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First Latin American Surf Championship in Nicaragua | Jul 29, 2010

Roger Solorzano Canales

Santana beach will be the headquarters of the "Latin Pro Santana 2010", first Latin American Surf Championship to be held in Nicaragua. The event will start on Friday, August 6 and will continue until August 8th. Sixty professional competitors of the region will participate and will have thousands of spectators, who will also enjoy beach activities and parties.

The encounter will be part of a Latin Circuit of the Latin American Surfing Association (ALAS), which organizes more than 10 annual professional competitions in different countries of the region, so that surfers classify into world championships. This year's competition will have contestants from 13 Latin American countries - besides Nicaragua - such as the top regional rankings Sebastian Alarcon and Valeria Sole (Peru), the Venezuelan Jesus Chacon and the Argentinian Martin Perez.

Playa Santana is located in the Jiquiliste town, on the Limon Road Number 1, two kilometers towards the ocean, in the municipality of Tola, department of Rivas. The competitions will start at 7:00 am and end at 5:00 pm. During this time, various beach activities and two open bar parties (Saturday and Sunday) will be held.

The event is being organized by the Gray Line Touroperator with the support of the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism (INTUR). During the press conference given in Managua, on Wednesday, July 28th, organizers said they expect to have between 3, 000 and 5, 000 national and international attendees. The activity will also have the presence of international media, including ESPN, the Surfos Latinoamericana magazine and Olas Permanentes magazine.

The categories are four: Open, Female, Junior and Longboard. Fifty foreigner surfers and eight Nicaraguans are have confirmed their participation. Ernesto Lionnet, national director of the event, said that they are also expecting more registrations from local surfers. He also encouraged Nicaraguan female surfers to participate. Rex Calderon, major national exponent of this sport, stated that high level competitors will participate, but they will also have strong local competitors. "Don't worry about the level, worry about surfing," he said.

The registrations can be made on the ALAS's official website ( The registration fee is US$150 (Open) and US$80 for the rest of the categories. Anyone who is interested can e-mail Ernesto Lionnet to

Lucy Valenti, Director of Gray Line Touroperator and member of the organizing committee, explained that the event will give great positioning to the Nicaraguan beaches within the surfing world. It might also mean a social and economical take-off for the coastal zones, as it also happened in El Salvador (2007), when the country organized its first international surf championship.

Mario Salinas, President of INTUR, stated that the institution will make a closer promotion to surfing activities in Nicaragua. They also hope to support future events like this one and the Nicaraguan professional surfers; INTUR is sponsoring three of the eight contestants. Salinas and Valenti declared that they will propose the candidacy of Nicaragua to organize the next World Surf Championship to the Vice-president of the International Surfing Association.