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Who Are the SunRICE & CURRY Czech Cup Winners?

Juraj Kerpčár, frontside bottom turn
Juraj Kerpčár, photo: Láďa Durchánek

Another stop of the third edition of the Czech-Slovak Surfing Tour is yet completed. The competition, aptly named the SunRICE & CURRY Czech Cup, took place on March 18-19 on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, near Matara, at the SK Town Beach. Who dominated the local beach break?

Eight female and nine male competitors fought the challenging conditions this year. All registered participants deserve our respect to show up without getting deterred by the forecast that triggered discussions about competition rescheduling.

On the other hand, the spectators trickled in with a classic Sri Lankan speed. At 7 a.m. when the competition started, the only audience on the beach were the participants, the organizing team, two local judges, and some beach-roaming dogs. However, we'll say that it unfolded in an intimate, friendly atmosphere.

The girls bravely plunged into the waves right from the start – after all, ladies first, right? Their ambitions weren't excessively high; at least half of them set a goal just to make it to the lineup. "Well, I'm off, so I don't hold anyone up," claimed Jana Kašová, still having enough time to stretch and maybe even grab a pre-competition coffee, while the other competitors from the first heat – Adéla Ublová, Bára Havelcová, and Michaela Kuralová – were already paddling out. Unsurprisingly, Jana dominated, solidifying her position as the current top Czech female surfer in the finals the day after.

"According to the forecast, I expected bigger waves on the first day and that they would close out, making it difficult to paddle out. But in the end, it turned out great for me. The conditions were more challenging for the finals; there it was closing out," commented Janka, for whom Sri Lanka was another stop after the World Surfing Games in Puerto Rico in February, which also served as a qualifying event for this year's Summer Olympic Games. "Over the past three years, the competition has improved; it's more professionally organized. I enjoyed the Sri Lankan event a lot – the beach here is fantastic, not too crowded, and I love beach breaks. There's always a great crowd here. The waves are suitable even for less experienced surfers, so it's an ideal opportunity for people trying to compete for the first time. And that's good; we need different levels. For me, it's not ideal if the Czech Cup events always revolve around the top three riders so they can pat themselves on the back. On the contrary, it's better when it opens up to the public and more new talents emerge."

Jana Kašová, frontside re-entry
Jana Kašová, photo: Láďa Durchánek

One of these emerging talents is Juraj Kerpčár who reached out straight to the gold medal, competing for the first time. He also became the first-ever winner from the ranks of Slovak surfers. 

"The first day was quite a struggle for me. I don't usually ride beach breaks, so I don't read the waves here well, but I scoped out the conditions and was more prepared on the second day. It improved with each heat," said Juraj. "This is my fourth time in Sri Lanka; I first tried surfing here in 2018, and this is also my first competitive experience." For him, surfing is more about fun and the people it brings together (we agree). As for future competitions, he doesn't have a clear plan, but he'll likely show up at another one sometime in the future.

„Všichni závodníci si zaslouží respekt a poděkování, že se rozhodli účastnit i za náročnějších podmínek, které u nás na Srí Lance nejsou úplně běžné. Osobně jsem tady dostal doteď největší pračku. Letos byla o něco menší účast. Zkušenější závodníky doplnili i nováčci, a to i z řad účastníků Surf-Tripu, z čehož mám radost,“ doplnil Martin Špatenka, ředitel závodu a vedoucí srílanské crew Surf-Tripu, který obsadil druhé místo. Odhodlaně se aspoň měsíc před závody sem tam snažil některého z kempíků přesvědčit k účasti. Zdravá konkurence je potřeba.

"All the competitors deserve respect and thanks for their participation even under these challenging conditions, which are not very common for us here in Sri Lanka. Personally, I got the biggest wipeout so far. This year, there was a slightly smaller attendance. Experienced competitors were complemented by newcomers, including participants from the Surf-Trip crew, which makes me happy," added Martin Špatenka, the race director and head of the Sri Lankan Surf-Trip crew, who took second place. Before the competition, he regularly tried to persuade some of the campers to participate. Healthy competition is necessary.

Martin Špatenka, backside re-entry
Martin Špatenka, photo: Láďa Durchánek

Amongst the participants, there was also a fourteen-year-old surfing talent Sebastian Čelák, who first appeared in the last years junior competition at Costa da Caparica. "I've been surfing for about 5-6 years, competitively for the last two years, more intensively in the last year since I've had a coach. My goal is to be as good as possible. In surfing, it's a matter of years, a lifetime; you can always improve," said the young surfer, whom we will probably see again only in Portugal. "I don't have time for Morocco and France because I'll be taking entrance exams for high school at that time." Priorities... But we wish him the best of luck!

Sebastián Čelák frontside top turn
Sebastián Čelák, photo: Láďa Durchánek

Women's Ranking: 

  1. Jana Kašová

  2. Martina Světelská 

  3. Simona Semenská 

  4. Michaela Martanová 

  5. Barbora Havelcová

  6. Adéla Ublová 

  7. Michaela Kuralová 

  8. Miroslava Vydrnáková 

Men's Ranking:

  1. Juraj Kerpčár

  2. Martin Špatenka

  3. Tomáš Zajaček

  4. Pavel Kovařík

  5. Sebastian Čelák

  6. Robin Gracl

  7. Tomáš Císař

  8. Jaroslav Wiener

  9. Pavel Mlčoušek

You can find the current rankings and detailed results as always on LiveHeats.

Michaela Martanová frontside wave
Michaela Martanová, photo: Láďa Durchánek

Just like in previous years, the center of all was the Sea You House owned by Surf-Trip, located just a three-minute walk from the competition spot. On the eve of the first day of the competition, all registered participants gathered there for a communal dinner featuring traditional Sri Lankan rice & curry, which also inspired the name of the competition. Attendees also experienced another local classic – a power cut – giving them a minute to throw something into their competitors' drinks in the darkness. But as surfers, we surely compete fairly and in a spirit of friendship, right?

Quotes that might bring you even closer to the competition atmosphere:

"From my perspective, it's nice to have a good surf during the competition, not to drown." - Martin Špatenka on the evening before the competition

"I should have brought my second board; I don't want to break this one." - Míša Martanová when looking at the waves

"Just keep waving for a while longer; I don't think they've even seen us through those waves yet." - Špáťa to Sísa, starting the first heat with a green flag

"A coincidence and a lucky break." - Martina Světelská on her advancement to the final

"I could compete in the longboard category." - Áďa Ublová commenting on her 7’6 board

"I found it odd that he gave up so soon. Doesn't he have a watch?" - Mirka Vydrnáková reacting to Tomáš Zajaček's early return from the water (yeah, sometimes you can feel like you've been fighting to get to the lineup for eternity and feel like giving up... and sometimes it's not just a feeling)

"I'll definitely have a Sri Lankan beer... exactly, for lion strength. Maybe I should have had it earlier, it would have been even better." - Janka Kašová laughing as she responds to a question about how she'll celebrate her victory

"Mate, we are not giving the red flag to you." - reaction from the audience to a confused guy who, upon seeing the flag signaling the end of the heat, was probably worried he couldn't peacefully explore the underwater beauty of these waters with his fins

Simona Semenská backside wave
Sísa Semenská, photo: Láďa Durchánek

Thanks to the Czech Surfing Association, Surf-Trip, Freeride magazine, SURFR and Quiksilver brands, and S.K Town Surf Shop for organizing and supporting the competition. Some even managed to shop at the beach store while waiting for their next heat, including directly from Saji, who was also the head judge - this highlights the local business's adaptability and flexibility.

Stabilní čtveřici osvědčených zastávek Česko-slovenského poháru letos doplní první ročník BERBER CUP Czech & Slovak Surf Open, který se uskuteční v dubnu na jihu Maroka. Tento ročník tradičně zakončí QUIKSILVER & ROXY Czech and Slovak Surfing Championship, který se bude konat ve Francii již po patnácté. Po odjetí posledního závodního heatu budou vyhlášeni mistři ČR a SR v surfingu a zároveň i vítězové Česko-slovenského poháru. Konečné pořadí poháru bude stanoveno součtem tří nejlepších výsledků každého závodníka v těchto pěti závodech. Tímto chceme jen připomenout, že se stále můžete přihlásit. Někdo se možná zraní, zlomí prkno nebo utrpí jeho pýcha, ale je to zábava a zážitek! Nebojte se a pojďte do toho! Jak říkají surftripáci  LIFE IS BETTER WHEN YOU SURF.

The stable quartet of established stops in the Czech-Slovak Tour will be complemented this year by the first edition of the BERBER CUP Czech & Slovak Surf Open, which will take place in April in southern Morocco. This year's traditional edition will conclude with the QUIKSILVER & ROXY Czech and Slovak Surfing Championship, which will be held in France for the fifteenth time. After the last competitive heat is completed, the Czech and Slovak surfing champions will be announced, as well as the winners of the Czech-Slovak Surfing Tour. The final rankings of the cup will be determined by the sum of the three best results of each competitor in these five competitions. We would like to remind you that you can still sign up. Someone may get injured, break their board, or suffer a bruised ego, but it's all about fun and experience! Don't be afraid and let's do it! As the surf-trippers say - LIFE IS BETTER WHEN YOU SURF.

Author: Tereza Bartošková

ENG Translation: Diana Mariaková, Terezie Dvořáčková


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