Karina Petroni : photo APSPR
This Saturday, Feb.27, the Corona Extra Pro Surf Circuit will kick off the competition at their first event of 2010, at Domes Beach in the town of Rincon. The tournament will decide the 2009 circuit champions for both the Men’s and Women’s divisions of the APSPR (Association of Professional Surfing of Puerto Rico) annual rankings. The crowning of the champions will take place on Sunday afternoon at the conclusion of the Finals.
According to Contest Director Werner Vega, “We have one of the strongest fields of competitors ever, with three previous Corona Circuit champions, Juan Ashton, Brian Toth and defending champ, Carlos Cabrero all entered in the event.” “The Women’s field will also be strong, with past champions Idalis “Lilac” Alvarado and Maria Del Mar Gonzalez facing two-time Domes winner Karina Petroni, of Florida. More than a dozen mainland competitors have entered the event, including top US pros Asher Nolan and Matt Keenan.
In addition to the $15,000 purse on offer, the mainland pros have been attracted by the prospect of outstanding surf conditions, with the weekend’s swell predicted to be in the 8′ to 10′ range. “This has been the best winter of surf that I can remember in years”, said Vega. “We have had not only huge swells, but clean conditions at all the northwest spots, like Domes.”
In recent weeks the popular website, Surfline has featured the outstanding waves of the 2010 early season several times, with conditions resembling the North Shore in Hawaii. In case the swell is too big for the popular beach at Domes , the nearby break of Marias, just on the other side of the Rincon point, has been designated as an alternate site.
The current race for both titles as Men’s and Women’s APSPR champions is a close one. The APSPR will compile the rating points of the last three events, including the contest at Middles Beach last October and the 2009 Domes event. Lilac Alvarado leads the current Women’s standings after winning the last Corona Extra event at Middles.
She holds a slender lead of less than one hundred points over her rivals Liselie Gonzales and Quincy Davis. In the race for the Men’s title, defending 2008 champion Carlos Cabrero is currently tied with Gabriel Escudero at the top. Both hold only a narrow lead over the Bursian brothers, Leslie and Tommy, who are tied for third.
At least eight other surfers are in range of the title if they win at Domes, including past APSPR champions Juan Ashton and Brian Toth. Another top contender for the title will be Darren Muschett, who won the last event at Middles