It's been a long time in the making, but Domes, Puerto Rico, will host the first-ever Rincon 50 Surf Fest November 15 - 18 and two North America Regional Champions are set to be crowned. The event celebrates the 50th anniversary of its World Championships event in which Greg Flemming claimed a big win back in 1968.
Now, that spark is once again ignited and providing competitors a massive opportunity for their shot at making a trip to Taiwan later this month with two men and one woman earning their spot with a win at Domes.
Former 3x World Champion Taylor Jensen, 2015 World Champion Rachael Tilly, and 2016 World Champion Tory Gilkerson are keeping their eyes on their next Title endeavor as they are already preparing for Taiwan which leaves a lot of room for new talents to shine in Puerto Rico.
Current World Longboard Tour competitors such as 2x World Champion Piccolo Clemente, Tony Silvagni, Kevin Skvarna, and Kaitlin Mikkelsen are looking for a pre-Taiwan warmup and taking on some of the region's best up-and-coming talents.
Some of those competitive upcomers include the likes of Steven McLean, alongside local contingent such as and Josue Nadal and Maximilian Torres are in attendance for their shot at shaking up the elite competitors. On the women's side Avalon Gall has been garnering some hype from a few locals who have watched her in the lineup, as well as Puerto Rico's own Maria Amador.
Many of them are known among their local lineups as some of the best, but it will come down to who delivers at Domes Beach when it counts this week.
Domes Beach is known to be one of the island's more consistent waves being an exposed pointbreak and breaks on both the low and high tides. Its pristine, Caribbean waters reveal the reef that lies below to help pick up even smaller windswells that come across its lineup.
Any type of north swell would be ideal as it sweeps across the reef to provide fun conditions with varying east and west pushes. Event organizers are keeping their eyes on the forecast to put competitors into the best conditions over the four-day window with a weekend pulse looking to be a factor.
Rincon's Proud History Restored
"It's been 50 years since the original contest and about three years ago, Fred Hemmings, Nat Young, Peter Aviles and myself talked about a celebration of the championships that introduced the world to Puerto Rico," Barry Church says in his ‘Waves For Change.' "ABC's Wide World of Sports televised special brought the little town of Rincon into everyone's living room and set the course for the Hawaii of the Caribbean moniker."
Now, that celebration talked about has returned in the form of a North America Longboard Championship. Hemmings, Young, and a few others who competed 50 years ago will be on hand to witness Puerto Rico host more history.
"The 1968 World Contest was indeed an epic flash point of change," Hemming said. "I retired soon after 68', [but stayed around for] inaugural pro surfing events such as the Pipeline Masters and, in 1976, the first World Pro Surfing circuit. A few waves in Puerto Rico in 1968 contributed significantly to my life."
The Rincon 50 Surf Fest will be held November 15 - 18 at Domes Beach, Rincon, Puerto Rico.