CLOUD NINE, General Luna, Siargao Island (MindaNews / 28 Sept) – With less than a point lead against his tough opponent, Raoni Monteiro of Brazil has been crowned the champion of the 2017 Siargao International Surfing Cup.
The former elite Championship Tour competitor Monteiro came up against Costa Rica’s Thomas King in the final.
The lead went back and forth between the two throughout the 35-minute final duel with King holding the lead score into the last minutes.
King maintained his momentum with a lead at 7.17 points in the dying seconds, but Monteiro made a last-ditch strike from a medium set wave with a score of 8.03, giving him the win with a heat total of 17.06.
King, who garnered a total heat score of 16.33 points, attempted to rally against Monteiro but the clock expired.
“I’m super stoked. I can’t believe that I will win this event. I can’t even explain how happy I am right now,” said the 35-year-old champion who is a surf coach in Brazil.
“Right at the end when I saw that wave come I knew it as the one and I knew I could do it. This has been a really amazing event for me. It is my first time here in the Philippines and the waves are so good, we have all been really spoiled with the waves we got and everyone was ripping so I feel really lucky to come out on top,” Monteiro added.
Monteiro was off in the league in 2010 after he suffered knee injuries and took some time to focus on family and spent his time at home.
He said his last competition was sometime in 2010.
This year he has returned to competitive surfing arena and is determined to return to the elite level. This win not only gives him 3,000 raking points but the confidence to know he can still mix it with the best and win events – a feat he last accomplished at the prestigious Vans World Cup at Sunset Beach in 2010 in Hawaii, USA.
“The last event I won was Sunset so it has been a while since I had this feeling,” Monteiro, who takes home the prize of $12,000, continued.
“I have been working really hard on my comeback and training hard. It is so nice when all of the hard work pays off. The most important thing I have gained from this win is confidence in my surfing and my ability to surf contests. I can’t wait for the next event in Brazil,” Monteiro said.
The 21-year-old King, who almost looked to become an event champion, said he did all his best.
“This is by far my best result so I’m just happy to surf in a final, especially with a former Championship Tour surfer like Raoni. He was surfing so well and I’m really stoked for him that he won,” King said.
On his way to the final, Monteiro overcame Peruvian ripper Lucca Messinas in an epic semifinal matchup.
Messinas looked in incredible form, posting a solid heat total of 14.93 for his quick forehand attack.
Monteiro posted a massive heat total of 18.07, leaving Messinas to finish the event in equal third place, his best qualifying series result to date.
Portugal surfer Nic von , who was beaten by King in the semifinal bout with less than a point margin, settled in co-equal third with Messinas. (Roel N. Catoto / MindaNews)