Siargao locals post highest scores in pumping Cloud Nine perfection

Siargao Locals Post Highest Scores in Pumping Cloud Nine Perfection and Top Seed Raditya Rondi Eliminated on Day One of the 19th Annual Siargao International Surfing Cup
(by: Tim Hain)

Carlito Nogalo
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24 September 2013, Siargao Island-Philippines:  Living up to its reputation as one of the world’s best righthand barreling waves, Cloud 9 delivered solid 5-6 foot perfection today to start the ASC 6 star Men’s Open Division of the 19th Annual Siargao International Surfing Cup, with the Siargao locals showing off their tube riding virtuosity by posting the day’s highest scores and on the way eliminating the ASC’s number one ranked surfer, Raditya Rondi from Indonesia.

At least six surfboards and as many legropes fell victim to the crushing forces of Cloud 9 today, a wave that many compare to the famous Backdoor of Hawaii’s North Shore Pipeline. 

Rounds One and Two, as well as two heats of Round 3 were completed today before competition was called off due to the afternoon low tide.

Round One got underway just after 6:00 am this morning, with 32 of the 48 competitors in hot pursuit of a heat win, which would propel them directly into a Round 3 berth where they would meet up with the ASC’s highest ranked surfers and the four finalists from last week’s Siargao Cup Nationals competition. 

The first highlight of Round One was Siargao local Carlito Nogalo putting on an impressive display of competitive surfing during his 20 minute heat, posting 7.67 and 8.17 scores on his best two waves to earn the praise of ASC Head Judge Mark “Boonga” Clift, who from the microphone told the other competitors, “Here is a surfer who knows how get points from the judges.  With great combinations of aggressive but smooth maneuvers all under control, this is how you earn points and win heats!” His final combined two wave heat score was 15.83 points out of a possible 20.

15 year old Marama Tokong put that advice to work in the very next heat, dropping in behind the peak in triple overhead waves to score barrel rides of 7.50 and then a whopping 9.17 to easily win his heat with a total score of 16.67.  His presence, lack of hesitation, and relaxed form in the barrel is nothing short of amazing for a kid this young with no formal coaching and training.

The Alipayo name is synonymous with inspired surfing here on the island of Siargao, and today it was cemented to allow no room for doubt.  Heat 6 of Round One saw Philmar Alipayo post 8.0 and 7.27 point scores to win his heat with 15.27 points, and in Heat 7 it was a battle between Paul John Alipayo and Pete Pete Alipayo for the win, with Paul John besting Pete Pete by just 1.43 points. 

Paul John on his backhand posted the day’s highest single wave score of 9.8 points out of a possible 10, an almost perfect wave score for a super deep barrel where he was actually surfing behind the foam ball in the middle section of the wave before getting spit out the end section.  His final point tally was 17.47 points, the highest heat score of the day.

And though Pete Pete was relegated to second spot with his worthy heat score of 16.03 points, he made the most of his Round 2 opportunity by scoring first a 6.83 and then a massive 9.5 to finish with a 16.33 point total, far head of his closest competitor who only managed a total of 6.6 points!  Remarkable consistency in his heats scores, both being in the 16 point range.

Special for this event in order to give the non-seeded surfers the opportunity to surf twice during the competition, the heat winners from Round 1 advanced directly into Round 3, and the 2nd, 3rd and 4th place finishers competed again in Round 2, where again only the 1st place finisher advance into Round 3.

The Round Two highlight was Siargao local Donesio “Dodo” Espijon winning his heat and ticket into Round 3 by getting deep backside barrel rides, posting first an 8.0 and then an 8.83 for a total heat score of 16.83.

In the first heat of Round 3, it was local Mark Cannon winning the heat and Osot Alcala coming in second to eliminate current ASC number one seed and two time ASC Open Champion Raditya Rondi.

In the final heat of the day, Heat 2 of Round 3, Indonesian Pepen Hendrik from Bali won his heat despite having sustained a significant injury in an early morning warmup session, hitting the reef with his face and puncturing his lower lip and chin, requiring stitches.  “I guess I was too relaxed and maybe still half asleep this morning,” said Hendrik.  “I just saw there was great waves so I didn’t stretch or anything, just paddled right out.  I was kind of lazy paddling for that first wave and it just slipped out from under me.  I hit the reef for just a second and then it sucked me up and I was almost standing up in waist deep water with blood pouring from my chin.  It happened really fast. It was hard out there as my chin and lip still hurt, but I want to keep surfing so I had to try to win,” he explained.

According to tomorrow’s swell forecast the current swell is predicted to be even larger than today and then peaking on Thursday morning, we should see more exciting action and the finish of the Men’s Open on Thursday. Women’s action will commence once the swell conditions are suitable, possibly as soon as Friday but most likely on Saturday.

Round 3 action is scheduled to resume tomorrow with a 6:30 am start, so look for Asia’s best surfers to put on quite a show in the pumping Cloud 9 waves on Siargao Island!

A link to the video clip of today’s action will be included in tomorrow’s press release, or you can check later 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.

Dionesio "Dodo" Espijon 

Early morning at Cloud 9

John Mark "Marama" Tokong

John Mark "Marama" Tokong

The perfect Cloud 9

(L-R) Arkipo and Petepete Alipayo

John Paul Alipayo

Philmar Alipayo

Asian Surfing Championships
Tim Hain – Media, Marketing and Communications
Tel:  +628123606674

Philippine Surfing Federation
Zeny Pallugna – Secretary General
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