FINAL LEG OF PHILIPPINE SURFING CIRCUIT 2005
by Kage Gozun
La Union, known in Northern Luzon as one of the most popular breaks for beginner surfers from Manila, was invaded by some of the best surfers in the country. Held at San Juan, La Union, “Rimat Ti Amianan” (Treasure of the North), was a fitting name for the sixth and final leg of the year-long Philippine Surf Circuit.
Mounted by the Philippine Surf Federation, a special aura permeated the final leg. This was when the Top Twelve Filipino surfers were going to be finalized and announced. These surfers had amassed points throughout the year, with positions in the roster shifting depending on how well they did in each leg. The La Union competition would either make or break some of the current standings. This was something that was on the minds of most of the competitors.
The event was set up at The Point, a break fronting the Monaliza Resort. The weeks leading up to the event date had proven disappointing, with small waves and strong on-shore winds. But, as the competition date drew nearer, the waves grew in size and strength. By the time the horn had been sounded for the first heat of the contest, The Point was looking like an angry monster challenging the surfers to take on its power.
By Friday morning, the waves were deemed too large for the grommet division. Contest director Olin Duaso split his team of judges and had the grommet heats run at the nearby break of Carille while simultaneously running the Open Division heats at The Point.
Several upsets were witnessed as front runners in the Top Twelve were dropped from their heats during the. Among these was Siargao Island’s Dodo Espejon, and La Union’s Luke Landrigan. Both were ranked in the top twelve before Rimat Ti Amianan. Dark horses such as La Union’s Jun “Tanjung” Fietas and Moro Gandawli, meanwhile advanced in their heats. How this would affect the top twelve’s current rankings would have to remain a mystery until after the final heat of the competition.
A special Wahine Division heat was also staged Saturday afternoon. The five women braved a break that was dishing out what their male counterparts were calling one of the strongest currents they had experienced in the area.
Awarding night was abuzz with excitement. After nearly a week of good surfing and high excitement, it was to be expected. The results of all the divisions were announced, as well as the final rankings of the top twelve surfers for 2005. Prizes were given out, speeches were made and beer flowed freely.
It was a fitting end for an enlivening competition and an even more adrenaline-pumping year of sun, stoke and surf.
The Philippine Surfing Federation blog is at http://surfpinoy.blogspot.com/ and has links to photos and results of what happened for 2005. We also encourage you be updated for next year’s string of events by joining the PSF mailing list at http://asia.groups.yahoo.com/group/psfupdates/ and click on the Join This Group icon. You can also email us at email@example.com so we would be happy to add your email address for you.