of nationwide surf competition. On January 21 and 22, the tournament will kick off in Playa Dominical, in front of Tortilla Flats restaurant.

The complete calendar includes Dominical, followed on March 25-26 in Puerto Viejo, April 22-23 in Santa Teresa, May 20-21 in Nosara, June 24-25 in Jaco, with the Gran Finals July 21-23 in Hermosa. The spread of dates includes the four main surfing sectors of the country—North, South and Central Pacific, along with the Caribbean. Once again, a stop in Tamarindo was omitted.

“We are very excited to be able to announce a new start to the longest running championship in national surfing,” said Randall Chaves, President of Federacion de Surf. “The National Surfing Circuit is the main exhibition tool in the country, and it’s entirely in the hands of the competitors. In addition, it is the final stage to demonstrate why each athlete should be considered for the National Team that, in 2017, will travel to France for the World Cup.”


The 2016 national champions who are defending their titles are:
Anthony Fillingim (Santa Teresa)
Leilani McGonagle (Pavones)
José Joaquín López (Jaco)
Junior Women’s
Emily Gussoni (Jaco)
Oscar Urbina (Puerto Viejo)
Serena Nava (Playa Grande)
Dean Vandewalle (Tamarindo)

MiniGrommets Boys
Axel Castro (Limón)
Minigrommets Girls
Lía Díaz (Tamarindo)

For more information and inscriptions, please go to

You’d think raising a daughter, shaping boards and surfing would be enough for Robert August. But, now he’s launched Robert August Wines—The Endless Harvest Collection with Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Grigio. They are currently available in the United States, but with a local distributor now in place, you will soon be able to get a taste here in Costa Rica.
Just how did this all come about? Back in Huntington Beach, when Robert August was shaping surfboards in his shop, the entire crew would take afternoon beer breaks. This became a local social event where all kinds of people would show up to party. But Sam August, newly retired from playing baseball with the Houston Astros, came into the business and thought the drunk friends could become a liability for Robert August Surfboards should they get into accidents driving home.
August switched to a nice glass of wine at the end of his day at home, instead of the festivities at the shop.
Recently, surfer and winemaker Angelo Pera approached August while he was back for a visit to Huntington. Pera thought it would be a good idea to create some wines at his Central California winery, a selection that would reflect a surfing lifestyle. August was game for that.
Here is a rundown of The Endless Harvest:
● Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon features notes of dark cherries, macadamia nuts and spices aged 12 months in large oak barrels.
● Central Coast Chardonnay is a mix of tropical fruit flavors.
● Central Coast Merlot is a fusion of cherry, raspberry, currant and plum aged a year in 60 gallon oak barrels.
● Coast Pinot Noir has a hint of chocolate in its cherry flavor.
● California Pinot Grigio is a medium bodied wine with a slight pear and apple combo.

Photo Credit: Mario Avendaño

August is also getting set for the next round of the Robert August Surf and Turf contests. The golf and surfing contest, which brings people from all over to Tamarindo, will take place April 8-10. As always, the proceeds will go to CEPIA, to fund their work with at-risk kids and families.
Here’s some super important news: Surf4Youth, the four-year-old community outreach program that uses surfing, education and spirituality to help at-risk children in Tamarindo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, is in serious danger of ending because of a lack of funding. The organization is run entirely by donations and sponsors, and according to Andrea Diaz, the founder of Surf4Youth, she needs money to continue with the programs that help lift the kids out of their situations. These include surf programs, educational advancement through disciplined studies, and spiritual growth through community assistance.

Last month, Surf4Youth opened Abba Cafe in Playa Grande, hoping that the proceeds from the sale of the food and drinks will help offset the operational costs of the organization. However, this money will not be enough to keep Surf4Youth going.

Some of the successes from its years of operation include partial or full local school scholarships, surf sponsorships, programs to keep the kids off the streets, a college scholarship, student exchange program to Texas, and the implementation of surf lessons. These kids come from Tamarindo, Villareal, Santa Rosa, Brasilito and other areas.

“While the program has worked and has communal support, it’s growing exponentially,” said Diaz. “We need financial support as we are solely reliant on donors and sponsorships, and without money we cannot continue. One of our biggest expenses is transportation. Getting the youth from their town to training, tutored classes, and Surf4Youth gatherings is difficult. We travel over a radius of 20 miles to bring children to our activities.”
In addition to funds, Surf4Youth will accept various school supplies, surf equipment, and volunteers to support their programs. To donate, please contact Andrea Diaz at or call directly from the United States to 011-506-8829-4610. For more information, please check out the website at or the Facebook page Surf4Youth.
That’s about it. I’d love to hear from you, the real surfers, with comments or questions, at

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