Costa Rica shines in the World Surfing Games

October 15, 2008 | Surfing

World Surfing Games

Despite a smaller swell the action was frenetic and emotions ran high on the third day of the ISA World Surfing Games with the repercharge heats along with the Open Men’s qualifiers hitting the water. It was also the turn of the Women to show what they’re capable of in the Main Event round one and two.

It was a sunny day that started with a really low tide, which negatively affected the shape of the waves. As the tide came in, conditions improved and reached the four foot mark.

There was plenty of action in the 45 heats that were held and history was written again in Portugal. The new generation conquered the old as the surfer of the day and current ISA World Junior Champion Tamaroa McComb 16 (TAH) was the standout.

The shining star among the women was Australian Sally Fitzgibbons, 17, who is a former ISA World Junior Champion. Costa Rican surfers were once again the talk of the beach and, with the first round of the repercharge completed, some surfers said goodbye to the contest in the “all or nothing” round. 

With 16, scoring more than 18
Tamaroa McComb was crowned ISA World Junior Champion in the Under 16 division five months ago on the French coast, and his great talent saw him included in the frontline of the Tahitian Surfing Team at the ISA World Surfing Games, this time as an Open surfer. The gamble of selecting the 16 year old has paid off, after he posted an 18.17 heat score in the third round.

The characteristic power and flow of the young Polynesian is evident with his top to bottom radical and varied moves. In his best two rides, he scored 9.17 and 9.00 to beat ASP World Tour surfer, Ben Bourgeois from United States into second place. ~

“I was a bit lucky to get the good ones. It was kind of hard out there since the tide was high but I just sat on the side and waited for the rights and they just came to me. I tried to do airs and carves,” McComb said. Regarding his first time on the Open Tahitian team, he commented: “I heard that the Federation wanted me to come here, and I wanted exactly the same. It’s amazing to surf with the pros and push my level up.”

Other Open Men standouts who made it through to the fourth round with back to back victories were Jason Torres (CRI), Mat Bemrose (AUS), Luis Vindas (CRI), Kai Otten (AUS), CJ Hobgood (USA) and Jairo Perez (CRI). 

Sally wants another World Championship Title
One of the best junior female talents that the world has seen in recent years, Australian Sally Fitzgibbons, started perfectly in the first Open Team Australia campaign, making the right wave selection and executing graceful and powerful top turns.

Fitzgibbons, who won in Costa de Caparica at the World Junior Surfing Championship last year, produced the highest combined scores in her both first and second round heats, 14.17 and 15.00 respectively. The Australian easily made it through the Main Event.

The talented easygoing Junior Champion said: “It’s good to get in the water today. We've had a couple of days off watching the boys in other divisions. Conditions all through the day are very contestable and it’s pretty hard now to pick those high scorers. All the girls are surfing really well and just hope to keep moving through a couple more rounds and have a little but of fun. I’ve been feeling good and the Aussie Team too!”

Other standouts in the Women’s division were Analí Gómez (PER), Claire Bevilacqua (AUS), Tarryn Chudleigh (ZAF), Camila Cassia (BRA) and Marie Dejean (FRA).

Costa Rica keeps momentum
The “Ticos” kept their great campaign going at Costa de Caparica today. Their three Open team members, Jason Torres, Jairo Pérez and Luis Vindas, all won their main events match-ups, beating powerful contestants from Australia, Brazil and United States.

These three are among the only 16 Open Men surfers that haven’t lost a heat.

“All or nothing” in the repercharge
With some of the repercharge rounds in the Open division completed, the first surfers were eliminated from the event. The tension of the repercharge rounds was felt and at the end of the day the surfers realize what it meant to compete in this “all or nothing” round.

“You feel a great deal of pressure in the repercharge. It’s your last chance to keep yourself alive. When you’re in the Main Event you know you have another opportunity, so there’s not such a pressure. Once you get here, you have to give everything. If you lose, you have pack,” said Argentinean Lucas Santamaría, who achieved the highest combined score (15.84) in the “all or nothing” round.

Zennor Wernham (NZL), Gabriel Villarán (PER), Maxi Siri (ARG) and Alan Davis (TTB) were other repercharge standouts.

Among the women, there were good performances by Francisca Santos (POR), Naumi Teriiparau (TAH), Karen Gamarra (PER), Lilac Alvarado (PRI), Jessica Santorik (NZL) and Beth Mason (GB).

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