Coco Hernandez wins 4 Fechas 4 Estrellas in Costa Rica
4 Fechas 4 Estrellas
2004-05 Circuito Nacional de Surf
Playa Dominical, Costa Rica
12 - 13 February 2005
FIRST-TIME OPEN WINNER CROWNED AT CIRCUITO NACIONAL DE SURF
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 13 February 2005: - - In a surprise upset, Coco Hernandez of Jaco beat out the reigning Costa Rican National surf champion Alvaro Solano, in the fourth date of the 2004-05 Circuito Nacional de Surf that took place February 12th and 13th in Playa Dominical. Christened “4 Fechas 4 Estrellas” by event organizers after loosing the date's contest sponsor, the competition had over 94 entrants competing from all over Costa Rica in order to place in the Circuito’s points-valued national ranking system. Hernandez' win demonstrated to the organizers and sponsors the continued possibilities that the Circuito Nacional de Surf provides to the youngsters who have the dedication to the sport and to the advancement of Costa Rica in the international surfing arena.
The “4 Fechas 4 Estrellas” weekend had a nice turnout of both surfers and supporters in Dominical, which took place at the beach break directly in front of Bar/Restaurant Tortilla Flats. According to Christophe “Kiki” Commarieu, Publication Director of SURFOS Magazine and a main sponsor of the entire Circuito since its inception, “the conditions couldn't have been more perfect, with waves not too big, not too small, measuring about 4 feet and an offshore wind for the entire weekend.”
Along with Hernandez's taking of the 2004 reigning champion Solano in the Open Category--following a season full of Solano wins--another category had a new winner, the Women's, when Laura Pecorara took first place, perhaps due to the absence of 2004 champion Lisbeth Vindas who has won each of the first three dates. Juan Carlos Naranjo of Jaco took first place in Junior’s. Jaco’s Jairo Perez barely left the water in order to take second place in the Boys category, third place in Juniors, and an impressive third place in the Open category at the young age of fourteen.
Antonio Pilurzu, head of the Federacion de Tico Surf, said of Jairo’s performance: “Never before has a Junior of this age made it that far in the Open finals. I am happy. This really shows the fruits of our labor since Jairo has been competing with the Circuito since we started five years ago and of course competed recently in Tahiti at the Quiksilver’s ISA Junior World Surfing Championships for Juniors and received 4th place."
“We feel good that the Circuito keeps growing and that the national surfers like Hernandez and Pecorara are motivated to compete and continue to improve, and especially the younger kids like Jairo,” Pilurzu added.
Jose Urena, Director of the Circuito, noted: “The competitors keep getting better scores each time they compete. The level of surfing in the Circuito is very high right now, but we need a lot more help, more sponsors, more judges, more workers-all-to be able to maintain the quality of this event.”
Following Saturday’s competition Pilurzu held a board meeting to discuss ways to strengthen the infrastructure of the organization. At this meeting Circuito Board Members elected two new full-time staff members to assist the pre-existing team of volunteers running the event to date. Manu Sebastian Guy was named Contest Director and will manage each individual contest and Laura Sibley of Bevy Media will act as Secretary on behalf of the Circuito.
“Kiki” Commarieu said of the sponsor-surfing relationship, “It is a chain reaction and it is important to note that not only does each contest in the Circuito need to be sponsored, but also each surfer needs to have either private or sponsored funds in order to train and travel to the different beaches each month in order to earn enough points to rank and ultimately represent Costa Rica on its National Team outside of the country."
One of the prominent competitors in Domincal’s “4 Fechas 4 Estrellas contest this weekend was Ronny Obando, who owns and operates two businesses--Pineapple Surf Shop and Dominical Surf School--in order to fund his surfing but its not enough. Contest directors admit that Ronny’s national ranking would be higher if he had a proper sponsor. Ronny has competed in the Circuito each year to date, but his national ranking sometimes suffers when he needs to work because he does not have the $200 needed for gas, food, board, and the entry fee in order to attend each contest. Nonetheless, when Ronny can make it to the contests, he does his best to also bring along other surfers with potential such as 24-year-old Jose Montoya. Obando said even though surfing is his job he “loves it and will be surfing until he is 80 years old.”
Out of 18 sponsors obtained for this year’s Circuito, only 3 are Costa Rican. Maurico Castillo, marketing director for 91.1 La Radio (one of the aforementioned Costa Rican sponsors) felt the Dominical contest was the best date on the Circuito this year. “People seemed to enjoy themselves a lot and really identify with the event. A lot of the surfers came up to me and thanked the radio for supporting them which really makes it all worth it.” It is this kind of bigger business, national support that will help the Costa Rican surf industry grow.
Funds permitting, the Circuito Nacional de Surf plans to send the top four ranked surfers in Costa Rica in each category to the 2005 Pan American Games which is next in status, only to the Olympics, in the arena of international surf competition.
Dominical’s Hotel/Restaurant/Bar Roca Verde hosted a reggae party Saturday night for the competitors and their guests from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m. Owner Mike Witte generously donated lodging to the event and felt pleased to collaborate with “ a diverse group of people, all with a common goal to make things better.”
Other Circuito sponsors include: 91.1 La Radio, Quiksilver, Jammin’ Surf Camp, Carton, Banzaii, Mango Surf & Skate, Roxy, Cala Luna Hotel & Villas, Tamarindo Vista Villas, Mohs, Dakine, Fischer Bros., Shifi Surf Shots, Bevy Media, Jass, Surfos, and Red Bull.
For more information, please go to www.surfingcr.com
Playa Dominical, Circuito Nacional de Surf 2004-05, February 12 and 13, 2005
1st Coco Hernandez-Jaco
2nd Alvaro Solano-Jaco
3rd Jairo Perez-Jaco
4th Durby Castillo
1st Laura Pecorara
2nd Meredith Hodges
4th Shelley Limon
1st Juan Carlos Naranjo-Jaco
2nd Isaac Vega-Tamarindo
3rd Jairo Perez-Jaco
4th Nicolas Ruhlow
1st Rodrigo Floylano-Limon
2nd Jairo Perez-Jaco
3rd Jose Calderon
4th Ariel Aguero
1st Ariel Aguero
2nd Carlos Alberto Munoz
3rd Derek Guiterrez
4th Angelo Bongmeil
1st Bob Clark
2nd Brannon Clark
3rd Sebastian Galves
4 Esteban Leitan
1st Marlon Sandoval
2nd Walter Gatgens
3rd Fernando Artavin
4th Ivan Castillo
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