“My love for the sea is stronger than ever”

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Surfer Brandon Sanford Vinas

Santo Domingo, DR
After devoting part of his life to being a servant of tourism as a guide for Dominicans and foreigners visiting Cabarete (municipal district of the municipality of Sosua, Puerto Plata) and its beautiful beaches for the first time, the Dominican surfer Brandon Sanford Viñas decided to pursue his dream: to be one of the best tube and big wave surfers.

At 33 years old, as a representative of the country, he was invited to embark on one of the most important water sports events in the world, the Mexpipe Warriors 2022, and he is determined to succeed.

Speaking to Listin Diario, Sanford Viñas said his interest and love for surfing started when he was just a child. The young athlete grew up watching from his home, which had the “Encuentro Beach” behind it, neighbors and local boys older than him surfing. He watched them enough, so much so that, when he was only six years old, he was already inside the sea, catching the waves.

“My mother saw that I really liked this water sport and during a trip to Puerto Rico she gave me my first surfboard. Little by little I caught more and more waves and that ended up becoming my passion. It was my first love and it still is today,” Sanford Viñas said with great enthusiasm and excitement.

After recalling the beginnings of his encounter with the sea, he commented that many things happened.

He began to take surfing more seriously and at the age of 14 he won his first international contest in Puerto Rico. Years later, he became Latin American sub-junior champion (2004), then Open for six consecutive years, and placed third in the Master of the Ocean event, ahead of strong competitors from around the world.

“I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count all the events I’ve attended, big and small. I went 30 times to different events around the world to represent the country. Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, California, Florida, Brazil, Nicaragua, Peru, Ecuador”, specifies the athlete.

He is interested in tourism in the Dominican Republic

After some time competing, the young man stopped and felt there was a need for a service that would provide a fun experience for Dominicans and foreigners alike in the country’s water sports mecca, Cabarete.

Sanford becomes a tour guide and founds a company called Dominican Surf Trips to share the gift of the beauty of surfing in the Dominican Republic.

“This country… a lot of people who live there don’t even know it, but it’s a treasure trove in terms of water sports and beaches that we have,” the surfer points out.

Under the slogan “Somewhere in DR”, in Spanish, “en alguna parte de RD”, it took tourists to discover secret and hidden beaches where surfing was practiced.

“Surfing is very selfish, it’s not a group sport, you always want to hide your favorite beach and your favorite wave in order to have fun. If there are many people trying to catch this wave, the pleasure is not the same (…) I used to take my clients to very beautiful secret beaches”, commented Sanford Viñas .

“My love for the sea is stronger than ever.”

Sanford is at a stage in his life where he is focused on his dream and wants to make it a reality. He emphasized that he felt an innate commitment to the youth of the Dominican Republic.

“The generations that follow me deserve someone who inspires and motivates them. And right now, I feel like I’m ready to give them good motivation and inspiration. That’s why my love for the sea is stronger than ever,” said the ‘Foil Surfing’ enthusiast.

For Sanford Viñas, surfing is his life and he describes the sport as a lifestyle. “The moment you grab the board and catch that wave, you release yourself from a lot of things in life,” he said.

On the way to the Mexpipe Warriors 2022

Viñas’ true passion has always been chasing the biggest waves possible.

The Mexipipe Warrior event is an activity that takes place in the silver Puerto Escondido, located in Mexico, one of the strongest wave beaches, and will be held in September 2022. There tube surfers from all over the world will be summoned.

Sanford Viñas has earned a spot on the event’s guest list that honors legendary Mexican surfer Oscar Moncada. The young competitor indicated that he feels proud to represent the country.

“I feel great representing my country. People like the Dominican Republic. I feel proud when I arrive in another country representing the Dominican Republic,” said the young competitor born in Florida, USA, but raised in the Dominican Republic since he was one year old by his Dominican mother.

“It’s an honor to have this title. Not everyone can do it and it’s an invitation I have. I would love to win,” he added.

Rigorous preparation

“I am preparing,” said Sanford Viñas, “and explained that the preparations for the Mexpipe Warriors 2022 are based on three fundamental pillars: technical, physical and mental preparation.

“I swim, I do exercises, especially breathing exercises. I go to a beach and dive with a rock and hold my breath as far as I can, I do this to simulate crashing into a big wave,” he explained.

“I’m preparing my mind for the little devil not to tell me ‘this wave is too big’, ‘I don’t think you can do it’, building a strong mind,” he added.

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