Sisters battle in 19th Siargao int’l surfing tilt finals

GENERAL LUNA, Siargao Island (MindaNews/30 Sept.) – Sibling rivalry added color to the finals of the 19th Siargao International Surfing Cup women’s division at Cloud 9 here on Saturday.

In the end, host town bet 21-year old Nilbe Blancada edged elder sister Nilde Blancada-Rietenbach to take home the $2,500 prize money for the champion.

Foreign surfing experts called the finals between the two sisters the best show in the entire women’s category of the event that has obtained a 6-star rating from the Asian Surfing Championship.

The event ended with Nilbe scoring 16.00 for her two best wave rides, and Nilde tallying 15.50.

“It felt great competing with my sister in the final round. I felt relaxed and with no pressure, it was just like surfing the waves without the competition. It was just about having fun and enjoying the ride,” Nilbe said.

Last year, Nilbe beat Australia’s Kim Woolridge to win the Roxy Siargao International Women’s Surfing Cup.

That victory and her win at the Cimaja Surf Competition in West Java, Indonesia gained for her international recognition.

Nilde meanwhile said she did not expect to compete with her younger sister in the finals.

“I did not expect to be competing against her, but I was happy it was a final round against my sister. It felt like it was just a ride out for fun. There was a moment after she got her ride that I wanted to stop but the waves came in and it was tempting so I took a good ride. I really wanted her to win, and I’m glad she did,” she added.

Contest Director Gerry Degan described the event as a spectacular show of talent as the two women gave out their best.

“It was a dream show, we were given fantastic waves and the two sisters did not fail to give us their best. Both gave us outstanding barrel ride one from the other. Nilbe certainly showed us why she is considered the best Asian woman surfer and with proper sponsor and opportunity she can compete with the world’s best,” said Degan.

Twelve women from the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, and Japan will battled it out for the $5,000 prize purse.

ASC number one-ranked Rina Kitazawa of Japan, 5-time Indonesian Surfing Women’s Champion Yasniar “Bonne” Gea and Nilbe were the early favorites. But Kitazawa and Gea lost in the semifinal rounds. (Erwin Mascarinas/MindaNews)