The 20th Annual Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup, an ASP 1-Star QS event that's also sanctioned by the Asian Surfing Championships, ran through Rounds 2 and 3 to leave just eight surfers vying for the prestigious event title.
The morning high tide saw Cloud 9 dish up clean 3-to-4 foot tubes, but when the tide turned the wind came up and competitors were forced to switch to their air and rail surfing to make their heats.
Putra Hermawan(IND), last year's Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup event champion is the only Indonesian to advance into the Quarterfinals after all of his countrymen were eliminated today.
â€œIt feels really good to be in the Quarterfinals, I can't wait for tomorrow,â€ Hermawan said. â€œThe conditions were changing a lot today so I just had to believe in myself that I can do it. I'm really confident now. I'm from Lembongan and the waves are similar there so I know what to expect.â€
Philmar Alipayo (PHL) surfed through illness to progress through to the Quarterfinals after being barely able to get out of bed, he didn't miss a beat in the water. Alipayo is one of only two goofy-footers (right foot forward) left in the draw, but being a backsider won't slow this local hero down.
â€œIt's hard out there on your backhand, we go slower on the rights,â€ Alipayo said. â€œI'm so tired and sick still and today was a hard day of surfing, I just had to push through. Most of the locals know the waves best, and that helps when conditions are tricky. I think tomorrow will be bigger and that's a good thing, hopefully I'm feeling better.â€
Chris Zaffis (AUS), 16-year-old Angourie local and current NSW state junior champion is the lone Australian left in the draw after advancing through Round 3. Zaffis unloaded big, committed aerials to secure a spot in the Quarterfinals where he will now face local surfer Osot Alcala (PHL).
â€œIt's looking like the waves will be really good tomorrow morning so I'm stoked to be into the Quarters,â€ Zaffis said. â€œI just wanted to come here and get some experience at the QS level and get some barrels too. There was a bit of everything on offer today, I'm just taking it all in and trying to learn and enjoy it all.â€
John Mark Tokong (PHL), 17-year-old Cloud 9 local, continued his impressive form at the Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup and proved he has all the tricks in the book. After being one of yesterday's standouts in the air, Tokong today threaded tubes and threw down solid carves to firm as one of the one's to watch on Final's day tomorrow.
â€œI feel really great to be in the Quarterfinals for my first time at this event,â€ Tokong said. â€œThere were four people in those heats and there was a lot of hassling for the good ones and now I'm excited to be in the man-on-man heats. All the surfers out there know what they're doing so I just have to focus on me and have fun.â€
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