SIARGAO, Surigao del Norte (MindaNews / 5 Aug) – The Siargao International Surfing Cup this year, now on its 20th year, is expected to be the biggest in terms of bringing in surfers and tourists from all over the world, organizers claimed.
“This year the Siargao International Surfing Cup got even bigger after the surfing world’s governing body, the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), made the competition one of its sanctioned events,” said Gerry Degan, contest director. Thus, those competing in the world circuit will get points should they participate in the Siargao cup, he added.
Degan said that for now, the Siargao event has gotten a one-star ranking. He admitted it is a low rank, “but at least we are part of the world circuit.”
“The ASP sanction would mean that more world class surfers who are participating in the world circuit would come here and participate,” he added.
Last year, the Asian Surfing Championship (ASC) gave Siargao a six-star ranking, making it one of the qualifying stops for the Asian Circuit, Degan noted. “This year it would be both ASP and ASC, so we are expecting around 64 international surfers to come and compete,” he said.
Donna Grace Estrella, Siargao tourism coordinator, expressed her optimism for the upcoming event.
“After 20 years, this will be the biggest surfing competition here in General Luna (in Siargao) and more international surfers will experience why Cloud 9 is considered one of the best surfing spots in the international surfing scene,” she added.
Estrella said they are expecting 5,000 to 8,000 people to witness the event, and the island is busy preparing to accommodate all those visitors.
As of now, Siargao has around 70 small resorts and additional rooms from homestay amenities, she said, adding that some more resorts are now being constructed.
Dane Jordan, ASP Australasia general manager, said in the surfersvillage.com website: “I’ve been lucky enough to see Cloud 9 first hand and it truly is one of the world’s best waves.”
Komang Putra Hermawan, from Lembongan Island in Bali, Indonesia, won the US$5,000 cash prize last year after a fierce final round against Rodolfo “Osot” Alcala, a native of General Luna.
“That wave at Cloud 9 is really good, surfing Cloud 9 is like surfing my home break in Nusa Lembongan. Last year was my first time to surf at Cloud 9 and I’m so stoked to win the event in really fun barrels. I’m so excited to go back there again,” expressed Hermawan in an online news.
The 20th Annual Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup will run on September 24-29, and has been slotted into the calendar to allow competitors enough time to transit to Japan for the 4-Star QS Chiba Open.