28 April 2015, Siargao Island, Philippines: The Vans Cloud 9 Masters Men’s Division will see first action this morning at the Philippines most iconic surf break of Cloud 9 on Siargao Island, where a total prize purse of Php 100,000 (over USD $2,000) up for grabs between the Men’s Open, Women’s Open, and Junior Divisions as well as ASC tour championship points.
In the first heat of Round 1, Edito “Piso” Alcala will lead things off in what promises to be a day full of exciting action, as there will be 16 full heats in the Men’s Open Division today alone. Piso is working his way back from a knee injury sustained earlier in the year, but in yesterday’s warm up session appears to be well on his way to recovery. “I’m just trying to take it easy,” said Piso last night when asked about his knee. “I just don’t take any big chances, and so far it feels pretty good. We’ll see what happens tomorrow, he added with a smile.
An estimated 120 plus surfers were registered as of last night at the opening ceremony on the Boulevard at General Luna, where the surfers and spectators were welcomed by Mayor Jaime Rusillon, known as the Godfather of Philippine surfing for his unwavering support starting over 20 years ago.
Also giving speeches were Vans Philippines CEO Wendell Cunanan, ASC GM Tim Hain and Siargao Administrator Nathanial Plaza, and in between the audience was entertained by local dancing with a live acoustic session rounding out the evening.
With a rising tide starting at 8 am, it will be a full day of surfing as the organizers take advantage of the swell and wind conditions on offer, starting with the Men’s Open Division and moving into the Junior Division if time and conditions allow.
The contest has four days in which to be completed, with the final day on May 1 ending with dinner, the awarding ceremony, and a party/concert on General Luna Boulevard.
The first Cloud 9 Masters was held in May of 2007 as the realization of Cloud 9 locals Manuel “Wilmar” Melindo, Rodolfo “Osot” Alcala, and Ronald “Rasta” Sumalinog’s dream to have a local’s contest they could call their very own. With a bit of support from the local government, the Philippine Surfing Federation, and some of the local resort operators, the dream became a reality, and Osot Alcala the first champion, earning him the “the barrel master of Cloud 9.” It was in fact Osot who named the event the Cloud 9 Masters, his inspiration coming from the annual Pipeline Masters held each year at Hawaii’s Banzai Pipeline.
Other Cloud 9 Master’s champions include Piso Alcala, Carlito Nogalo, and Arkipo Figuron.
The Vans Cloud 9 Masters is sponsored/supported by The Rail, Illest, FluidSurf, Mad Kahuna, Son of a Beach, Cloud 9 Surf Co., Maya Siargao Villa & Golf, Kawayan Siargao Resort, Siargao Inn Beach Resort, Reef Beach Houses, the Municipality of General Luna, and the Province of Surigao Del Norte, and sanctioned by the Asian Surfing Championships. By: Tim Hain, ASC
Photos: 1) Piso Alcala, 2) Carlito Nogalo, 3) John Mark “Marama” Tokong, 4) Rina Kitazawa, 5) Nilbie Blancada, 6) Registration, 7) Cloud 9 pier/tower.
The Asian Surfing Championships was established in 2010 as the progression of the highly successful Indonesian Surfing Championships that began in Bali, Indonesia in 2004. The mission of the ASC is to develop and progress the sport of surfing in Asia by assisting in the organizing and sanctioning of professional surfing events, which will help their growing surf communities and draw more attention to their areas for the progression of surfing locally, nationally, and throughout all of the Asian Region.
|Cloud 9 Tower|
|Japan's Rina Kitazawa|