MARTINEZ DEFEATS WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPION IN BILLABONG PRO COSTA RICA
Tamarindo, Costa Rica (Sunday, March 17, 2002). Surfing head high waves with rides lasting half a minute, Magnum Martinez of Venezuela triumphed in the first of the Billabong Pro Central America Series events held in sunny offshore conditions that saw finalists pull as many as ten major moves on some rides.
Martinez returned to compete in Costa Rica and Panama this season, determined to improve on the second place he achieved behind Tom Curren at Playa Venao, Panama last year. Curren had won with an incredible backhand tube ride that scored perfect tens from all judges, and Magnum conceded defeat to the man with supernatural surfing.
But in the long, perfectly formed lefts and right that run along the mouth of a small lagoon on the northern beach at Tamarindo, Brazilians Marcelo Trekinho and the 2000 ASP World Junior Champion Pedro Henrique advanced from their semifinal, to leave Curren with fifth place in the event and no final rematch with the affable Martinez.
On the other side of the draw, Costa Rican resident of Italian parentage Frederico Pilurzu had been given the wildcard slot, and formed a healthy partnership with Martinez in the quarters that took them to the final. Groups of supporters from Venezuela, Brazil and Costa Rica gathered at the rivermouth venue, while the finalists paddled across the lagoon before surfing the northern sandbank.
While the speedy lefts on the outgoing morning tide had allowed Pilurzu to dominated his semifinal with fast forehand whacks and speed gouges, it was the longer rights that scored higher on the incoming tide. Trekinho had surfed impressively from the third round as a seed, but the performances of Martinez and Henrique in the final were clearly higher.
Henrique is a short stocky goofy foot with a low and powerful backhand cutback, and vicious hooks in the pocket. Despite some seemingly endless waves with countless moves to cheering supporters, Henrique was acceptably beaten by Martinez. The lighter weighted Venezuelan rode his waves top to bottom, filling the flat spots with fast radical cutbacks, linking his moves seamlessly to score in the excellent range on his three counting rides.
In the accompanying women's WQS event, Robyn Davies of the United Kingdom also gained a place on her finish in the series event in Panama last year by finishing second to the well known Australian competitor Jenny Boggis. While Boggis and Davies were clearly ahead of Holly Beck (USA) and Costa Rican resident Brooks Wilson in the final, the experience Boggis has gained in tough Australian surf contests shone through in her victory.
Contestants and crowd gathered at the beach house head quarters to witness the prize giving ceremony held on the upper balcony. The event drew surfers from Brazil, USA, Peru, Venezuela, Panama, Italy, Hawaii, Mexico and Costa Rica, and many will travel to Panama for the Billabong Pro men's two star event that will take place on the reef barrels of Santa Catalina March 22-24.
Results of the Billabong Pro Costa Rica Men's 2 Star
1st Magnum Martinez VEN $4,000
2nd Pedro Henrique BRZ $2,000
3rd Marcelo Trekinho BRZ $1,500
4th Frederico Pilurzu ITA $1,300
5th Tom Curren USA $1,000
5th Dane Johnson USA $1,000
7th Asher Nolan USA $800
7th Jean Schaeffer VEN $800
Results of the Billabong Pro Costa Rica Women's 2 Star
1st Jenny Boggis AUS $2,500
2nd Robyn Davies UK $1,500
3rd Holly Beck USA $1,100
4th Brooks Wilson USA $900
5th Julia Christian USA $600
5th Brigitte Meyer BRZ $600
7th Natalie Alverez USA $400
7th Sonia Garcia PAN $400