The community of General Luna, Siargao Island, Philippines put on a show for the Opening Ceremony of the 20th Annual Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup. A lay-day was called due to small surf, but there was plenty of happening on the shore with bands, dancing and speeches from local dignitaries.
Jamie P. Rusillon, Municipal Mayor of General Lunar who is also affectionally referred to as the Philippines Godfather of Surfing, gave a glimpse into the past, present and future of surfing at Cloud 9.
â€œI remember more than 30 years ago when the first surfers came to our island,â€ Mayor Rusillon said. â€œThey carried these crazy contraptions that they called surfboards and went into the ocean to tame the big barrels at Cloud 9 and since then this place has become world-famous. Surfing has brought economic growth to this region and I want to see the Annual Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup run long into the future.â€
Gerry Degan, Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup Contest Director and owner of Sagna Cloud 9 resort is eyeing an increase in swell towards the weekend that will see the event get underway in 4-to-6' waves.
â€œThe surf is small right now, but it's been building every day for the last few days,â€ Degan said. â€œFriday, Saturday and Sunday are looking really promising.â€
Dane Jordan, ASP Australasia General Manager and Tim Hain, ASC General Manager have been working hard to make this this dual sanctioned ASP 1-Star Qualifying Series and ASC Tour event truly world class.
â€œThere's a strong contingent of Australian, Indonesian and Filipino surfers in the draw as well a some Hawaiian, Americans and Japanese surfers,â€ Jordan said. â€œI'm really excited for the increase in swell because we're going to see some excellent surfing. I really want to extend a huge thank you from ASP to the local government officials and the community of General Luna for the warm welcome at the opening ceremony.â€
â€œI always look forward to this opening ceremony each year, being with all the dancers, the surfers, event officials, and all the government and private sector officials that have made the event a reality,â€ Said Hain. â€œThe commitment and dedication they are showing towards growing the sport of surfing here in this beautiful island is amazing, and on behalf of the ASC I really thank you for making it an even bigger event this year by including the ASP. Can't wait for the swell to hit and watch the boys getting all those big Cloud 9 barrels!â€
The 2014 Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup will run September 24 - 28 and boasts US$15,000 Prize Money, and will be run in conjunction with the Philippines Surfing Federation.
Event organizers: Provincial Government of Surigao del Norte, Cong. Francisco T. Matugas, House of Representatives, Municipality of General Luna, Philippine Surfing Federation
Event Co-presenters: MVP Group of Companies (Philex Mining Corporation, Smart Communications, Silangan Mindanao Mining Inc.)
Sponsors: Department of Tourism, Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority or TIEZA, Cebu Pacific, Cloud 9 Boardriders Club, Fluid Surf