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WORLDWIDE PURE LIFE OF SURF KAYAK COSTA RICA 2005
World Championship in Costa Rica, 2005: From then on we began to detail everything necessary for this event to happen. The President of the WSKA was Rick Starr: a very good friend of mine and an excellent person. Between him, Neil Kahan and I we took the flag and carried it out. We chose Esterillos Oeste, a beach that always has waves, is accessible, near Jaco and the big city of San Jose, and has the infrastructure to carry out the event. For this World Cup we did not have LACSA as a sponsor but there was a better structure within the WSKA and people were more organized and involved in the sport.
Everything flowed better. We got several important sponsors such as Patagonia, from California, the Jaco Beach Hotel (which was the venue) Red Bull, Kilo Telas, Rios Tropicales, Jaco Kayak and others who joined the event. We did something very nice- in Esterillos there is a school that is next to the sea. I do not remember what it’s called, but it’s entering the beach on the left about 500 meters. As we were going there so much to surf, we decided to dedicate the tournament to that school. What did this mean? To begin with, there had to be an interaction between competitors and students. All the delegations were asked to present their country to the students. We supplied translators. We asked the school to make among them all the flags of the visiting countries, which were to be used for all the official events of the event. We supplied them with the fabric sponsored by Kilo Gangas, and it was made.
The inauguration was with a parade in Jaco, with 18 countries, approximately 250 people who came to visit our country at the end of October 2005. Everything happened as it should have: we had good waves just a couple of days of 3 feet, but Esterillos endures. The visiting countries were: two teams from the USA, England, Wales, Basque Country, Argentina, Japan, Germany, Canada, Scotland, Jersey, Ireland (2), Catalonia, Brazil, France, Mexico, and Costa Rica. Within the Costa Rican team, Neil Kahan was 3rd in the Masters. Nobody else was able to stand out, but the event was a success. Every day began at 6 am sharp and sometimes lasted up to 10 hours a day. All the judges and others stayed at our house in Hermosa, a good group of people. In this year it was also when the Rabbit Kekai was stopped. I disregarded Kayak Surf for a while, and I started doing it “free” without competing much, twice a year only, while always belonging to the WSKA Committee.
I think that at the beginning of 2006 I went to the Basque Country to compete in the first tournament they organized. It went well for me, I finished 3rd in the Open, and I connected well with the Basques who organized the next World Cup in MUNDAKA, and BAKIO as plan B for the waves. This is a spectacular place, especially Mundaka, that is very beautiful. The wave is a long point, Boca de Barranca type, but faster and very famous in Europe. In 2007, I decided to go to the Vasco Country World Cup, also in Mundaka. With the same format during the WSKA Meeting, I was again proposed to preside over it: here came Rick Starr. The truth is that for this tournament I went for a walk in the park – to see old friends.
Of course I competed but it did not go well at all. I rediscovered an old friend – we made a party and I do not regret it. We stayed in Mundaka, in the pure port, about 70 rows from the Point. From the bed I could see the wave.It was called Hotel EL PUERTO and it´s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever stayed: a small room, but with the necessities. We left all the equipment in a cellar near the hotel, with some fishermen. From then on I became very close to Txema Carreto and his family, as well as Oscar and others from the area. The competition was almost all in Bakio, a village 40 minutes from Mundaka. Mundaka almost did not throw waves: a very hard and difficult beach break. I didn’t mind as it was a good experience. After that there was a World Cup in Portugal, in Santa Cruz, then one in North Carolina, USA, and another in Australia, on the Sunshine Coast. I didn’t got to any of them and I continued with my FREE surfing, not wanting to compete or to get cold any more than I needed to.
In addition, and very importantly, during this time I had three children at University with some big expenses, so the trips that were made were to visit family. During these years and the next two more, what we did was that people visited me instead: friend of the kayak surfing. This forced me to be in good physical condition and to continue on the right path. The truth is that I love being in the water, so there’s no problem. In 2015, Galicia decided to organize a World Cup: it caught our attention, as it was in warm water and in a country where the gastronomy is exquisite. In addition, we had been invited by our friends from the Vasco Country, and the truth is that the invitation could not be rejected. It was in a place called Pantin, a beach breaks with one or another point, crystal clear waters and easy access.
I signed up for the Long Boats category (3-meter kayaks), and the Grand Masters. In the open I did not do very well, but in the Grand Masters I achieved a fifth place. The interesting thing about all this is that I had already met almost everyone in my category with years of experience. I have a photo with the 4 of us older guys: we were JOCK, from Scotland, Dennis Hudsun, Tanguita from California, Marcolm Pears from England and myself, all above 60 years old. Incidentally, Dennis just died during the last World Cup in Northern Ireland: a super friend, with an attitude to live, a crazy guy. To finish, for now, the theme of World Cups- I think I’m preparing for what I hope will be my last in 2019, in Peru in Pacasmayo. A super left wave, very good but in very cold water.
I spoke with Alejo Pacheco and we agreed to participate, but it will be in a very nice place, again with good gastronomy, and knowing the organizer well. In this last year, I was approached, by coincidence, by the ADAPTED SURF SELECTION. I will tell you … In October of 2016, I found myself in Barranca with Marcel, National LongBoard Champion. Seeing me in a kayak, he wondered if I had an extra paddle for a friend of his, Juan Manuel Camacho. This person was shot in the back and paralyzed from the waist down. Since he was a surfer, he persevered in being able to surf again. He started running waves in a WAVESKY, and he has made it. In addition to giving him an oar, I have tried to teach him everything I can of my tricks in the water. Juan Manuel is trained by Gustavo Corrales, and I have taught him everything I can.
Through these people I got to know the whole group of THE CHILDREN OF THE IMPOSSIBLE. A group of people who teach you to appreciate life and what you have and makes you vibrate again, whatever you do. We have been trying to help things happen. They just went to a World Cup in California and as a team they did very well, I invite you to meet them. I’m going out to visit Txema in Santa Teresa, and surf a little. Txema has a hotel called Canaima Chill House and its very cool.
I hope this story is important for our country, and leaves a legacy like other stories of our ancestors and friends of how the events, legends, and pioneers were born. Pura Vida Costa Rica.