Costa Rica’s team won the overall gold medal in the International Surfing Association (ISA) 2015 World Surfing Games held at Playa Popoyo, Nicaragua, competing against 26 teams from around the world. The medal, along with the Fernando Aguirre World Team Trophy and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President’s Trophy designated Costa Rica the world champions of surfing.
They are called the “Costa Rican Dream Team”: international surfing star Carlos Muñoz from Esterillos, Latin American champion Anthony Fillingim from Santa Teresa, 2015 Costa Rica National Surfing Circuit leader Jason Torres from Jacó, 11-time national women’s champion Lisbeth Vindas from Jacó, and Noe Mar McGonagle from Pavones who is ranked 16th in the world by the ISA, and his sister Leilani McGonagle, now a six-time world medalist.
The team won another gold medal in the ISA Aloha Cup tag team event at the championships. The brother and sister team of Noe Mar and Leilani McGonagle also brought home winning medals: the gold medal for the Men’s Open Division for Noe Mar, and the silver medal in the Women’s Open Division for Leilani – the 6th world medal for the 15-year-old surfer. Leilani just won the gold medal at the Rip Curl GromSearch International last month in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Although a small country in Central America, Costa Rica is becoming known in the world not only for having great surf on two ocean coastlines but also for producing great surfers. This year Noe Mar McGonagle is so far ranked #12 on the Qualifying Series (QS) of the World Surf League, and Carlos Muñoz is close behind at #16. Leilani McGonagle and surfer Emily Gussoni of Jaco also are competing at the World Surf League level.
One of Costa Rica’s favorite areas for surfing is Santa Teresa Beach on the southern Nicoya Peninsula – home to dream team surfer Anthony Fillingim. Santa Teresa is one of the competition beaches in the Costa Rica National Surfing Circuit. Santa Teresa also was named one of Central America’s top 10 beaches for 2015.
Visit Santa Teresa on a Costa Rica surfing vacation. If you don’t know how to surf, you can easily take surf lessons. Where to stay in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica: Beachfront at beautiful Playa Carmen in Santa Teresa, Hotel Tropico Latino offers Costa Rica surf vacations, surf lessons, and also Costa Rica yoga retreats.
Article by Shannon Farley