IX Panamerican Surfing Games

Riding on the extraordinary surfing of a slew of Ticos, the best of whom ended up in 2nd place overall in the IX Pan American Surfing Games, the Costa Rica National Surf Team today made history by placing 2nd in the Games that took place at Playa Olivenca de Ilhéus – Bahia, Brazil.

With the skills of Jason Torres earning his first silver medal in the Open, Costa Rica secured its 4th consecutive pódium visit at the PanAmerican Surfing Games since 2003. In this opportunity, however, rather than mining Bronze and Copper as before, the overall points earned by the team resulted in their earning a silver medal and a subchampionship at these PanAmerican Surfing Games.

This team silver medal is even more significant since Costa Rica competed in Brazil with an incomplete team. From the nine selections that arrived here, only Peru, Venezuela and Guadalupe brought the full 15 athletes for the 6 categories. Costa Rica took 8 competitors.

“We do not really believe it,” said José Ureña, President of the Federacion de Surf de Costa Rica and Technical Director of the Costa Rica National Surf Team. “The praises of the other teams and people who followed up in these competitive days came at us from all sides. It’s not something that we can say enough, but the work that we managed to do has been even better because we arrived here with only 60 percent of a team.”

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Taylor Jensen

The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) 1-Star PLA Pro Championships saw local talent Taylor Jensen (Oceanside, CA), 25, take out the men’s division, while fellow San Diegan Cori Schumacher (Cardiff, CA), 34, clinched her second consecutive women’s ASP North America Longboard Title when she won the PLA Pro Championships presented by Gidget in the peaky two-to-three foot wind-swell on offer at South Oceanside Pier.

Jensen, who grew up surfing Oceanside’s beachbreak, was trailing in third place behind Tony Silvagni (Kure Beach, NC), 22, but battled back to overtake the lead by combining two lengthy noserides and progressive turns to eventually place the field in a combination situation before claiming the PLA Pro Championships, the last event on the 2009 regional series.

“I just lucked into a wave,” Jensen said. “Brendan (White) took the one before it and I just sort of lucked into it and it worked out.”

Jensen, who has also been living in Australia, has been splitting his time between the two nations and was thrilled to take out a win at home after traveling back from Australia.

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Hank Gaskell

Eyes were on the waves but minds were on the money as the $1,000,000 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing presented by Rockstar Energy Drink hit the water with day one of the Reef Hawaiian Pro - an ASP men's 6-star prime World Qualifying Series event. Subsequently, few people noticed that the bulk of the 10- to 12-foot NE swell wasn't making it around the corner into Haleiwa, and thousands lived it up in the bikini-strutting weather.

Haleiwa leveled the playing field today as visiting and local surfers met somewhere in the middle between international beach break conditions and the Hawaiian power expected here this time of year. Results were as mixed as the waves that ranged from five feet in the morning, to just a couple of feet before the event was halted around 2p.m. at heat 11 of the round of 128 surfers.

The earlier heats lucked out with offshore winds and punchier conditions. Maui's Granger Larsen nailed down the best of it, cranking out three powerful snaps to earn a 9.33, the highest scoring wave of the contest so far.

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