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John Mark Tokong smiles after the crowd cheered his performance after winning the 20th Siargao National Surfing Cup. Tokong is the only Filipino surfer to have made it to the finals of the 24th Siargao International Surfing Cup and he will go against Skip McCullough of the United Stated after defeating 128 surfers from all around the world. (photo by Erwin Mascariñas)

Siargao local takes 2nd spot in 24th International Siargao Surfing Cup

By Erwin M. Mascariñas
Correspondent .

Surigao City — An American surfer bested the local Siargao favorite as they went against each other in the finals of the 24th International Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup in General Luna town, Siargao Island.

Skip McCullough from San Diego California won the International Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup against a Siargao local and 2018 Siargao National Surfing winner John Mark Tokong gaining essential Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) 3,000 points and $12,000 last Wednesday.

Both McCullough and Tokong conquered all the other 126 professional surfers from 20 countries all over the world.

“Tokong will take home $6,000 and QS 2,600 points; while the semi-finalists Nicholas Squiers from Australia and Torrey Meister from Hawaii both took $ 3,000 each,” said Gerry Degan, event director for the surfing tilt.

Degan added that all the quarter finalists, namely Leandro Usuna from Argentina, Ty Watson from Australia, I Komang Hermawan of Indonesia, and Philmar Alipayo of the Philippines will all take home $3,000 each.

Degan expressed that, “the event was very successful as Cloud 9 delivered with it’s world renowned surf all throughout the competition.”

Other Filipino professional surfer like Piso Alcala from Siargao was eliminated during the heat seven of the round four of the competition. While Neil Sanchez, Mark Ailer Catulay, Jr Esqunel were all eliminated in the round three of the competition.

Other Filipino surfers who participated in the international surfing cup and got eliminated in the first and second rounds were Carlito Nogalo, Edwardo Aloiso, Sonny Aporbo, Pj Alipayo, Glenn Figuron, Gabriel Lerog, Mark Escoltura, Chonky Nogalo, Rudolfo Alcala, Badok Antipasado, Mark Cannon, Remar Magaluna and Eper Figuron.

Bigger Future Event

Stephen Robertson, regional manager for Asia, World Surf League (WSL) expressed his optimism that the event will go and grow further.

“Cloud 9 here in Siargao is considered as one of the premiere surf breaks in Asia. From the WSL perspective, as we go higher, we can only go higher in locations that consistently deliver the quality of wave and this one (cloud 9) does so if we get the support if the community and the government then we can go the next level and bring it to QS 6,000,” said Robertson.

“I’m talking to different sponsors if the opportunity presents to do it then we could do it here. I’m very particular about how we run QS 6000 in the sporting world, and so far the quality of good surf breaks, Cloud 9 can deliver,” he said.


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