Local surfer Piso Alcala (PHL) took out the 20th Annual Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup, an ASP 1-Star Qualification Series Tour event that's also sanctioned by the Asian Surfing Championships.
Finals day dawned and revealed the best conditions of this year's event, with surfers fighting for precious ranking's points and prize money in clean and hollow 5-foot classic Cloud 9 tubes.
Piso Alcala (PHL) also won this event in 2008 and 2012. Today was his third win and the first ever by a Filipino on the QS Tour. Alcala netted two near-perfect rides in the Final to finish with a heat total of 19.45 out of a possible. He was by far the standout surfer on Finals day, dispatching the last international surfer, Chris Zaffis (AUS), in the Semifinals and fellow local, John Mark Tokong (PHL), in the Quarterfinals.
â€œI wasn't expecting to win today so I feel really great,â€ Alcala said. â€œI just wanted to go out there and do my best for the locals. I had so much support and it felt so good. I was very lucky to get two good waves in the Final, there were some really good barrels today. Cloud 9 is my home break and it helps me to know where to go and what waves to get. It's a lot of money for the win, I'm just going to save it and use it for my family.â€
Carlito Nogalo (PHL) finished runner-up to Alcala in the Final. The opening exchange saw Nogalo post an excellent 8.00, but when Alcala's opening score came in at a 9.55 Nogalo was on the back foot. After a long lull Alcala caught and threaded the needle of a big, hollow tube and posted another excellent score leaving his countrymen Nogalo to settle for 2nd place.
Chris Zaffis (AUS), 16-year-old Angourie local and current NSW state junior champion put in a great showing at his first ever ASP QS event, finishing equal 3rd place after being eliminated in the Semifinals. Zaffis has put in a lot of time in the line-up at Cloud 9 and today his hard work paid off as he locked into tubes and punctuated rides with end section aerials.
â€œI came here to try and do well in the event and get barrelled and today I did both so I'm happy,â€ Zaffis said. â€œI really wanted to make the Final but Piso (Alcala) was too good. I've never been in a QS event before so to get to the Semis is good for me, the waves were so good today and surfing man-on-man heats was a great experience and I learnt a lot.â€
Putra Hermawan (IND), last year's Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup event champion and highest placed Indonesian surfer was eliminated by Donisio Espijon (PHL) in the Quarterfinals and finished this year's event with an equal 5th place.
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