Panama ISA World Masters Surfing Championship: yes, always pumping

It was an intense fourth day of competition at the Panama ISA World Masters Surfing Championship with only repercharge rounds taking place today, again in pretty big waves that reached the 8 to 10 foot faces mark.

There were 99 surfers at the beginning of the day, 70 remains now out of the 107 that initiated last Sunday. South Africa, Australia, Peru and Brazil are leading the ratings, with all their surfers still in contention for the title.

A total of 16 heats of the Masters, Grand Masters and Kahunas divisions took place today. With three days to go, the action is lightning up in Santa Catalina with the best Masters surfers giving everything they can to stay in the contest.

The repercharge, badly known by some people as the “Losers round”, today saw the best performance of the entire event in the first round of the Grand Masters division. Costa Rican Craig Scheiber was the man of the day, surfing radically enough to score a 17.17 (9.17 + 8.00). He then competed again and made it through in second place, behind former Grand Masters World Champion, Magoo de la Rosa.

But Scheiber didn't stopped there. Just to leave his intentions clear, he also competed in the Kahunas division, where he also posted highest combined tally of the round, 15.50 (8.17 + 7.33).

Surfing impressively well Héctor González (PUR), Michel Larronde (FRA) and Ronald Raygada (PER) also won their heats in the Kahunas. As for the Grand Masters, Magoo de la Rosa (PER), Horacio Ipucha (ARG), Andre Malherbe (RSA) and Sebastián Galindo (ARG) also placed first scoring high.

In the Masters division, former ASP World Tour Top 3, Victor Ribas finally found his rhythm and was the best surfer of his age group, scoring 16.10 (8.67 + 7.43). Gustavo Betancourt (PUR), who is competing for the third time in the event, was another standout, scoring 14.93 (8.50 + 6.43).

“I felt better today. The other day I was really frustrated about losing, because I know I can come to this event, make it to the final and win it,” said Betancourt. “I could have won the previous editions of the Masters but this is how this event works. I know that my surfing is the best here in this contest but I am more of a free surfer than a competitor, if I can put everything together things are going to be good.”

Other Master standouts were Peruvians Luigi de Marzo and Raúl Villa.

As for the local team, Kenny Myers, one of the legendaries Santa Catalina´s pioneers, is, along with Sonia Garcia, the only Panamanians left. Myers, who is competing in the Kahunas and Grand Kahunas divisions had a good heat today. He placed second and made it through to the Round 3 of the Kahunas repercharge. He said: “I got two long waves and thank God it was enough to pass the heat. The judges want the surfers to do maneuvers in the most critical places of the wave, but in these conditions is hard to that. Our team is doing OK, we’re going strong until the end.”


SOURCE: ISA World Masters