Frankie Seely looks to keep the ball rolling in 2019 with a first-ever appearance in Puerto Rico. Pic: WSL / Damien Poullenot
Tony Silvagni returns to defend the inaugural Rincon Surf Fest 50 title. Pic: WSL / Darren Muschett
13 November 19
From US surfer/photographer/legend Barry Church: “How’s my good friends Down Under at PLB? Following last year’s success to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the 1968 World Championships at Rincon in Puerto Rico with Nat Young, David Nuuhiwa and Fred Hemmings all there to celebrate. The WSL wanted to make it an annual event so we are doing it again and thought you might want the WSL press release. PLB promo is appreciated and there are still some spots open to compete. It's so great to see the young guys out to capture the beauty and grace of longboard surfing!"
FROM THE WSL:
Longboarding has been on the rise this year with multiple, high-level events at pristine venues from Galicia, Spain, to Long Beach, New York, and one of its homes of Noosa, Australia. While these marquee stops build up to the Taiwan Open World Longboard Champs, regional events help propel competitors to this elite level and the Rincon Surf Fest WSL North America Longboard Championships returns to provide that big opportunity for North America at the dreamy reefbreak of Domes Beach, Rincon, Puerto Rico.
The event is set to begin November 15 - 17 with the backup venue of Maria's on the table as some of the region's top competitors return to vie for their North America Regional Longboard Title - and a seeding into the Longboard Tour.
For surfers such as Frankie Seely a win here would be massive as she currently sits at No. 29 on the rankings and looks to break through into the World Longboard Champs in 2020.
"I have never been to Puerto Rico and my mothers' family is from there so I am super excited to visit," Seely said. "I've seen pictures and videos of PR and the righthand point breaks and reefs look like dreamy. I think that adding this event back onto the Longboard Tour schedule gives the competitors more contest and event time. In addition to competing, we get to visit, surf and compare notes with our fellow competitors from around the world. Having this contest in PR will give competitors another chance to work on strategy, preparation, and skills for China and the upcoming season and for us in North America it's geographically desirable."
Barry Church, who competed in the US Championships and photographed the 1968 World Championships event, helped ensure the event's return last year and knows it embodies much more than the contest itself. It provides important opportunities for the locals to garner experience among the region's best while providing it some renewed vigor following the devastating storms of 2017.
"We are so grateful to have the spotlight shine again on Puerto Rico as it continues to recover - especially in the town of Rincon as we prepare to welcome the WSL and surfers from around world," Church said. "The success of last year's event proved we needed to make it an annual event. With the growing popularity of longboarding and partnering with the WSL at a time when Puerto Rico really needed it, the entire island is excited to host this event again. It is very exciting to have today's modern longboarders arrive to carry on and capture the essence of what surfing represented in the golden era during the mid-sixties."
The Rincon Surf Fest WSL North America Longboard Championships will run November 15 - 17.