Corona Extra Pro Surf Circuit Event #2
Domes Beach, Rincon Puerto Rico
8 - 9 March 2014
Local surfer Gabriel Escudero and visitor Quincy Davis win
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 11 March, 2014 - Last weekend on March 8, 9 at Domes Beach, in Rincon, Puerto Rico, local surfer Gabriel Escudero secured his first career victory in an exciting twenty-five minute Final over Virginia Beach visitor Michael Dunphy. His victory was by the slimmest of margins, as Escudero’s two-wave total was 15.06 to 15.00 for Dunphy. Surf conditions for the last heat were 4 to 6 feet, with occasional overhead sets.
Organizers were thrilled that the swell began to rise on mid-morning Sunday after the two-day event began in small conditions. While the winds were side-shore and blustery for much of the weekend, they actually encouraged some high-flying aerial maneuvers by the “new school” surfers like Cam Richards and Leif Kelaki Engstrom.
In the Final, Escudero, a goofy-foot, who was surfing on his backhand on the predominant right-handers at Domes, put together an exciting vertical attack that earned him scores of 7.63 and 7.43. Dunphy, a natural foot, who grew up surfing the small waves of Virginia, was in form all weekend, as his sweeping roundhouse cutbacks suited the long, tapering shoulders. Dunphy actually had the highest scoring wave of the event, an 8.7 (out of a possible 10) in an earlier round. Escudero took home $10,000 for his victory and Dunphy won $4,500.
Escudero was also pressed hard in the semi-final as he narrowly edged out exciting Venezuelan newcomer Rafael Pereira by less than a point. Pereira had the event’s highest two-wave point total of 16.20 (out of a possible 20). In the other semi-final, Dunphy had shocked the vocal crowd on the beach by eliminating favorite son, Brian Toth, the top Puerto Rican competitor of all time. Toth had started the 2014 world circuit in outstanding form with high placings in Australia and at Hawaii’s Banzai Pipeline.
Maud Le Car © Angelo Cordero/APSPR
Announcer Pito Rodriguez estimated that it was the largest crowd of spectators ever seen at Domes and they cheered their favorites loudly, including quarter-finalist Jorge Rivera Benitez. The 25th edition of the Corona Extra Circuit featured more Mainland US surfers than ever seen before, with Knox Harris, Nathanial Curran and Cody Thompson all advancing to the quarter-finals. Other local favorites who were eliminated short of the quarter-finals included Alejando Moreda and Pablo Diaz. A total of 78 men’s competed for the prize purse of $ 25,000.
On the Women’s side of the competition spectators saw the strongest field ever assembled, with entrants from the Mainland, France, Barbados and Argentina. A total of 20 women competed for their prize purse of $ 12,000. The winner was Quincy Davis, who hails from Montauk, NY, but spends her winters in Puerto Rico. Davis won $ 5,000 in a close Final over rising international star Maud Le Car, from France, who took home $ 2,000. Le Car has been making a name for herself recently in international competition with strong placings in Australia to begin the women’s season.
The margin in the Ladies Final was also less than one point, with Davis scoring 13.30 to Le Car’s 12.47. In the semis, Davis defeated Florida surfer Nikki Viesins and Le Car beat previous Corona champion Chelsea Tuach, from Barbados. The highest placing local woman was Idalis “Lilac” Alvarado who finished equal fifth. Many observers, like local Head Judge Sammy Martinez, commented that the level of the women’s competition was the best they had ever seen.
On Saturday afternoon at the close of competition the APSPR officials hosted a special ceremony that honored Puerto Rican surfing legend David Balzerak, known to local fans as DCB. Balzerak, a long-time transplant from Florida, was inducted into the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame in January. APSPR President Werner Vega and Head Judge Mike Martin presented DCB with his lifetime achievement award on the beach to finish the day.
The other special event was the “Air Show” held at the end of the competition on Sunday afternoon. Six eager competitors, who were randomly drawn from a hat, were allowed 25 minutes to try and complete the single best aerial. After many spectacular attempts, the prize was awarded to local surfer Carlos Andres Torres. After each sponsor jumped in to raise the prize purse, it turned into a $1000 paycheck for the excited Mr. Torres. “It’s really great that Corona Extra and all the other sponsors are encouraging the moves of the future”, said Torres. “I’m really stoked to win this special event”!
The contest was once again presented by Corona Extra and their longtime co-sponsors: Corona Extra, Corona Light,Jose Cuervo, Finlandia, Cabreiroá, Hang Loose Surf Shop, Werner Vega Surf Board, Mango's, El Nuevo Día, Wapa, N- Punto, Alfa Rock, Mundo Rad, Surfers Village, Surfline.