The Women's Qualifying Series (QS) competitors have arrived and are ready to join some of Costa Rica's top talents and vie for the Essential Costa Rica Surf Pro QS 1,500 title. This event brings in an exciting field of some competitors who already have some accolades to their names alongside an upcoming Costa Rican contingent that is looking to have a presence this week.
2016 North America QS Regional Champ Meah Collins returns to Costa Rica, the country where she solidified her title, in hopes of bettering her previous result. It's been a tough, first full year on the QS for the Californian and Collins continues to learn every step of the way. But, the 19-year-old's in familiar territory with a punchy beackbreak on offer and a chance at building momentum.
"I absolutely love Costa Rica with all the wildlife and raw natural beauty here so I couldn't think of a better place to have the next North America regional event," Collins said. "I haven't had the best results this year and at this point I am focusing more on just finishing strong to accumulate more points for 2019. In that light it is really exciting for me coming into this event with no weight on my shoulders of trying to make the cut. Obviously I want to perform well and win the event, but instead of being burdened with qualifying, I am just here to surf and have fun while doing the thing I love the most -- surfing!"
One of Costa Rica's top talents Nataly Bernold Gutierrez is ready for more after her WSL debut at the 2016 Essential Costa Rica Surf Open. The 25-year-old already has a Costa Rican National Title and Central America Championship Title, but is still looking to breakthrough on the professional level. This marks a massive opportunity for Gutierrez and her fellow countrywomen with plenty of up-and-coming surfers in attendance.
"It's very exciting to have this event here again, we don't have events like this all the time," Gutierrez said. "It means a lot to us, not everyone has the opportunity to go out of the country and compete at these events with the costs of travel, so this is a great opportunity. I feel prepared to compete with these talented women and want to give it my best."
Zulay Martinez as she looks to get a footing in the competitive surfing world. Martinez is joined by the likes fellow, young Costa Rica representatives Paulina Summers, Eva Woodland, Rubiana Brownell, and Coral Wiggins who've had WSL experience at both the QS and Pro Junior level. But, the 18-year-old is relishing in the opportunity to compete at home at this level of competition.
Event organizers will convene at 7:30 a.m. CST to determine a possible 8:00 a.m. CST start. Tune in LIVE beginning with Round 1 action from either the men or women.
The Essential Costa Rica Surf Pro Men's and Women's QS 1,500 will run October 4 - 7 in Jaco, Puntarenas, Costa Rica.