Our Own Costa Azul Hosts Surf Competition

We will explain it to you because that makes it interesting

BY ANDREA GAYTAN

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For many of San Jose’s avid surfers, the season has started. As summer nears, the swells move from the cold Pacific Ocean towards the blue waters of the Sea of Cortez. It is finally the time to hang the wetsuit and watch the orange sunrise over the ocean like a giant fireball, greeting us with unlimited sets of glassy warm waves.

Surfing is a new Olympic sport that began in Hawaii back when it was still considered a monarchy. It was once called the “Sport of Kings” since only the royalty were allowed to practice. Nowadays, it is one of the fasting growing sports and industries worldwide and will make its debut at the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.

Last weekend, just south of San Jose’s along  Costa Azul, the third leg of the “Torneo Selectivo 2019” for the Mexican team trials got underway. The conditions were glassy with solid one meter plus waves. There were big white tents set up by the Asociación De Surfing De Baja California Sur, which kept everyone cooled off with premium seating under the scorching sun.

The wave at Zippers is famous for its speed and ramp-like shape. We watched the national talent perform and compete at their best, with an array of aerial maneuvers and sharp turns that kept the enthusiastic crowd cheering. There were five categories ranging from 12 years and under all the way to the seniors or Masters division.

In a surfing competition, the contestants are divided into heats of four surfers. To distinguish each competitor, each surfer wears a rash-guard or lycra top with a different color. The heats last 25 minutes where surfers can catch a maximum of ten waves. Only the two highest waves scores count.

The top two participants advance on and the other two are eliminated. The rounds go from elimination rounds to quarterfinals, semifinals and all the way to the final round, where the top four finalists compete for the podium.

In the judging criteria according to the World Surfing League, a surfer must perform radical maneuvers in the most critical sections of the wave. The maneuvers are scored based on speed, power and flow. Innovative and progressive surfing maximize the scoring potential. The size of the wave and a variety of repertoire are also taken into consideration.

Three judges score each wave and get an average wave score, the highest possible score for a wave is 10. If there are no waves during a heat sometimes they can re-start the timer or make the heats longer, sometimes the final heats can last from 30 to 40 minutes to give ample opportunity for the contestants to catch quality waves.

Last weekend’s contest was held in memory of Oscar Villasenor “El Totonaca”. He was one of the pioneers and original surfers in Costa Azul back in the 70’s when the Castro family was around.

The participants of the team trials have been accumulating points from two previous contests held at La Curva and Cerritos during the winter months in the Pacific side. The next and last team trials will be held at Shipwreck’s in the East Cape at the end of July. All the points for the season will be added up, and those who score the highest will make the team that will represent Baja California Sur at the upcoming National Surfing Championships.

A shoutout to Boxer and all the organizers and announcers for making these contests possible for the youth, and for helping them to practice and get used to the new priority system. In this new format, the surfers must take turns catching waves. The new system requires an improved commitment and wave selection from the competitors, because when a surfer with priority paddles for a wave and fails to catch it, the contestant loses priority and has to get back in line at the end of the pack.

For upcoming event information and the winners of this competition, please check out the Asociación De Surfing De Baja California Sur’s Facebook page.

Honorable mention to Lilya Ambert, who was the only female and competed against the boys and made it all the way to the final rounds!

Much gratitude to all the sponsors including: La Federacion Mexicana de Surfing, Instituto de la Juventud del Municipio de Los Cabos, Restaurant Costa Azul, Customex, Bocana Surf School, Cabo Local, CRT Surf School, Yellow Tail, Barracuda Cantina, Saint Jude’s Medical Center, Tribuna de los Cabos, Baja Smart Real Estate, Casa Costa Azul, Baja Surfing Surf School Pescadero ,Cabo Flow, Nautilus Ink, Mastergraf, Shaka’s Delicious Wood Cantina and Galeria, Derek’s Sushi Bar, Bodyboard,  Cabolife, West Side, Biznaga Surf Co, Desert Barrels, Ventanas Hotel and Residences, Indem Los Cabos, Soleado Beach and Spa Resort and Peraza Consultores y Asociados S.C.