Erendira, michoacan and the 2014 national surfing champions
Translation: Heido Sundstrom
After five days of action, excitement, good waves and a lot of adrenaline, the Mexican National Surfing Games came to a close this past Sunday at Playa Erendira, located in Lazaro Cardenas, Michoacan. This event defined the Mexican National Selection that will represent Mexico in the World Games, presented by the International Surfing Association (ISA) later this year.
The event was carried out with the best state selections in the twelve categories that comprise the largest Mexican surfing championship. Teams included: Baja Norte, Baja Sur, Sinaloa, Colima, Jalisco, Veracruz, Distrito Federal, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo and the host-state of Michoacan, who were the stars of this national battle.
The majority of the days were rainy or cloudy, but in the end, the sun came out and was received like a special guest of the event. The waves were always decent and of a good size, save for a few rare occasions when they were affected by the wind. The athletes had to go deep, but they came prepared and sometimes had to face another obstacle—the current.
Saturday was a marathon day and crucial for the contest. The battle for the national championship had to be faced with much intelligence during the eliminatory heats and physical condition was also important, since those that were competing in two different categories had to enter the water four times that day. Competitors were faced with the challenge of selecting the right waves and then securely hitting those waves and performing tricks with a high level of difficulty that would give them a spot in the final and a shot at being champions in the ‘Aztec nation’.
The Big Kahuna, Kahuna and Grand Master categories feature the true legends of Mexican surfing that brought the sport to Mexico in the 60’s and 70’s and who are still around to this day, not only surfing, but competing! The highlight of the event, Javier “La Charra” Hernandez, continues to be the monarch of the Grand Kahuna Over-50 category. In the Kahuna, Eddy Zamudio revalidated his crown, while Jesus Nuñez maintained the elasticity to fly, fall and continue on the wave in the Master Bodyboarding category. Heriberto “Coco” Ramirez amazingly won both the Master and Grand Master categories and dedicated his wins to Chuy Silva and “Cisco Kid” to honor their memory.
Tzahui Poo took the classic Longboard category, while Oscar “Pawi” Chino won the senior championship, Hector Sarancho took the Senior Bodyboard category and Alonso Pineda won for Drop-Knee. In women’s Bodyboarding, Alejandra Quevedo took home first place, though in that heat there weren’t the greatest waves, so the girls weren’t able to show their skills 100%.
In Women’s surfing, Kristal Hernandez, the “mermaid” of Zihuatanejo, came back with everything and took first place in a close battle against the “princess of Puerto Escondido”, Asaya Brusa, Latin American ALAS champion in Mazatlan, Isabel Leonhardt and national champion, Ana Laura Gonzalez.
Kristal Hernandez expressed her gratitude with this statement:
“Thanks so much to the Guerrero crew for their support, to my mom who is always behind me, to my boyfriend that has supported me in my sport, .to everyone for their congratulations and to my baby girl who gives me the will to continue moving forward so that she knows to never give up. I especially give thanks to God who has never left my side and has given me so many blessings.
The final for the Bodyboarding Open was a heavy one and was full of excitement, aerials and other impressive tricks. In the end, it was local Erick Osorno that took first, followed by Bryan Lopez, Daniel Diaz and Rafael Aguilar.
The icing on the cake was undoubtedly the Shortboard Open or “pro” category, whose competitors put all their energy into giving us a great show during the five-day battle to be National Champion. They broke the old adage that nobody is a prophet in their own land when local surfer, Raul “Mocho” Medina, took the championship in extremely difficult heats that had the crowd on the edge of the beach as they watched the epic final; supporting Medina with each trick he performed. The judges gave second place to Dylan Southworth, followed by Angelo Lozano and Travis Southworth—two brothers in the final.