Brazilian surfer conquers Siargao waves, wins qualifying tilt

Inquirer Libre - Davao - - PANGUNAHING PAHINA - By Chris V. Panganiban

GENERAL LUNA, Siargao Island— Brazilian Raoni Monteiro won the coveted 23rd Siargao International Surfing Cup in the fourday elevated World Surfing League Qualifying Series 3000 event that had drawn at least 115 worldclass surfers from around the world.

Monteiro pulled off a lastminute surprise when he overcame the lead by Costa Rican Tomas King with a medium set wave that worked to his advantage.

It was some kind of redemption for the 35-year-old surfing trainer after he incurred numerous injuries in 2014 that prevented him to participate in the elite Championship Tour competition.

“I can’t even explain how happy I am right now,” Monteiro said. “Right at the end when I saw that wave came I knew it as the one and I knew I could do it. This has been a really amazing event for me,” he added.

Homegrown Filipino surfer Edito “Piso” Alacala Jr. failed to advance to the crucial semifinal rounds after he was booted out by King in the quarterfinals rounds on Wednesday afternoon.

Alcala, the only Filipino hope for the crown entering into the quarterfinals, did all he can with at least 12 minimal points waves try which was not enough to overcome the insurmountable four-point lead of King who was already regarded as inevitable finalist contender.

Alcala, a three-time former world surfing champion, brought home at least US$3,000 as a quarterfinalist competitor.

His townmate John Mark “Marama” Tokong who was more likely expected to make it to the higher rounds was already eliminated in the fifth round from a sorry loss to Australian Mitch Parkinson going into the quarterfinals.

Swiss-Italian businessman Gianni Grifoni, who owns the popular Kermit Resort and the major sponsor of Tokong, was pinning his hopes on him since they have been through a hard training. Tokong was champion in the 2015 series.

Mayor Jaime Rusillon of this town said he was humbled by the great turnout of some 20,000 tourists to witness the surfing competition which offered a total prize pot of US$75,000, with the champion taking home US$12,000.

“This is the largest tourist visit this year,” Russilon said.

All 650 air-conditioned rooms in resorts here were fully booked for the whole week apart from some 400 home stays being availed by the foreign guests.

TOM BENNETT OF WORLD SURFING LEAGUE.

Brazilian surfer Raoni Monteiro in his winning form in the Siargao Cloud Nine world surfing championship cup. Photo courtesy of Tom Bennett of World Surfing League.

TOM BENNETT OF WORLD SURFING LEAGUE.

BRAZILAIN surfer Raoni Monteiro is being carried by proud countrymen after his big win in the 23rd Siargao International Surf Cup that had drawn at least 115 world-class surfers. Photo courtesy of Tom Bennett of World Surfing League. BRAZILIAN surfer Raoni Monteiro in his winning form in the Siargao Cloud Nine world surfing championship cup.

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