Local surfer Christian Santamaria of Garza narrowly won the Longboard Division of the Torneo Britt Iced in Playa Jaco this past weekend. "It was a good experience for me," said Santamaria, who surfed both the Open Mens and Longboard divisions. "I got the score I needed to move into first place late in the heat, but because I had already taken ten waves I had to wait out the last few minutes on the beach. I was nervous," he laughed, "biting my nails until time ran out."
The 6 star Torneo Britt Iced was the first of five events on the 2011 Circuito Nacional de Surf Costa Rica. The next event will be held at Playa Palo Seco on February 26th and 27th. Beyond local bragging rights and the modest prizes awarded at each event, competitors in the Circuito Nacional are looking to earn a spot on Costa Rica's National Surf Team, where they will represent their country in international competition.
Santamaria plans to compete in both the Open Mens and Longboard divisions in each event, but his focus may be more narrow. "My goal for the season is to earn a spot on the National Team by winning the Longboard division," he admitted, while stretching before an afternoon surf. The feat is easier said than done with almost two dozen competitors entering the Longboard Division in each event. Reigning champion Diego Naranjo finished second in the event, and is easily the biggest challenge standing between Santamaria and top honors on this year's Circuit.
"I'm looking forward to the Palo Seco event," Santamaria concluded between waves, "but after that the Circuit comes home to Guiones. That is my favorite event of the year." The Copa Quiksilver will be held in Playa Guiones the first weekend of April.