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September 27, 2011

WiLDCOAST Celebrates Punta Abreojos Ocean Festival and the Launch of a New Local Chapter

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Since 2002, WiLDCOAST has been working with the community of Punta Abreojos to help host their annual ocean festival and surf contest. This year the event was part of WiLDCOAST’s establishment of a local chapter, at the request of community representatives and conservation organizers. 

Local leaders and long time WiLDCOAST supporters from Punta Abreojos expressed their interest in representing WiLDCOAST and carrying out conservation activities as official chapter representatives. These activities include coastal cleanups and educational outreach.

In mid-September, the WiLDCOAST team journeyed to the small fishing village of 1,600 people in Baja California Sur with a team of competition judges, contestant prizes and materials to carry out the ocean festival and inaugurate the Punta Abreojos Chapter of WiLDCOAST.

The event was once again a success with 25 competitors in the 12 and under division and over 40 surfers competing in the open men’s, women’s, body board and junior divisions. While most competitors were from Punta Abreojos, some participants made the trek from surrounding communities such as La Bocana and San Juanico.

While the talent level of all of the competitors was higher than ever, a few surfers really stood out and won their respective divisions. One of the most notable performances was Blaise Venden from San Juanico who won the junior division with an array of power and progressive surfing in the head high rights of La Punta. Also impressive was the expert surfing of Esteban Liera to win the open men’s division and dethrone last year’s winner Sylverio Liera, who placed a respectable second.

The up and coming leader of Punta Abreojos women’s surfing, Edith Zuniga, won the women’s division and Isaac Lopez took the body board. Alex Sandoval Sánchez from Punta Abreojos won the 12 and under division.

Once again the event exemplified the community’s ambition for a clean coastal environment.

“The ocean not only provides for our livelihoods, our food and our economy but it is also where our kids can play and be educated,” said new WiLDCOAST Chapter president Javier Villavicencio, a longtime coastal activist who has received the Conde Naste Environmental Award in recognition for his conservation efforts.

In gratitude for WiLDCOAST’s dedication to the conservation of Punta Abreojos and the surrounding coastline, we were presented with a plaque at the awards ceremony.

WiLDCOAST would like to thank Kaenon Sunglasses, Surf Club Surf Shop, Javier Villavicencio, Isidro Arce, Campo Rene, Chelo, all of the competitors, the people of Punta Abreojos and Eddie Kisfaludy for making this year’s event possible and another inspiring success.