Local surfers target crown in int’l surfing contest in Siargao

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/24 September) — Filipino surfers will have their hands full when they ride the waves along with foreign contenders Thursday in the 20th International Surfing Competition at Cloud Nine, General Luna, Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte.

At least 56 surfers from New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Canada, United States, Japan, Israel, Philippines and other countries will be vying for the crown including a total purse of US$15,000 USD, said General Luna Mayor Jaime P. Rusillon.

Tads Meraz, a surfer from General Luna, said that they couldn’t wait for the competition.

“We trained hard for this competition and we hope to grab the crown,” he told MindaNews in a phone interview today.

He admitted it would be hard to defeat foreign surfers but vowed to show off their prowess and finesse for tomorrow’s competition proper.

Ongster Montenegro, also from General Luna, said it would be his debut in the international surfing competition.

“I never thought I will make it to the international competition,” Montenegro, who qualified to the international contest after making it to the quarterfinals during the recently concluded Siargao National Surfing Cup, said via his Facebook account.

Former champion Osot Alcala was also eager to compete with surfing royals in the world.

“We are super excited,” Alcala said. “This will be the chance to surf against some of the world’s best,” adding, “they have an advantage.”

Defending champion Putra Hermawan of Indonesia was also looking forward to the competition. “Last year was my first time to surf at Cloud 9 and I’m so excited to be here again.”

On the other hand, Indonesia’s favorite surfing son, Dede Suryana, was eyeing to land in the finals too.

Considered a perennial threat in any competition, Suryana finished at 3rd place in last year’s edition of the competition.

“It’s such a good wave and it’s a right-hander. I love rights and especially barrels! I hope for more barrels again this year,” he said.

The event will be co-sanctioned by the Association of Surfing Professional and the Asian Surfing Championship, with surfers battling for precious ranking points in the 1-Star Qualifying Series (QS) and prize money at one of the world’s best waves.

“1-Star QS events are the ideal way to test your competitive skills and learn what it takes to fight through a draw of talented surfers,” said Dane Jordan, general manager of ASP Australasia in their press statement.

Rusillon told MindaNews that the town has carved its name as among the 10th best surfing sites in the world.

He added local and foreign tourists have enjoyed the waves and beautiful islands in Siargao. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)