It's been a massive day of competition at the 2022 Siargao International Surfing Cup pres. By San Miguel, World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 1000 event with all eight Quarterfinalists being decided after 16 heats were completed. Cloud 9 continued to deliver perfect, clean barrels, in the two-to-four foot range as a handful of Asia's best up and coming competitors put on an incredible display of surfing on Day 2 of competition.
The opening heat of the men's Round of 16 saw four of Asia's most exciting competitors as Bronson Meydi (IDN) and Tenshi Iwami (JPN) came up against Filipino duo John-Mark Tokong (PHL) and Philmar Alipayo (PHL), a pair who have both won here at Cloud 9. All four competitors put on an incredible performance, each posting near or above excellent scores in what was the heat of the event. In the end, it was last minute heroics that saw Alipayo clinch the win after a deep backside tube to progress into the Quarterfinals with good friend John Mark-Tokong.
"Having a heat with my good friend is what I dream of," Alipayo said. "For both of us to make it through is so good. That was such an intense heat with all the surfers getting plenty of good waves and high scores. I'm stoked to make the Quarterfinals and be able to surf my favourite wave with only one other person out. I hope Cloud 9 continues to provide us with great surf."
Nilbie Blancada (PHL) continued the trend of locals dominating the peak at Cloud 9, taking another heat win with the highest two-wave combination of the event so far. Blancada's near-excellent total of 15.50 (out of a possible 20) came from two long, seamlessly ridden tube rides as she continues to show, local knowledge is everything at a place like this.
"I really felt like I got in a good rhythm in that heat," Blancada said. "I had so much fun out there and really want to continue to make heats. I'm loving having Cloud 9 with no one out. To win the event for the local community would mean so much to me."
Japanese competitor Yuji Nishi (JPN) was the standout performer of the day, posting a near perfect 9.25 (out of a possible 10) for a super deep tube-ride that he only just made it out of. Nishi's tube accompanied a number of super critical turns in both his Round of 32 and Round of 16 heats. Nishi's performance's all day have marked him as the man to beat along with local duo John-Mark Tokong (PHL) and Philmar Alipayo (PHL).
"That wave really felt amazing," Nishi said. "I was really late getting into it but I think that helped me get even deeper. I love this wave and having an event here is really cool for us. I'm hoping to keep getting tubes in my Quarterfinal so I can make it to the Finals and win the event. I'm feeling really confident and in tune here in the Philippines."
Japanese duo Jo Azuchi (JPN) and Takuto Ohta (JPN) were also able to book spots in the Quarterfinals as well as Kian Martin (SWE), Oney Anwar (IDN) and Robert Magaluna (PHL).
Nilbie Blancada (PHL) will be joined in the women's Quarterfinals by Ziggy-Aloha Mackenzie (AUS), Nanaho Tsuzuki (JPN), Sai Maniwa (JPN), Anon Matsuda (JPN), Sumomo Sato (JPN) as well as local duo Maria Graciela/Migullas (PHL) and Dianne Nogalo (PHL).
Event directors will reconvene at Cloud 9 tomorrow at 7:30 am local time to make a call on getting competition underway.
The 2022 Siargao International Surfing Cup QS 1000 event will run at Cloud 9 from October 15 - 21.