27 September 2013, Siargao Island-Philippines: In a 30 minute man-on man duel at the 19th Annual Siargao International Surfing Cup at Cloud 9 on Siargao Island today, Indonesia’s Putra Hermawan defeated Siargao’s local barrel ace Rodolfo “Osot” Alcala to win the ASC-sanctioned Men’s Open Division and bring home the $5,000 USD winner’s prize as well as 3,000 valuable ASC championship points.
Both surfers struggled to find open waves in the final, with a swell direction that pinched off the end sections of the majority of the 4-5 foot set waves, but they kept pulling in deep and getting lots of travel time in the barrel to the delight of the crowd on the tower who were mostly cheering for their local favorite, Alcala.
Hermawan, who hails from the tiny Indonesian island of Nusa Lembongan (just a few kilometers off the coast of Bali) and was the 2010 Indonesian Open and Pro Junior champion, found the finals' first open wave and got barreled not once but twice on the same wave to post the final’s highest single wave score, 8.15 out of a possible 10 points. He went on the add another shorter barrel ride that scored him 4.5 points to end with a final score of 12.65 points out of a possible 20.
Alcala on the other hand, pulled in deep on wave after wave but just couldn’t find the exit, ending the final with mostly 1’s on his score sheet and a final points total of only 2.4.
When asked if at the beginning of the day he thought he would be the winner of the event he responded, “No way, I thought it would be Dede because he was surfing so good or maybe Osot, because he knows the wave so well.”
Runner up Alcala was a bit disappointed at not putting on a better show during the final, citing a bit of nerves. “I knew all those people on the tower were hoping I would win,” he said. “ so I was a bit nervous because I really wanted to do good for both them and me, so I just took off as deep as I could to try and get the really long barrels, but I just didn't get the open ones. I had really good luck up until the finals, so I'm really happy about that. To be in the finals against with all these pro surfers in the contest, I guess second is ok. I have won here before but it’s been a few years, and last contest I only got to the quarterfinals, so I’m happy I got to the finals even if I didn’t win,” he explained.
In the first semifinal of the day Alcala took down Bali’s Mega Semadhi in the final seconds, needing a 3.7 point wave score to overtake Semadhi for the win and getting 4 points for small inside barrel with under a minute remaining. Final score was Alcala with 13.5 points and Semadhi with 13.15.
In the second semifinal it was a high-scoring and very exciting affair with West Java’s Dede Suryana battling it out with Putra Hermawan. Suryana jumped out into the lead and appeared to be well on the way to a heat win until Hermawan found two perfect waves, getting barreled twice on both of them, posting scores of first 8.25 and then 9.0 points to take the lead. Suryana mounted a comeback by posting a 9.0 on his last wave, but it was just short of the 9.85 that he needed to take the win away from Hermawan.
After the Men’s Open final, the Women’s Division competitors got their chance to take on Cloud 9. The waves were sometimes a bit intimidating for the women, but the standouts were local sisters Nildie (Blancada) Rietenbach and Nilbe Blancada. Nildie on her back hand was charging deepest and taking on the biggest set waves, posting the sessions highest single wave score of 8.33 and the highest total heat score of 15.33 out of a possible 20.
Tomorrow will see the Women’s semifinals with first ASC Women’s Division number 1 ranked Rina Kitazawa taking on Nilbie Blancada in Semifinal 1, and Nildie Rietenbach is up against 5-time Indonesian Women’s Champion Yasnyiar “Bonne” Gea in Semifinal 2.
The Women’s semifinalists were told to be standing by at 9:00 am tomorrow for a possible 9:30 am start.
The prize presentations are scheduled for Sunday evening in the town of General Luna.
The 19th Annual Siargao Surfing Cup is sponsored by the Philippines Department of Tourism, the Province of Surigao Del Norte, the Municipality of General Luna, Cloud 9 Boardriders, Surf Angels, Reef Beach Houses, San Miguel Brewery Inc., Stoked Inc, Fluidsurf, Rip Curl, Siargao Bleu Resort, Nature Spring, Sagana Resort, The Boardwalk, Ocean 101, and DT General Merchandise, with media support by TV 5 and My Life On Board, organized by the Philippine Surfing Federation and sanctioned by the Asian Surfing Championships.
Asian Surfing Championships
Tim Hain – Media, Marketing and Communications
Philippine Surfing Federation
Zeny Pallugna – Secretary General