General Luna, Siargao / Philippines (Thursday, May 4, 2017) - An historic day at the Siargao Women’s International Cup in the Philippines with the first ever Women’s, WSL sanctioned event, running its heats in super clean 2 to 3 feet (1 metre) surf at the iconic Cloud Nine break.
Four heats of Round 1 were completed across the best of the incoming tide conditions with eight surfers advancing into Round 2. Of the eight surfers who advanced, it was sensational to see that five of them were local surfers.
Not only were the local girls winning some heats and advancing in second place in other heats, more significantly, they were scoring great rides and duels rewarded by the judging panel.
Nilbie Blancada lives close by the Cloud 9 break and has been refining her skills throughout this wave rich paradise for longer than even she can remember and it showed as she took a heat win on day 1.
“I’m nervous surfing in such a high quality field but now I feel so good winning my heat” said Nilbie. “It’s fantastic to be surfing against and with these international surfers, they are so good but also so friendly in our free surf warm-ups.”
“We are learning from them as well as making good friendships and tomorrows heat will be amazing for me to surf in the top seed round.”
The high seeds like Philippa Anderson, Eliza Greene and Lee Anne Curren observed the Round 1 heats today and would have left knowing that the locals are more than capable of taking it to them tomorrow and they’ll need to be on their game when the event resumes.
Brazilan surfer Hayanna Iguchi was the days highest scoring standout heat winner enjoying the fun performance waves on offer today.
A large crowd of locals enjoyed watching the action today and will no doubt be out in force tomorrow to see their local girls take on the top seeded surfers.
WSL Asia Events Manager Steve Robertson commented on the day saying,
“It’s so good to see an historic moment when professional surfing for women begins in the Philippine today and the serious quality of the local Philippine female surfers. Recently the Philippine men surfers have been winning QS events here taking down high quality international WSL surfers and from what I’ve seen today, these women and the young girls cheering on the beach who are also developing their surfing skills will be winning WSL events in the near future - surfing in the Philippines is a serious sport.”
Increasing swells over the coming two days should make for a great final two days ahead an organisers will convene early to make the next call.
The 2017 Siargao international Women’s Surfing Cup will run from May 2 - 6. More information on the event and results along with highlights and images can be found at www.worldsurfleague.com and on the WSL App.