When the horn blew it was 20 year old Nilbie Blancada who will take home the $2,500 USD first place prize money as well as 3,000 ASC championship points towards her race for the 2013 Asian Surfing Championship Women’s Division trophy. This is her second victory in as many years at her home break, as she was also last year’s Roxy Siargao International Women’s Surfing Cup winner, besting Australian ex-pro surfer Kim Wooldridge in her first ever ASC sanctioned women-on-women final.
Both women put on the best show of the entire girls event, as in no other heat and any of the other contestants charged so deep and pulled into any significant barrel rides. The highlight of the final was when Nilbie pulled into a solid 4 footer and raced down to the double up section to pull in and then fight her way out of the closing end section, then blasted a turn to finish off, earning her 9 points (out of a possible 10) from the judges and the high score of the day. Older sister Nilbie out the back raised her arms and clapped for her sister when she heard the score, but then proceeded to answer back with a nice little barrel of her own a few moments later.
ASC Head Judge Mark “Boonga” Clift applauded the action, citing that it was the first heat of the entire women’s event where the women were charging Cloud 9, and that with each of the competitors getting barrels one after the other, this was indeed something special to be witnessing.
Nilbie went on to post another nice barrel ride for 7 points, and right behind her again came Nildie with an amazing backhand barrel riding performance for a well-deserved 8.25 score. At the buzzer the final scores were only half a point different, with Nilbie winning with a score of 16.00 points for her two best waves, and Nildie scoring 15.50 for her two best waves. Truly the most exciting women’s final to date on the ASC tour.
At the start of the day Nildie was reportedly ill, so when asked about that she explained, “I got bad sick last night, and so this morning I was really tired. But little by little I got feeling better. I kept telling myself I just had to go on, and after getting a few good waves I was ok.”
And about her win, she replied, “I really wanted to win this event, and I think my sister gave me the good waves. This is the first time I’ve ever surfed in a final with my sister, and it was fun to be out there just the two of us. It was like a free surf with just us, and that doesn’t happen very often. I’m so happy to win and to be out there with my sister.”
And what is she going to do with her $2,500 cash prize money? “I’m going to build a house!” she replied.
And Nildie was just as happy with her sister’s win, saying, “I really wanted my sister to win, and I’m so happy that she did. I’m getting older and though I still like competing and am still surfing good, there is no pressure on me. I was so happy when she got that big score, and I didn’t really even want to catch any more waves after that. But that one came through and said ‘oh no, what should I do?’ but I couldn’t help it, I just had to take it. I’m so happy that I made it to the final with her, this is the best feeling that I ever had.”
Nildie is the mother of two and runs the Siargao Beach Inn with her husband Rico, but still finds time to surf everyday and has the distinction of being known at the best female surfer in the Philippines for years now.
The day begin with Nilbie crushing ASC number one ranked Rita Kitazawa from Japan in Semifinal One by a score of 13.50 to 6.55, and Nildie took down 5 time Indonesian Women’s surfing champion Yasnyiar “Bonne” Gea in Semifinal Two by a score of 15.65 to 10.50.
A total of 13 women surfers joined in the event, representing the Philippines, Japan, Hawaii, Indonesia, and Greece.
ASC 6-Star Women's Division Final results:
1. Nilbie Blancada (PHL)
2. Nildie Rietenbach (PHL)
3. Yasnyiar “Bonne” Gea (INA)
3. Rita Kitazawa (JPN)
There will be a video clip of the final available tomorrow, but in the meantime here is the Men’s Final video clip from yesterday:
Tomorrow evening will be the closing ceremony and prize giving at the nearby town of General Luna starting at 6 pm, so you don’t want to miss that if you are nearby.
For results and other information, check www.asiansurfingtour.com and look up ASC Tour on Facebook.
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