“It has been an excellent first experience of reactivating surfing tournaments”, stated Dr. Juan Ledezma, director of the regional headquarters of the Ministry of Health in the Nicoya peninsula, referring to the first competition of this sport in rowing mode, after 8 months of suspension.
«Among other aspects, we verified that the temperature was taken upon entry, disinfection points, hand washing, labeling, private security to control the distancing of people, and the absence of public, only the competitors, the members of the Federation and the hotel staff “, he specified.
The activity -organized by the Costa Rican Surf Federation (Fedesurf) – was developed under strict health protocols after the Minister of Sports, Hernán Solano Venegas, authorized the health guide for the holding of competitions in this sport.
The modality consists of distance or speed races in which the athletes are propelled with a paddle on surfboards, with the particularity that waves are not required, so the waters of the Gulf of Nicoya lend themselves as an ideal setting for the practice of this sport.
Minister Solano indicated that “this event marked the path of hope for the practice of surfing and its modalities and will be an instrument to promote economic reactivation safely on our coasts, lakes and rivers.”
“Besides promoting healthy activities among the inhabitants of these areas, SUP can also be exploited sustainably as a tourist attraction, from which hundreds of families can benefit. It is a beginning to position the country as a world-class destination to practice this sport, due to its natural settings and tourist infrastructure ”, he said.
The president of the Surf Federation of Costa Rica, Randall Cháves, highlighted the joint work that was carried out to fully comply with the sanitary protocols. “For us it is very important to compete again because we know that sport is health and we can help in the reactivation of tourism and commerce in the area,” he said.
The competition. The first edition of SUP (paddle surfing) that took place in Playa Naranjo in Paquera started at 9:00 a.m. with recreational competition under rainy and windy weather conditions, choppy waves and the tide starting to go out.
The Touring category followed and the last to jump into the water were the competitors in the 12’6ft and 14’0ft categories, who had an extensive journey of 12 kilometers in the changing currents of water and wind that they had along of this exciting race.
Touring category (6k mixed) had Carlo Arias as the winner, with a time of 0:58:23, followed by Tomás Vargas (1:01:34) and in third place Hugo Ledezma (1:11:45).
14’0 feet. From the start, the 2019 SUP Races national champion, Marcel Oliveira, managed to find the right paddling rhythm and knew how to navigate the difficult sea conditions and take first position and take a good advantage until the end of the race.
Oliveira stopped the timer with 1:37:36 when he crossed the finish line located on the sand in front of the O’Pacífico hotel, followed by Sebastián Fumero (1:38:45); Jefferson Tascon (1:40:44); Michael Gutierrez (1:42: 6); Andrés Leitón (1:43:05) and Jose Luis Rothschild (1:56:17)
In women, Daniela Wooster made her return to racing competition after a three-year hiatus in top form, finishing in first place in the 14’0-foot class. In second place was Flavia Fernández, (1:54:02) and third, Karina Ortega (2:34:57).
12’6 feet. Then it was the arrival of the competitors in this category that was led by Vigdis Vastaug, who closed the competition with a time of 2:16:40 and Silvia Fumero (2: 53.26).
Recreational. The winner in Recreativa Hombres was Felipe Fernández with a time of 1:02:27. For its part, women was led by Alexandra Peralta, 1:09:50; followed by Rebeca Ramírez (1: 37: 489).
Tour of the Minister of Sports. The Minister of Sports made a tour over the weekend, during which he handed over two bio-healthy parks in Isla Venado and Lepanto, and carried out an inspection of the Hojancha Municipality site where the municipal gymnasium of the canton will be built, after that the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic approve the budget for ¢ 500 million.