World’s best women surfers battle for Siargao Cup

GENERAL LUNA, Siargao Island — It’s a battle royale among the world’s best woman surfers here in the country’s surfing capital when the Siargao International Women’s Surfing Cup Qualifying Series 1,000 starts on Wednesday at Cloud Nine.

Event director Gerry Deagan said 24 competitors from across the globe will flaunt their talent.

“It’s pretty exciting to see these competitors who will vie with each other,” he said.

He said the event will open Tuesday but competition proper will start Wednesday.

“We definitely conclude on May 6th as scheduled,” he added.

Foreign competitors head for the waves in Cloud Nine in General Luna, Siargao Islands, the country’s surfing capital, on 2 May 2017, a day before the start of the Siargao International Women’s Surfing Cup Qualifying Series 1,000. MindaNews photo by Roel N. Catoto

General Luna Mayor Jaime P. Rusillon said this is the first time that the International Women’s Surfing Cup is sanctioned by the World Surf League (Qualifying Series).

It means the best females surfers around the world will vie for the points and trophies and cash prize pegged at $10,000 USD, the biggest for a women’s qualifying series 1,000.

Rusillon has hosted men’s and women’s surfing at Cloud 9 for over 20 years, and this event is the 9th women’s event under his patronage.

“Everything is set,” he said, adding tight security has been in place in the town to ensure the success of the competition.

“We are happy that our women’s event will now be sanctioned by the WSL and we can’t wait for the first Cloud 9 waves to be conquered by these brave women,” he said.

Rusillon said he is throwing support to local surfers who will vie for the crown.

“We have the number one professional female surfer in Asia declared by the Asian Surfing Championship,” he said.

Nilbie Blancada, the 2016 Asian Surfing Champion (ASC) who hails from this town said ,“It’s gonna be clash of titans, an epic battle among surfing queens around the world and I’ll do everything I could for the glory of our country,” she said.

In July last year, Blancada bested 12 topnotch surfers from Australia, Argentina, Indonesia, Taiwan and Japan, earning her first title on Indonesian waters during the four-day Quiksilver Padma Challenge.

Japanese surfer Rita Ritazawa, 2015 Asian Surfing Champion, vows to redeem herself this year. She lost to Siargao native Nilbie Blancada at the Rote Island Women’s Open in Indonesia in July 2016. Photo taken on May 2, 2017 at Cloud Nine tower in General Luna, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte. MindaNews photo by Roel N. Catoto

Last October, she grabbed the 2016 crown in Rote Island Women’s Open in Indonesia, beating 2015 ASC Rina Ritazawa of Japan.

The Siargao International Women’s Cup drew one of the best international female surfers, current QS number 8 ranked Philippa Anderson of Australia.

“Massive thanks to everyone involved with getting this event on the schedule. I can’t wait for warm water and pumping waves,” she said.

Ritazawa told MindaNews that she will give all her best to redeem herself..

“I have trained a lot and right now I’m definitely set to clash with other surfers out there,” she said.

She, however, admitted she is threatened by the presence of strong contenders like Blancada and Anderson.

“They are the big guns in this competition but I have beaten them in other competitions and also I have suffered defeat in previous competition so good luck to everyone of us,” said the 23-year-old Japanese. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)