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7 Costa Rican team-riders still fighting at Punta Roca


Frederico Piluruzu, (Costa Rica)  : Photo Michael Tweddle/APAS

Reef Pan-American Surfing Games

Pan American Surfing Association / ISA
Punta Rocas resort, Lima, Peru
17 - 22 January 2006

Heatdraw & Scores/Results



Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 21 January, 2006 : - - PUNTAS ROCAS, LIMA, PERU – Costa Rica’s Federico Pilurzu surfed his way to the Main Event—the Semifinals—of both the Open and the Longboard categories yesterday at the third day of the Reef Panamericano de Surf Peru 2006 Copa Motorola in Lima. In well-shaped 3 to 4-foot waves at Punta Rocas beach, Pilurzu beat Peruvian local hero and 2005 Latin Pro Surfing Champion Gabriel Villaran, but placed 2nd to Sebastián Alarcón, also of Peru.

In the next Round, however, Pilurzu risked some great backside maneuvers while attacking heavy waves and aced his Semifinal spot with 1st place to Peruvian Gabriel Aramburu in 2nd and Brazilian Caetano Vargas in 3rd.  

In addition, the 22-year-old from Tamarindo is in the Semifinals for the Longboard division because of a Quarterfinals performance today that ironically placed him second above his own countryman Diego Naranjo at 3rd  (who will do repercharge today), and behind Peruvian Felipe Becerra in 1st place. "In truth, I feel I am concentrating very hard on making the best performance I can here,” explained Pilurzu. “Friday, the level of the waves lowered a little. Nevertheless, I was quite calm with the purpose of having the best strategy to attack at the indicated moment.”  

Today is crucial for Costa Rica  in that all categories of the repercharge heats are currently in progress on the beach with seven out of the eight remaining Tico Team members still working towards Gold, Silver and Bronze individual and team medals in those second-chance contests. Along with Federico in the Open, Diego Naranjo and Luis Vindas, both from Playa Jaco, will have an opportunity to join him, should they pass today.

Both Diego and Luis joined the Pan-American Surfing Games from their previous weekend stint at the first date of the Latin Pro Tour 2006 of the Asociacion Latinoamericano de Surf’s (ALAS) in Mar del Plata in Argentina, and although they are in repercharge, their strong skills from their international competitions—which also include the Association of Profession Surfing’s World Qualifying Series tour—bode well still for the Costa Rican team’s position at the end of these Games. 

Pilurzu added: “All of us in the group of Costa Ricans who arrived at this competition are demonstrating a great level of surfing in front of talented people such as the Brazilians or the Peruvians, and we are proud of what we are doing. For Saturday, I hope that all it comes out well and we will put the flag of Costa Rica very high.” 

Jaco’s Lisbeth Vindas is also surfing repercharge today to obtain a consoloation space in the Womens Semifinals. Although Lisbeth is known internationally as the five-time Costa Rican National Women’s Surf Champion, at the Reef Panamericano de Surf Peru 2006 Copa Motorola she will also be competing in the Women’s Bodyboard category, and the Tica has already advanced all the way to the Semifinals. 

The Costa Rican Juniors (under 18 years), including Jason Torres, Juan Carlos Naranjo and Jairo Perez of Jaco and Isaac Vega of Tamarindo still could proceed in the Pan American Surfing Games, subject to their skills today in their own repercharge heats. “All the Costa Rican surfers—with the exception of Andreina Samudio—still stay alive and can move on,” said Antonio Pilurzu, head of the Costa Rican Federacion de Surf by telephone from Peru. He added that when the competition began, the waves were close to three meters in height, were of great quality, and quite challenging—yet exciting—for  the Team.  “In view of the good performance which we will have made in summation at the end of the Games, it is possible that we will finish with a nice ranking in the participating nations.” 

Some of those stand-out performances have included those made by Jason Torres, who on the first day of the Games in the Open, caused serious problems for another Peruvian champion, Javier Swayne, when Torres swept by him and three other Latin pros to take 1st place. Recalled Antonio Pilurzu: "Jason gave a surf lesson to Javier; our representative was brilliant. He was concentrating at every moment and with that strength he acted with an enormous serenity.” (Unfortunately, Jason ended up in repercharge the very next round, then out.) He also snaked his Juniors first heat to 1st place and is still rallying in repercharge, because in the water, he fights with his board.  

Sunday will be the Finals of the Reef Panamericano de Surf Peru 2006 Copa Motorola, which has been organized by the Asociación Panamericana de Surf (APA) and the Federación Deportiva Peruana de Tabla (FEPTA). Participants include Dominican Republic, Brazil, Guadalupe, Jamaica, Barbados, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Peru and Costa Rica.




Diego Naranjo (Jaco, Puntarenas, Costa Rica) 24 years old

Years surfing:15

Diego’s been a competitive surfer for over 10 years, and the results just keep getting better. In the last few years among his victories are a 1st place win in the Quiksilver Jackpot Skins Costa Rica 2004 and 6th place ranking in the Asociacion Latinoamericano de Surf’s (ALAS) Latin Pro 2005 Open category. When not representing Costa Rica in the Association of Surfing Professional’s World Qualifying Series (WQS), he’s up at 5 a.m. everyday training himself and a group of kids in Jaco who want to follow in Diego’s wake one day.

Sponsors:  Billabong, Adrenalina, Red Bull, Reef Quique Surf Shop, Byrne Surf Boards, Freestyle


Juan Carlos Naranjo (Jaco, Puntarenas, Costa Rica) 18 years old

Years Surfing: 7

Juan Carlos has impressive international competitive training, having been to two World Junior Surfing Championships representing Costa Rica—one in Tahiti and just last year in Huntington Beach. He was the 2nd place 2005 National Junior Champion in his country, and ranked 8th in the ALAS Latin Pro Juniors last year as well. But, Naranjo made it all the way to 9th in the Open rankings with the older guys of Costa Rica’s Circuito Nacional de Surf (CNS) in 2005.  “I think my surfing really got better by doing those Latin Pro tournaments,” he admits. “I was helped out a lot because they were bigger events and they had more experienced surfers.” After all, that’s the method that Juan Carlos started out with in the surf: Top ranked Costa Rican surfer Diego Naranjo’s little brother has been watching his sibling as well as other area champions for years, and he stays close with them, allowing them to push him and train him on a regular basis. “I want to be Latin America champion and eventually a Costa Rican champion worldwide,” he says, humbly.

Sponsors: OP, WOW Surf Shop


Jairo Pérez (Jaco, Puntarenas, Costa Rica) 15 years old

Years Surfing 6

Perez is the 2005 CNS Boys Champion who last month made Costa Rican surf history when he came in 1st place in the Boys and Juniors categories of the Copa Mango Circuito contest in Hermosa Beach. “Why? Because Jairo has been developing his own style and his own techniques which are working for him,” said Antonio Pilurzu, head of Costa Rica’s Federacion de Surf. “He’s figuring out what methods will win and is getting taken seriously.”  Nicknamed “Mini-Dingy” after his older brother, “Dingy,” Perez gets high marks both at his school—where he applies himself hard—and in his surf training. “I’m different now, because I’ve competed more, have more experience and surf with more force, certainty, and more tranquility, more control of the pressure of my board,” he explains of his surfing evolution.

Sponsors: OP, Arenas, Linden Boards, Freestyle, Piko


Federico Pilurzu (Tamarindo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica) 22 years old

Years Surfing: 13

When not featured in Imperial Beer or Adio advertising,  the half-Italian, half-Belgium—yet Costa Rican surfer is still hard at work on the goal to be one of the best ambassadors for the future of Costa Rican surfing in the international area. He’s accomplishing that goal handily: Federico was the 2000-01 CNS Champion, as well as 1st place Open winner at the Reef Classic in Playa Hermosa stop of the 2005 date of the ALAS Latin Pro. Recently, he finished Top 10 in San Diego’s Matix Pro-Am, then returned to Tamarindo to win 1st place Open category at the homebreak date of the CNS called Trofeo Vista Villas. Pilurzu has just mapped out his next international competitive move, his third go at the WQS, which begins for him in Brazil this May and continues through December in Hawaii.

Sponsors: Madsteez, Adio


Andreina Samudio (Jaco, Punteranas, Costa Rica) 17 years old

Years Surfing: 4

This very shy Costa Rican girl has a beautiful smile and a dedicated surfing spirit. With only three years competing on the Circuito Nacional, her first international experience was on the Costa Rican Junior National Team that went to Tahiti in 2004. Now,  Andreina is stepping it up a bit:  Under the rigorous training of Costa Rica’s National surf champions Germaine “Nino” Myrie, Gilbert Brown and Andrea Diaz of Waves Costa Rica, she’s returned to the global stage with the Pan-American Surfing Games, a thrilling competitive experience as well as an exciting opportunity to represent her country. Diaz says Samudio is a talent to watch, that she stands out in Costa Rican women’s surfing because she “goes the extra mile with constant training, and traveling around the country to show up at all the contests.”  In Hermosa’s CNS tournament, Andreina not only placed 2nd in the Junior Womens category, she came in 4th in the Womens as well.

Sponsors: Malecon Restaurant, Waves Costa Rica 


Jason Torres (Jaco, Punteranas, Costa Rica) 17 years old

Jason is amazing to watch in the water, you never know what maneuver he’ll pull off, and there’s always a surprise to the ride. People still talk about how when he was 15 years old, he aced out all the pros by winning the Best Barrel ­at the Quiksilver Jaco contest. While it’s well-known that in the past, his radical moves did not come from training at the start of his surfing career; he just put a board in the water and started racking up wins. Now, after a year off from competition and a 1st place Juniors win at the very first date back in Playa Avellanas’ Pinilla Classic leg of the CNS in November 2005, even this instinctive spitfire admitted that “I trained a lot in Jaco and Playa Hermosa. Thanks to God for this win.” According to Yeffrey Rojas, CNS head judge, “I was happy to see Jason back in the water today after taking a year off from competing. He’s very good with every maneuver he does and takes a lot of risks.” Even more amazing, is the fact that Jason is currently ranked #4 in the Costa Rica CNS Open category as well. The Pan-American Surfing Games will be Torres’ return to the international arena.

Sponsors: Rancho Coral Surf Camp, Tabacon Restaurant, Remax (Jaco), Piko, Wishbone Restaurant, Casa Asana, The Backyard Hotel


Isaac Vega (Tamarindo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica) 18 years old

Years Surfing: 7

Isaac is the current CNS Open rankings leader at #1 after 3 Circuito dates, a trek that began when he surprised everyone at Playa Avellanas by beating all the veterans at the Pinilla Classic. His new strategy? “I really try to stay focused and relaxed, allowing me to concentrate more,” which has resulted in his confident, powerful surfing that gets better and better. The adventure began when Vega received his first surfboard from another local surf champion named Andrea Diaz, but his brothers Willy and Paco were the ones who inspired him to get into the water and start riding it. Although he was able to compete in some of Costa Rica’s early CNS dates—winning even—and travel to contests in Nicaragua and the last Pan-American Surfing Games in Ecuador, his practice and training time were limited by his mother’s desire that he focus only school. Yet, after Vega earned notoriety for his maneuvers from the Circuito judges, and received front-page media coverage in Costa Rica (La Nacion; Beach Times), Quiksilver signed Isaac to their team. Mom relented, and Isaac was permitted to realize his professional surfing goal. Since then, he traveled to Huntington as part of the Costa Rican National Junior Team for the WJSC, stayed with Robert August and learned about the high level of international competition. It’s that experience that resulted in a nose-to-the-grindstone training effort and better surfing skills.  “In Peru, I am very excited and honored to represent Costa Rica and Tamarindo. My goal is to win, and to represent my team and our country well, all the way to the end of the contest."

Sponsors: Quiksilver, Honeycutt Surfboards, Adio Shoes, Maresias Surf Shop


Lisbeth Vindas (Jaco, Punteranas, Costa Rica) 24 years old

Years Surfing: 11

Vindas is the premier Costa Rican Woman surfer, having earned the National Women’s title on the CNS five times in a row. In addition, at the end of 2005, this busy gal was #4 on the ALAS Latin Pro Women ranking, having made time to surf and win enough points at those dates. This year, she will not be doing the CNS, opting instead to represent Costa Rica internationally in the Pan-American Surfing Games, as well as various Latin Pro dates and on the WQS, where she hopes to improve from her #46 ranking last year. Shortly after the last 2005 WQS contest, Lisbeth obtained a special honor for “team work” in Huntington, when she scored with a selection of the best two waves as part of a group of females surfers from Australia, France and the United States. The three girls and Lisbeth, confronted another 24 girls from 6 teams in an hour, then the judges picked Vindas as the best surfer in the team category thanks to her performance of the most aggressive and flashy maneuvers from the 24-girl contingent that reached the finals. Vindas explains of moving to the next level in 2006: “My only strategy will be concentration of what I need to do, and to do the right thing is all in your mind, to be positive.”

Sponsors: Billabong, Freestyle, Gallas, Arenas Surf Shop, Oam, Oakley, Byrne


Luis Vindas (Jaco, Punteranas, Costa Rica) 19 years old

Years Surfing: 11

On land Vindas is so shy, it takes his sister Lisbeth at his side to coax answers for his interviews. In the ocean, however, he holds nothing back. Certainly that was evident in the Latin Pro Peru where he made history by being the first person to ever to win 1st place in the Open and 1st place in the Juniors. "He enchants with extreme maneuvers and he is determined to improve his level," wrote Latin America’s Surfos magazine. He started by boogie boarding out back of his Jacó house, but by age nine, wanted to use a surfboard like big sis. Vindas has constantly surfed, trained, conditioned, and competed since then. His expertise was crucial to the Costa Rica National Surf Team’s 3rd place spot at the Pan-American Games last time around in Ecuador; his 2nd  place win in the contest gave the team many points toward overall placement. Luis arrives in Peru this year from the WQS and the first 2006 Latin Pro contest. Last year, he ranked 9th in the Open for the Latin Pro. Vindas will spend 2006 year competing internationally. 

Sponsors: Billabong, Reef, Adrenalina, Oakley, Quique, Ocean Earth, Nixon. Fatum Surfboards.


Event Scedule;

Monday 16-01-2006 Teams arrival 
Tuesday 17-01-2006 Judging actualization courses, Practice, Opening ceremony, Team Manager’s meeting, Practice 
Wednsday  18-01-2006 competition 
Thursday 19-01-2006 competition 
Friday 20-01-2006 competition
Saturday 21-01-2006 competition
Sunday 22-01-2006 competition, closing ceremony 
Monday 23-01-2006 teams departure. 

Pan American Surfing Games
Pan American Surfing Association




Previous reports:
# 1 :
Peru hosting 2006 Reef Pan-American Surfing Games..
# 2 : South America's biggest competition kicks-off in Peru 
# 3 : Brazil Guadeloupe & Peru lead Pan Am Surfing Games 
# 4 : Brazil leading charge at Reef Pan Am Surfing Games.. 

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