NewsRincon 50 Surf FestTim Reda

Opening Celebration Kicks Off Rincon 50 Surf Fest Weekend

The WSL is back on Puerto Rican shores this time to determine its North America Regional Longboard Champions at the men and women's Rincon 50 Surf Fest November 15 - 18. Domes will provide a playing field for the 50th anniversary of the World Championships that were held here in 1968 with a handful of legendary competitors such as 68' Champion Fred Hemmings, finalists Nat Young and David Nuuhiwa, filmer Larry Lindberg, and many more of Puerto Rico's own surfing pioneers on hand for induction into the country's Hall of Fame today.

But, all the formalities are concluded and Thursday will be down to the task at hand for competitors looking for their shot at qualifying for the Longboard Championship Tour (LCT).

Top-Tier Competitors On Hand to Secure 2019 Qualification

Kevin Skvarna on Day 1 of Taiwan Open World Longboard Championship Kevin Skvarna, along with fellow LCT competitors, look to defend their positions. WSL / Tim Hain

Some North America's finest Tony Silvagni, Kevin Skvarna, and Kaitlin Mikkelsen are in attendance to lock in their place on the Tour next season with a big result here.

Skvarna, along with his fellow Tour competitors, hope to hold their position on the WLT with a Top 2 finish here before heading to Taiwan where a bad result can mean falling off the elite level.

"It's very important that long borders from the United States get the opportunity to qualify for the World Tour," Skvarna said. "There is such a rich and deep talent pool here in California that it's a shame more people haven't gotten the opportunity to qualify. It will be huge to win the contest in Puerto Rico. It should be very stacked, but I really wish more people in the logging community would come together and realize that in order to make a change in the criteria there must be people willing to go to the contests."

Puerto Rico's Own Ready to Contend

Anthony Flores (PRI) at the Rincon 50 Surf Fest. Anthony Luciano right at home in Rincon. WSL / Andrew Nichols

The four-year WLT veteran will look to hold his spot against local talents such as Rincon's own Anthony Luciano. Luciano will look to deliver his best surfing while keeping his nerves down after meeting some of the competitors on hand from different parts of the world.

"To me this is more than an opportunity and it's incredible to see how longboard is being developed around the world," Luciano said. "It's hard for me economically to do WSL events so to see them firsthand and in honor of the World Championship celebration is amazing. Now, I have so many sponsors in Rincon supporting me and they see something in me, and I hope I can do well but I'm just going with the flow. This event means everything to me being in my hometown, in my country, it's just the best."

Former LCT Competitor Tim Reda is Back

Tim Reda (USA) placing 3rd in Round 1,GoPro World Longboard Championships, China presented by Wanning The goofyfooted Reda returns to WSL competition for the first time since 2014. WSL / Steve Robertson

The Rincon 50 Surf Fest also brings the opportunity for former World Tour competitors such as Tim Reda, and his wife Amy who fell just shy of a spot in 2015, the chance to re-qualify. Tim's last appearance was in China nearly four years ago and went through a rough stint after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. But, he and his wife of six years are back in a qualifier and to enjoy the moment.

"This is really to see this great surf community of Puerto Rico with a lot of single fin style surfers," Reda said. "It's an amazing culture with good people all around. It's a great opportunity for them to get some exposure toward some of the talent they have. This event means a lot, especially just having a rough year with health issues and I really hope we get some more competitions going. I've done quite a few events and made it to the Championships in China in 2014 so now I'm hoping to get back to that level."

Peter Aviles and Carl Campos Peter Aviles (L) and Carl Campos (R). WSL / Andrew Nichols

The Puerto Rico Hall of Fame induction ceremony that highlighted press day included speeches from each of the inductees such as Hemmings, Young, Nueva, Barry Church, Ernesto Alvarez, among many others. The Director of Puerto Rico Tourism, Carla G. Campos, recognized their impact and what the 1968 World Championships meant to the town of Rincon.

"This community has come together in a time that is so historic and meaningful," Campos said. "50 years ago we had the World Championships and today we celebrate that important time here. More than a place, this is a community and I really feel that sense of community every time I come to Rincon. This is the surfing capital of the Americas and it's because of everyone here that makes Rincon so great."

A 8:00 a.m. AST call will determine a possible 8:30 a.m. start for either men or women's Round 1 action.

The Rincon 50 Surf Fest will run November 15 - 18 at Domes, Rincon, Puerto Rico.

Former LCT Competitor Tim Reda is Back

Tim Reda (USA) placing 3rd in Round 1,GoPro World Longboard Championships, China presented by Wanning The goofyfooted Reda returns to WSL competition for the first time since 2014. WSL / Steve Robertson

The Rincon 50 Surf Fest also brings the opportunity for former World Tour competitors such as Tim Reda, and his wife Amy who fell just shy of a spot in 2015, the chance to re-qualify. Tim's last appearance was in China nearly four years ago and went through a rough stint after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. But, he and his wife of six years are back in a qualifier and to enjoy the moment.

"This is really to see this great surf community of Puerto Rico with a lot of single fin style surfers," Reda said. "It's an amazing culture with good people all around. It's a great opportunity for them to get some exposure toward some of the talent they have. This event means a lot, especially just having a rough year with health issues and I really hope we get some more competitions going. I've done quite a few events and made it to the Championships in China in 2014 so now I'm hoping to get back to that level."

Women's Event: Winner Take All

Honolua Blomfield Women's Final of Taiwan Open World Longboard Championship Honolua Blomfield took the World Title in 2017 after back-to-back North America Champs Rachael Tilly and Tory Gilkerson. Will a North American reclaim it? WSL / Tim Hain

For the women, the event winner will claim the immediate route toward WLT qualification and a trip to Taiwan in just a few weeks' time.

Amy is hoping to do just that after she went through a health hardship of her own and just got back in the water prior to this event. The Reda duo teach out of Endless Sun Surf School in Newport Beach, California, and look for the opportunity to compete when possible outside of the California Pro Am events.

"This is the perfect spot for an event like this with some incredible waves and great people," Reda said. "It's really good to be here in a community like this that needs it. I haven't done an event in a long time and I'm just excited to be back in the water for some fun. I just started surfing again recently after a crazy surf injury that had me on blood thinners so I couldn't surf for a few months so I'm happy to be back surfing."

Peter Aviles and Carl Campos Peter Aviles (L) and Carl Campos (R). WSL / Andrew Nichols

The Puerto Rico Hall of Fame induction ceremony that highlighted press day included speeches from each of the inductees such as Hemmings, Young, Nueva, Barry Church, Ernesto Alvarez, among many others. The Director of Puerto Rico Tourism, Carla G. Campos, recognized their impact and what the 1968 World Championships meant to the town of Rincon.

"This community has come together in a time that is so historic and meaningful," Campos said. "50 years ago we had the World Championships and today we celebrate that important time here. More than a place, this is a community and I really feel that sense of community every time I come to Rincon. This is the surfing capital of the Americas and it's because of everyone here that makes Rincon so great."

A 8:00 a.m. AST call will determine a possible 8:30 a.m. start for either men or women's Round 1 action.

The Rincon 50 Surf Fest will run November 15 - 18 at Domes, Rincon, Puerto Rico.

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