7 May 2015, Siargao Island, Philippines: In an exciting finale to the 8th annual Siargao International Women’s Surfing Cup presented by Volcom, Skullcandy & Silangan today, Australia’s Philippa Anderson found a way to best Cloud 9’s top women surfer Nildie Blancada in an extended 40 minute woman-on-woman final and come into the beach the winner and a $3,000 USD payday.
After the final, Philippa was asked how she had felt going into the final after seeing Nildie’s impressive semifinal performance against Rina Kitazawa and having watched Nildie’s progress from the start of the event. She replied, “Nilbie in barreling Cloud 9 is so good, did you see her in the semifinal, she got like 3 or 4 barrels! I knew that if it was barreling in the final it would be hard to beat her.”
The waves in the semifinals had been pumping, but unfortunately went flat for the first 10 minutes of the 30-minute final, resulting in a restart. “After the restart I realized that there might not be that many good waves or barrels in our final, so I just tried to repeat the same maneuvers that had been getting me good scores so far,” explained Philippa. “I started out just getting some medium sized waves to build up my scores, before waiting for the bigger sets as I knew it would take the bigger waves get the better scores. I did have one scary moment near the end though, when Nilbie took off on an inside wave and I heard the
She then added, “I’m stoked to win, but even if I didn’t I’d be just as happy to be here surfing and competing with the girls, the vibe here is so good. Their level of surfing has really improved too since I was here last a couple of years ago. Before they were mostly just surfing on the inside, but now they all out at the peak, so it was really great to see their progress. I’m so happy to be here!”
Nilbie was initially visibly disappointed with her loss, more due to the lack of waves than because of being bested by her opponent, but still smiled when asked how she felt about her second place finish. “I had such a good semifinal, I got like 4 barrels and so many waves, so it was hard in the final when there weren’t many waves. But I’m ok with getting second in this event, it was still fun as Philippa is so nice and such a good surfer that I’m happy for her to win.”
In the first semifinal it was an injured but still game Nildie Blancada-Rietenbach up against Philippa Anderson, with Nildie’s injury limitation not obvious on her turns as much as when she would try to crouch down for a barrel. “It was just fun to be out there with Philippa, as we were talking in between waves and having a good time. I was happy just to make it to the semi’s, and now I can rest my knee and let it heal up,” she said.
In the second semifinal, Nilbie went on the rampage and put on a Cloud 9 surfing clinic, catching 8 waves and racking up two excellent scores on her two best barrel rides, first an 8.23 (out of 10) and then a 9.23 for a 17.47 point total to leave Japan’s Rina Kitazawa needing a combination of scores to win. Nilbie had the highest scoring wave and highest heat score of the morning in her semifinal.
Though the waves may not have been up to expectations in the final, it was an exciting and historic event as a showcase of how women’s surfing in the Philippines has been rapidly progressing.
Mikey Punsalan, Volcom Marketing Associate from Manila had this to day after the conclusion of the final: “I was really impressed with the talent I saw at this event; I had no idea that we had women here in the Philippines that were surfing at this level and able to compete against international women surfers like Philippa, Rina, Puanani, and the others. They were pulling off same amazing maneuvers; it was a great thing to see. There was a great turnout here at the event as well, proof that women’s sports in the Philippines is really growing fast. We look forward to supporting more events like this in the future for sure!”
1st Place: Philippa Anderson (AUS) with a total score of 15.30 pts out of 20.00 (7.93 and 7.37)
2nd Place: Nilbie Blancada (PHP) with a total score of 12.60 pts out of 20.00 (6.60 and 6.00)
Equal 3rd: Nildie Blancada-Rietenbach (PHP)
Equal 3rd: Rina Kitazawa (JPN)
With an international field of 24 women from countries including Japan, Germany, Slovakia, Greece, England, Indonesia, Switzerland, and Australia joining the Philippines best women surfers at one of the world’s top 10 surf spots as rated by CNN and Surfer Magazine, the 8th annual Siargao International Women’s Cup was a spectacular event for both competitors and the spectators alike.
The Siargao International Women’s Surfing Cup was funded by the Municipality of General Luna, together with sponsors Volcom, Skullcandy, Silangan Mindanao Mining Company, Kudo Surf, Sagana Resort, Surf Angels, Siargao Bleu Resort & Spa, Lux Siargao Boutique Resort, Hippie’s Surf Shop, Rock Island Sushi, San Miguel, Cebu Pacific Airlines, and My Life On Board.
Sanctioned by the Asian Surfing Championships and supported by the Philippine Surfing Federation, Philippine Department of Tourism, Province of Siargao Del Norte, and Philippines House of Representatives.
I heard too many good things about Siargao island and its waves. Must be amazing. THanks for sharing!