Q24N via Surfersvillage Global Surf News – Two hundred and eight of the best surfers in the world will meet in Costa Rica this October, as confirmed by the World Surf League and the country’s local event producer, Orange Wave, the country’s local event producer.
Esterillos Este in the Central Pacific area of Costa Rica will be the location and host of the official WSL QS, which will award 3,000 ranking points to the winners of both the men and women’s contests.
[su_pullquote class=”H2″]Costa Rica Open
WSL QS3000 Men’s Event WSL QS3000 Women’s Event Esterillos Este, Parrita Costa Rica 5 – 9 October 2016
[/su_pullquote]”It is an honor and a great acknowledgement for Costa Rica to finally be called upon to present a tournament of this level,” said Costa Rican Diego Naranjo, professional surfer, former national champion, and co-founder of Orange Wave, the organization in charge of this activity. He added that it is no coincidence that Costa Rica earned this official WSL QS stop: “We have the country, athletes, waves, infrastructure and machinery to make a tournament of this magnitude,” he said.
In less than 24 hours after the WSL posted the date on its website, reactions on social networks from surf fans ranged from support, surprise and excitement. The announcement was made earlier this month in Costa Rica first by Andrea Vega of Orange Wave just after the deal between the promoter and the WSL was ratified.
Organizers will use these upcoming months to focus on planning activities that will involve government agencies, the local community, the tourism industry, the media and the most important international brands in the surf community.
Confirmation of the tournament to signify surfing not only as a sport, but also a lifestyle, will come by way of massive concerts and complementary activities, making this Costa Rican stop on the QS World Tour unique. Spectator expectations are over 40,000 people, and Orange Wave is already working with the authorities on a plan to receive literally a “sea of people.”
Undoubtedly, the sport of surfing will come out the big winner with the Costa Rica Open, especially those local athletes who finally get to showcase their abilities in a tournament of professional caliber alongside some of the biggest names in the surf world. Lisbeth Vindas, 12-time Costa Rican Women’s national champion and a professional surfer who has spent time on the QS, stressed the importance of this event to her home country. She noted the golden opportunity for a WSL event to “… take place in our yard, our home competing with 200 of the best in the world.”
The wave of benefits that this tournament will bring to Costa Rica are not confined to the sports spectrum. Producers estimate that more than $11 million will come into the country from the tournament, subsequent events, and tourism, both nationally and internationally.
Vega said that the project will invigorate the economy of the Central Pacific, inject capital into the country’s coffers, and cement Costa Rica’s place on the map as one of the premier destinations for professional events. This will not be a one-time event, and they are already working on the follow-up 2017 edition.