Culture, Sports

Camaronal Challenge: Surfing, Partying and Helping

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Saying that the Camaronal Challenge is just a surfing tournament is an understatement. The event will be held this January for the second time and is one of the most important activities for the Camaronal Beach Refuge and for community support.


The Camaronal Challenge will begin on Saturday, January 9th at 7:30 a.m., and traditional foods and drinks will be for sale.


According to Nikola Ruhlow, one of the organizers, all of the funds raised will be invested in local guides, so they hope to raise at least 1 million colones ($1900).


The event goal is mainly to raise funds for training and educating local guides. We plan to use the proceeds to hire an English teacher to give free classes to members of the Playa Camaronal Association of Guides, and to pay for general guide training from ICETUR (Tour Operator Sector Training Institute- Instituto de Capacitación del Sector Turoperador),” the organizer specified.


Ruhlow said that they will have judges certified by ISA (International Surfing Association) and the heats will be a minimum of 15 minutes so competitors have the time necessary to show their best level of surfing.


The organizer added that Camaronal is known for its high quality and good-size waves, so Red Cross will be present for the event, in addition to many surfers who are trained in open-water rescue.


The Camaronal National Wildlife Refuge was created in 1994 due to the enormous wealth of mangroves and wildlife, as well as to protect the turtles that arrive to this area, such as Leatherback, Olive Ridley, Hawksbill and Pacific Green turtles.


There are two ways to reach Camaronal. The first route is through Hojancha, Santa Marta, El Carmen and Camaronal.

The other way to get there is going through Samara and Carrillo Beach, following the signs to Punta Islita. This way involves crossing the Ora River, that now has bridge.


Tournament Categories:


Open: This is the category with the largest number of participants and the most competitive. This category is open to any competitor who wants to sign up.

Junior: Youth under 18 years of age.

Women’s Open: Open to any female who wants to sign up.

Longboard: Open to any competitor (man or woman) who has a board that is 9 feet or longer.

All of the categories cost ¢8,000 (about $15) for registration, which can be done up until a day before the event. Registration numbers: 8841-0634/ 8346-4057/ 8955-9999.