Top surfers ride Siargao’s famed Cloud 9 for Billabong Pro Junior Asia

GENERAL LUNA, Siargao Islands, Surigao del Norte (MindaNews/20 September) — Around 80 professional junior surfers from different countries are seeing action in the Billabong Pro Junior Asia which kicked off this afternoon in this surfing capital of the Philippines.

Zeny Pallugna, secretary general of the Philippine Surfing Federation, (PSF) said that pipeline masters from eight countries will be vying for huge cash prizes totalling US$ 25,000.

In an interview, Pallugna said the world-class break in Siargao Islands will host for two consecutive years, 2011 and 2012, the Billabong Pro Junior Asia.

This is the first ASP event to be held in the Philippines, and it will offer Australasian and Japanese Pro Junior surfers the chance to surf one of the world’s best surf breaks while competing for coveted prize money and points towards the 2012 ASP World Junior Tour.

“This first ever five-star rated Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) event to run in the Philippines will take place from September 21 to 28,” she said.

Surfers from Japan, Hawaii, Europe, Australia, Brazil, South America, Indonesia, Malaysia, United States of America, and the Philippines will face each other tomorrow for the elimination rounds.

ASP Australasia General Manager Dane Jordan sounded excited to make this a landmark event for the region, as the ASP and the surfers will show the world what Cloud 9 has to offer.

“ASP Australasia in conjunction with ASP Japan is very pleased to sanction the Billabong Pro Junior Asia,” Jordan said.

“The world class waves of Cloud 9 in the Philippines have long been lauded as the perfect venue for an ASP Event,” he said.

“Billabong paved the way for the creation of the Pro Junior series and is again leading the way by staging the Billabong Pro Junior Asia to showcase the best junior surfers in one of the world’s best waves,” he added.

Billabong Asia’s Brand Manager, Peter Thew cannot wait to see the world’s best junior surfers take to the Cloud 9 lineup.

“We could not be happier with the new home for our Billabong Pro Junior Asia event, being at such an iconic break like Cloud 9,” Thew said.

He added that the wave is literally perfect and the fact that this event will launch both the ASP Japan and Australasian series, “should make for some pretty exciting competition.”

From the Land Down Under, Creed McTaggart is looking to make a good start to his 2011/2012 ASP Pro Junior campaign here at Cloud 9.

“This place is amazing, it’s like being on a boat trip or surf trip somewhere exotic, except we’re here for a contest,” McTaggart said. “I did a couple of the events last year, but I’m planning on doing them all this year, so it’d be great to get off to a good start here.”

Along with this event, the 13th National Surfing Cup which started last Saturday will culminate this afternoon. This competition serves as the qualifying stage for Filipino surfers who wish to join the Pro Junior Asia Surfing Cup and the upcoming 17th Siargao International Surfing Tilt slated on September 29 to October 3, 2011.

Mayor Jaime Rusillon of General Luna town revealed that this Billabong Pro Junior Asia has made his dream a reality.

“Cloud 9 has finally carved or sealed its name in the world’s surfing map,” Rusillon said.

To add more color to this year’s surfing festival, more activities have been infused like street dancing festival, agri-aqua trade fair and exhibits, neo-ethnic dance competition, fashion show, Ms. Siargao beauty pageant, women’s beach volleyball, Siargao adventure race and other sports activities. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)