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Filipino Wins International Surf Competition
« on: October 14, 2008, 04:00:49 AM »
By Kage Gozun

Siargao local Edito “Piso” Alcala surfed his way to a victory during the recently concluded Billabong Cloud 9 Invitational. His win over defending champion Wade Goodall (Aus) is only the second time a Filipino has won the international event in Siargao, the first being back in the late 90s by Rodolfo “Osot” Alcala.

The international competition held at Cloud 9, is among the most prestigious in Asia and is watched closely by surfers around the world. It attracts high profile professional surfers from Australia, Israel, Japan, Hawaii and France among others. The Billabong Cloud 9 Invitational creates a limited number (48) of slots for invited international pro surfers plus the top 12 finishers from the Siargao National event and four wild cards. The format allows the competitors to help make decisions on when to run their heats during the seven-day window scheduled for the competition.

This year’s crop of international competitors included returning surfers David Reardon-Smith (USA), Jason Shibata (Hawaii), and Tipi Jabrik (Indonesia) as well as high profile first timers Marlon Gerber (Indonesia), Granger Larsen (Hawaii) and big wave rider Laurie Towner (Australia).

The days leading up to the finals had been less than ideal, with smaller wave swell than is usually encountered in Siargao. But on September 26, Cloud 9 turned itself on overnight to deliver those perfect right-handed barrels that have made it world famous. In an exciting 35 minute heat, Alcala chased Goodall’s scores wave for wave but continued to lag behind. In the final five minutes, it was announced that he needed a 9.0 score to move into first place. With under two minutes, Alcala paddled into a deep overhead wave, pulled into a hollow barrel and snagged a 9.43 score from the judges. Goodall tried his best to make up the defecit but couldn’t quite make the grade.

As the final buzzer sounded, hordes of surfers - both local and foreign - ran across the dry reef to greet the new champion. Hoisted upon the shoulders of his friends, the 20-year old sudden hero was carried to the base of the judging tower, where Billabong officials awarded him with a whopping US$7,500. Goodall took home US$4500 for his second place finish.

We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.

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