The croc-iest surf comp ever was put on hold a second time when competitors spotted a “giant” crocodile. This time, on another day of competition, it was during Round 5 that Argentinian surfer Santiago Muniz and Brazilian Tales Rodrigues spotted a creature that sent them scratching for shore.
“I saw clear water and something big and brown. I told myself not to trip out so I kept surfing the heat. Then Tales told me that he saw something and I thought he was joking. Suddenly I saw a giant crocodile. Heavy!” Rodrigues says.
The Essential Costa Rica Open Pro, held at Esterillos Este, down the coast from Playa Hermosa on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast, was also placed on hold last Wednesday, during Round 2.
Jet ski drivers were sent out to buzz the lineup and confirmed the sighting.
“It’s not a joke, I ended a wave and started paddling fast and that thing came to surface. It was the size of my board, more or less. And then, I don’t know… Thank god. I’m speechless,” Rodrigues said.
“Rodrigues’ quick actions to make the water safety aware was amazing and the water safety team’s rapid response was truly commendable,” WSL North America tour manager Brian Robbins told The Sydney Morning Herald.
Diego Naranjo, director of the event, said the sightings are “normal” for Costa Rica. “I know that what’s happening feels extreme but it’s normal for Costa Rica as it’s normal to see sharks at J-Bay or on the East Coast of the USA. However, we are going to increase our security measures by scouting and patrolling before and after every heat.”