San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Brother-Sister Duo Rules Waves in Jacó

LOOKS likethe Vindas familyfrom Playa Jacó,on the central Pacificcoast, may be asurfing dynasty inthe making, withthe brother and sisterduo of Luis andLisbeth Vindaseach taking firstplace in their respectivecategories –open and women’s– at Grand PrixMango, the PlayaJacó leg of the 2004-05 Circuito Nacionalde Surf, which took place March 12-13.Lisbeth retains her ranking as the number-one female surfer in Costa Rica, andlittle brother Luis’s win likely assures themboth places on the 2005 national surf team,scheduled to compete later this year in theprestigious Pan-American Games, as wellas in other international competitions.Add to the mix the family’s closefriend, Juan Carlos Naranjo, who won firstplace in the junior category and wasalready ranked the number-five surfer inthe country, and it looks like all that “surfingtogether, training together, beingtogether and pushing each other” Lisbethhas talked about has paid off.Naranjo, 17, who won in his final heatby “surfing lots of waves, making a lot ofmaneuvers, going for the snap off the lip,doing floaters and then laybacks,” will alsolikely make the national team and head tothe recently announced InternationalSurfing Association’s (ISA) World JuniorSurfing Championships, scheduled forOctober 2005 in the famed “Surf City” ofHuntington Beach, California. This willalso be the site of the ISA World SurfingGames in October 2006, when internationalsurfers will compete for the world title.Antonio Pilurzu, head of the CostaRican Surfing Federation, said the resultsfrom this weekend’s Grand Prix Mangowould be tallied into the rankings, and thetop four ranked surfers from each categorywill join other Tico pro surfers at a specialtraining camp, where a final selection willbe made for the national team.“We (the Circuito Nacional de Surf)have spent the last five years building amethod that gives us a way to calculatenational rankings. This did not existbefore,” Pilurzu explained. “In this way, wealso get Costa Rica as a country ranked inthe arena of international surfing, and wework on improving that ranking each year.”Recently returned from an impressiveshowing in Peru, where he placed secondin the Red Bull Air Show, Luis Vindas, 18,entered the Grand Prix Mango prepared towin on his home turf. In the final heat, heused a little of the energy and maneuverabilityhe demonstrated in Peru to beat outboth last month’s open winner, Luis“Coco” Hernández, and 2004 Circuitochampion Álvaro Solano, with a wave thatscored an impressive nine points out of apossible ten.“We haven’t seen a wave like that in avery long time,” explained head judgeYeffrey Rojas. “Not only was the conditionof the wave perfect, but Luis did a 360-degree aerial off it, which went straightinto a deep bottom turn, then hit the liphard again, only to finish with a few moreturns. It was like a demo for the sport ofsurfing. Really unbelievable.”Shy Luis let big sister Lisbeth explainthe reaction: “It was really amazing,” sheboasted. “When he finished the wave, thejudges were not sure what to score.”Lisbeth, also back from Peru, whereshe competed in a World Qualifying Seriescontest and placed 25th, took first onSunday in the women’s category. At lastmonth’s Circuito event in Dominical, theposition was awarded to Hermosa’s LauraPecoraro in Vindas’s absence. Vindas saidshe is now back in Costa Rica to finish outthe Circuito “with power,” and take theCosta Rican surfing women’s championtitle for another year.Circuito sponsors include 91.1 LaRadio, Nacho Daddy Discotec, MangoSurf & Skate, Backyard and Mango Hotel,Quiksilver, Jammin’ Surf Camp, Carton,Banzaii, Roxy, Cala Luna Hotel and Villas,Tamarindo Vista Villas, Mohs, Dakine,Fischer Bros., Shifi Surf Shots, BevyMedia, Jass, Surfos and Red Bull.

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