Small Surf, Big Scores Open 20th Annual Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup

The 20th Annual Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup, an ASP 1-Star QS event that's also sanctioned by the ASC, wrapped up Round 1 in building two-to-three foot surf with both tubes and turn sections on offer. After waiting two and half days for swell, competition commenced and the competitors turned it on in the fight for an all-important Round 2 berth.

Carlito Nogalo (PHL), winner of the Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup in 2012 started this year's event with a bang, netting both a 7.50 and an 8.00 for a series of carves and barrel rides to easily advance into the next round.

Carlito Nogalo winning the first heat of the 20th Annual Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup Carlito Nogalo winning the first heat of the 2014 Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup. - WSL / ASP/Will H-S

“To qualify for this event I had to surf in the Nationals and the surf was really small,” Nogalo said, “So I'm glad the surf is picking up and we had some fun waves. There's a lot of good Australian, Indonesian and American surfers in this event so I'm excited about making it into Round 2 because I think the surf will just get better.”

Putra Hermawan (IND), last year's Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup event champion was mere seconds from missing his opening heat, paddling out as the siren sounded but still managing to secure second position.

Putra Hermawan on his way to a 2nd place in Round 1 of the 20th Annual Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup Putra Hermawan also getting the job done in Heat 1. - WSL / ASP/Will H-S

“I didn't think they were going to run today,” Hermawan said. “I hadn't watched the surf before my heat, I almost missed it, so I didn't know what conditions to expect. I started with some bad waves but was lucky enough to get a couple of scores and make it through the heat.”

Philmar Alipayo (PHL), who finished equal third at the ASP Cloud 9 Pro Junior in 2011 and third in this event again last year was again on point today. In Round 1, Alipayo posted a dominant heat win with sharp backhand surfing on the rights and a big air-reverse on the left.

“I am feeling sick so I'm glad to make it through the heat,” Alipayo said. “The surf is small so I just had to go out and start with some turns and once I had the lead I went for an air and it worked. Hopefully I'm feeling better and the surf is bigger tomorrow.”

John Talong putting his air game on show at the 20th Annual Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup John Talong spent the majority of his heat above the lip. - WSL / ASP/Will H-S

John-Mark Takong (PHL), 17-year-old Cloud 9 local, put on an aerial masterclass for his fellow competitors and the fans packing the tower wall to wall. Talong posted one of the highest heat totals of the opening day of competition for his technical and committed brand of surfing.

“I like it when the wind is like this because it's good for airs,” Talong said. “I'm so happy to have a good heat in an ASP 1-Star QS event, it's my first time in an event this big and it's great. I want to stay focused and keep going in the event and get some barrels when it's bigger.”

Cloud 9 tower on Day 1 of the 20th Annual Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup Cloud 9 tower lined with local surf fans loving all the action. - WSL / ASP/Will H-S

The 2014 Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup will run from 24 - 28 September 2014 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