Cloud 9, Siargao/Philippines (Saturday, September 29, 2018) - Cloud 9 has once again shown what it’s made of with epic conditions on Day 2 of the 24th annual Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup. Competitors in Round 2 were treated to clean 4-to-6 foot barreling lefts and rights at one of the WSL Qualifying Series’ most idyllic locations.
Kiwi competitor Elliott Paerata-Reid (NZL) was fortunate to hang on to his lead in the third heat of Round 2 with some massive scores being dropped by his opponents. The powerful natural-footer was able to mix both finesse in the tube and aggressive turns to take the heat with a total of 12.67 (out of a possible 20). He will progress into Round 3, joining compatriot Kehu Butler, who also won in Round 2 with an epic display of surfing.
“I never felt totally comfortable during that heat,” Paerata-Reid said. “There were a lot of average waves and then the odd amazing one which meant anyone could get a 9.00 or above at any stage – and that’s exactly what happened. Once I had the 7.00 I felt a little more comfortable. I’m stoked to be back competing here at Cloud 9, I can’t think of a better spot for an event – it’s just so perfect.”
Veteran competitor Love Hodel (HAW) from Hawaii rarely competes in QS events these days, but he always makes the effort to come to the Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup and get tubed. Today his trip almost paid for itself as he pulled into a deep barrel and weaved his way out of the end to post a near perfect 9.23, the highest single wave score of the event so far.
“That’s why I come here,” Hodel said. “To get perfect barrels in paradise. I am older now and a family man, so no longer chase events. But I love to come and compete here because it’s such an amazing wave. That barrel made it all worthwhile – I’m so stoked.”
West Australian Jack Robinson (AUS) continued his great early run at Cloud 9 posting the highest heat total of the event, a 16.67 with a magnificent display of backhand tube riding. Robinson surfed a busy heat and put himself in places others wouldn’t dream of, to easily overcome his opponents and progress into Round 3.
“I think I was a bit to busy in that heat,” Robinson said. “I definitely didn’t need to catch so many waves but in the end, it didn’t matter. The lefts were really good in that heat and were staying a bit more open than the rights, so I kept taking them. I’m getting used to this wave more and more with each surf, so I’m excited to progress into Round 3.
As the swell continued to pulse and the tide dropped, conditions became more difficult to navigate for competitors and there were fewer barrels on offer. This wasn’t an issue for Aussie goofy-footer Luke Hynd (AUS) who belted his way to a modest heat total to win his first ever heat at Cloud 9.
“This is my first time here and I’m really impressed with the setup,” Hynd said. “I’m pretty stoked to make it because I really want to surf this place when the new swell hits next week. I haven’t had any really good barrels yet but I’ve still been having fun. I’m just really glad to have gotten through a couple of tough heats.”
Event officials will reconvene at Cloud 9 and make a call at 6:00 am local time for a potential 6:30 start to complete the remaining heats of Round 2 and potentially move into the later rounds, featuring more of the events top seeds. For more information, images and highlights head to www.worldsurfleague.com
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