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Local Hero Wows The Crowds at Cloud 9

An unexpected jump in swell has seen more epic conditions for surfers at the Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup WSL Qualifying Series (QS) 3000 event. The opening heats of Round 3 hit the water today which introduced the top seeds and they raised the performance levels in the perfect 4-to-6 foot barrels.

John Mark-Tokong at the Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup The always smiling John Mark-Tokong. WSL / Thomas Bennett

The opening heat of Round 3 saw former event winner and local superstar John Mark Tokong hit the water for the first time this event, and with his presence came hoards of cheering fans. His heat didn't start in the best way possible with his leash plug being pulled out of board, forcing him to swim to the channel and grab a backup. Losing precious minutes didn't seem to phase him as he paddled back out and fell into some of the best waves of the event to post a two wave total of 18.60, the highest total of the event so far. This included a near perfect 9.77, the highest single wave of the event so far.

"When I lost my board at the start I really focused on staying calm," Tokong said. "I don't perform well when I'm stressed so I just kept calm. The waves are really fun today and I was excited to get out there and surf. I'm in a good place at the moment; I just won the national championship and my girlfriend is expecting a baby so life is good. I can't wait to get back out there in Round 4."

John Mark-Tokong at the Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup Tokong screaming through a frothy one. WSL / Matt Power

West Australian Jack Robinson continued his epic form at Cloud 9 posting another excellent heat total for both left and right tubes. The super stylish natural footer seems to be building momentum as he tunes into the break at Cloud 9 on this his first trip to the location.

"I definitely think I'm cruising at the moment," Robinson said. "I feel as if I have more in the tank for sure, particularly with the air sections after the barrel. I feel as if I'm getting used to the wave and as the swell direction changes the right is definitely starting to turn on so it was nice to pull into some front-side tubes."

Jack Robinson on Day 2 of the Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup Jack Robinson parking it on a right for once. WSL / Thomas Bennett

American competitor Jordy Collins is another competitor enjoying his first trip to the Philippines and has been surfing here for over a week. The extra long warm-up was evident as he took his first heat win of the event and progresses into Round 4.

"This place is absolute paradise," Collins said. "I've been here for a week now and surfing so much - I'm having the best time. We don't get to surf at many places like this on the QS so I'm just taking it all in and enjoying myself." '

Jordy Collins at the Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup Jordy Collins. WSL / Matt Power

Earlier in the day, former ISA Gold Medalist from Mexico Jhony Corzo continued his epic relationship with the waves at Cloud 9, taking out his Round 2 heat to progress into the seeded round. Corzo looks primed to repeat his career best 5th place finish from last year at Cloud 9 as he pulled in to tubes, left and right.

"I'm definitely comfortable here after my result last year," Corzo said. "It really reminds me of home here and the waves are so sick so I'm really stoked to be back. The forecast looks insane so it's bound to be the best QS of the year."

Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup Cloud 9 Day 3. WSL / Thomas Bennett
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