Puerto Rican holds off visitors to cash in on the Quiksilver Caribbean Cup
The Second Annual Quiksilver Caribbean Cup, sponsored by surf shop chain Bora Bora, climaxed November 11th at Domes in Rincon, Puerto Rico, where native Carlos Cabrero finished atop an international field. 26-year-old Cabrero, the island´s most successful competitor in WQS competition, earned $7,000 (US) by narrowly defeating Floridian Asher Nolan in a closely contested four-man final.
Fortunately, Hurricane Michelle, a category three storm, skirted far enough offshore to ensure quality surf while not affecting the weather in Rincon during the event. After two days of glassy, head-high-plus conditions at the neighboring righthand point of Maria´s, the final day featured smaller surf and was relocated to the punchier beachbreak of Domes. Beautiful, 80-degree sunshine attracted a huge local crowd, all grateful for the opportunity to see local surfers pitted against overseas rivals, and especially pleased to see a Puerto Rican come out on top.
"I just bought a house two weeks ago, and I´ll probably put the money toward that," said an elated Cabrero, who will soon leave for Hawaii as one of 48 surfers invited to compete in the X-Box Gerry Lopez Pipeline Masters. "This contest is great. Groms get to see surfing from all over the world and it brings their surfing up. I know someone´s going to be on the top of the list someday. We need more contests so you can make money and use it to travel."
In all, 90 competitors, mostly Puerto Ricans but also hailing from the United States, Barbados, Costa Rica, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic, vied for a piece of the $20,000 purse, the largest in the Caribbean. More than a mere surf contest, the festival offered nightly entertainment, raging parties and a bazaar featuring local crafts. Several thousand spectators made their way out to Rincon for the experience and to cheer their local competitors.
Seven of the 16 quarterfinalists were Puerto Rican, but Cabrero was the only one standing by the finals, where he faced Venezuelan Magnum Martinez, New Jersey´s Matt Keenan, and the red-hot but tiring Asher Nolan of Jacksonville. "I wanted to do another turn on my last wave, but I just couldn´t," Nolan lamented. In his third heat of the morning, Nolan was feeling the drain by the end and finished just short of victory despite the belief by many on the beach that he had won.
The two surfers tied on three judges sheets, with Cabrero winning by countback in each instance. According to head judge Mike Martin, a former ASP world tour judge, "That was maybe the closest final I´ve ever seen." The result was certainly a popular one with the Puerto Ricans. Inspired by Cabrero´s success, we can expect an even stronger local contingent next year, as Quiksilver vows to return in 2002 with more money and a larger event.
2001 Quiksilver Caribbean Cup
Rincon, Puerto Rico
1. Carlos Cabrero (Puerto Rico) $7000
2. Asher Nolan (Florida) $3500
3. Magnum Martinez (Venezuela) $2000
4. Matt Keenan (New Jersey) $1000
5. Willaim Sue-a-quan (PR); Wilfredo Deliz (PR) $800
7. Danny Melhado (FL); Gabe Cling (FL) $700
9. Cocolo Torres (PR); Ranel Fernandez (PR); Kyle Garson (FL); Dave Pinto (CA) $400
13. Dino Andino (CA); Joe Suarez (PR); Bryan Hewitson (FL); Brian Toth (PR) $250
Contests - Surfersvillage.