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Costa Rican Surfers Perform Well and Represent Their Country in the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games in Panama

by ryan gorman
Photos by Fabian Sanchez
Courtesy of surfing nosara

Leilani McGonagle hitting the lip

The annual ISA World Surfing Games Presented by Billabong took place down in Panama from June 25th – July 3rd Eight Costa Rican surfers traveled down there to represent their country and send a message to the world…Costa Rica has legit surfing talent!

The National Team surfers were:

Jair Pérez (Jacó, 21)
Carlos Muñoz (Esterillos, 18)
Luis Vindas (Jacó, 24)
Anthony Fillingim (Santa Teresa, 17)

Lisbeth Vindas (Jacó, 29)
Leilani McGonagle (Limón, 12)

Cristian Santamaría (Nosara, 25)
Anthony Flores (Jacó, 20)

In total there were 173 competitors representing 27 countries at the World Surfing Games, and the Ticos brought home incredible results. Nosareño, Cristian Santamaria, competed in the Longboard Division. Unfortunately he and the other longboarder, Anthony Flores, got put out early in the competition. Most notably was the performance of Leilani McGonagle from Pavones, who was actually a substitute surfer because Nataly Bernold could not make it. Leilani was given a chance, and she certainly made the most of it. At just 11 years old Leilani was a stand out competitor and placed 15th in the world. She is the youngest competitor to ever surf in the World Games, and has a very bright future. Experienced competitor, Lisbeth Vindas, also finished strong at number 13th in the world.

For the Men's Open Division, Anthony Fillingim surfed incredibly well and now holds the 13th ranking in the world. Leilani's brother, 15 year old Noe Mar, is also a stand out surfer. Though he did not make it to the ISA World Games, earlier this year he won the Quicksilver King of the Groms Contest in Mexico and was named Latin-American King of the Groms. In October, he will compete in France against the other grom winners from the rest of the world.

The surfers on the National Team performed well, making it through some early rounds and their results, along with the strong finishes from Leilani, Anthony Fillingim and Lisbeth Vindas helped Costa Rica break into the top 10 in the world for the sixth consecutive year! Currently, Costa Rica is ranked number 9 in the world and with all the young talent this country has, they are sure to keep things rolling into 2012!

Team Costa Rica
Las Mujeres - Leilana y Lisbeth Vindas
Anthony Fillingam boosting
Lisbeth Vindas throwing some spray

Team Costa Rica congratulating Leilani

Anthony Fillingam with the fins out

The team congratulating Cristian Santamaria after his heat


More Surf News

Guiones Surf Tournament and Final CNS contest in Playa Hermosa
"Nosareños give strong showings"

• A recap of the contest results and where the locals stand in the national rankings

Last month was a busy one for the local Nosareño surfers, with two contests in back to back weekends. The first one was held here in Guiones on June 4th, and was the first Copa Anual Guiones Surf Contest.

Don Redondo Part 17

Down Under in Nosara
An Interview with Pro Surfer, Serena Brooke

It's a thick, grey rainy season day under the big rancho at Casa Tucan. The stormy sky has a few early patrons lining the bar, and there's a buzz about the restaurant. Serena Brooke, one of the most notable figures in the history of women's surfing is in town, and she's in the process of ordering a plate of fish tacos with fresh pico de gallo.

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