Anticipation has been increasing for the most prestigious surfing contest in Peru in recent years. The inaugural Claro Open Pro - Copa Tubos QS 3,000 will be held at Señoritas, a high-performance wave in Punta Hermosa, located around 40 kilometers from Lima. With a variety of world-class waves in the region, it's known as a surfer's paradise in Southern Peru.
In addition to the wave-rich coastline, a healthy prize purse and essential Qualifying Series (QS) rankings points have attracted over 120 athletes from 21 different countries to compete in the second event of the WSL South America Surfing Season.
Franz Tomasevich, Event Organizer at the Claro Open Pro - Copa Tubos has fond memories of the last big contest that was held in Lima.
"The last time we had an event of this size was in the 90's at Punta Rocas," said Tomasevich. "We had a bunch of legends competing here like Andy Irons (HAW), Chris Ward (USA), the Malloy Brothers (USA) and a bunch of others. That event motivated so many local surfers and became a historic event in Peru. It's been way too long to not have a big contest in the region of Lima."
Known as one of the first civilizations to "surf" thousands of years ago, the Peruvian heritage has maintained its link to present modern-day surfing.
"We believe that Peru has a very important history and culture in surfing in addition to extraordinary waves along our coast. That's why Peruvian surfers are so well-rounded. The INKA TEAM members know that they have a wonderful opportunity to show off their talent and they're not going to miss this chance," added Tomasevich.
The number of international athletes arriving for the QS 3,000 Claro Open Pro - Copa Tubos is evidence of how wave quality becomes a magnet for competitive surfing.
"It's so gratifying to see so many surfers from around the world confirming their entries into the event. Not only are the top QS surfers coming, but many former Championship Tour (CT) athletes will also be competing which will make everyone elevate their games. It also helps our athletes in South America because they don't have to travel that far to surf in Peru and the wave at Señoritas is very good," concluded Tomasevich.
INKA TEAM: Taking a page from the success of the "Brazilian Storm," the Inka Team is a small army of athletes that are keeping the torch lit for Peruvian surfing with a single objective in mind - qualifying for the Championship Tour.
With pioneers like Magoo de la Rosa, Titi de Col, Felipe Pomar and especially 2004 WSL World Champion Sofia Mulanovich, the current batch of Peruvians have focused on making a name for themselves in the surfing world with big-time performances in waves like Pipeline, El Gringo and local breaks like Chicama, Lobitos and Máncora.
Top names coming out of the Peruvian squad include: Miguel and Tomas Tudela, Cristobal de Col, Alonso Correa, Alvaro Malpartida, Lucca Mesinas and have even more firepower on the Women's side with Anali Gomez, Sol Aguirre, Daniela Rosas and Melanie Giunta.
Surfers From 21 Countries: However, the road to glory will not be an easy one for the hometown athletes because the QS 3,000 will be swarming with surfers from all corners of the globe thirsty for victory. Leading the charge are athletes from Brazil with 45 participants, followed by Peru (23), the USA (11), Chile (9), Argentina/France/Costa Rica (5), Hawaii/Japan (4) and representatives from Spain, Ecuador, Australia, Portugal, England, South Africa, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada, Columbia, Porto Rico and Panama as well.
Señoritas: The region of Punta Hermosa in Peru has some of the best waves in South America. High profile athletes that have come from the area are Sofia Mulanovich, Miguel Tudela and Gabriel Villaran. Señoritas, a lefthand pointbreak, is one of the most perfect and consistent high-performance waves in Southern Peru with optimum heights in the 4-6 foot range (1.5-2 meters).